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Champions line up to hail world star Carl Frampton

By David Kelly

Carl Frampton has had praise heaped upon him since taking the IBF World super-bantamweight title from Kiko Martinez and the the plaudits just keep on coming.

Frampton, who enjoyed a marvellous civic reception at Belfast City Hall yesterday when hailed by thousands of supporters, has to make the first defence of his World belt against number one contender Chris Avalos but then even bigger fights will be on the agenda.

Former World, European and British champions, Glenn McCrory, Brian Magee, Charlie Nash and Neil Sinclair, all believe those mega-fights will come his way in the coming years.

McCrory, who has said that Frampton is now his favourite fighter, flew in to be part of the wonderful night at Titanic Quarter when 16,000 fans roared the Tigers Bay man to World title glory.

Former IBF World cruiserweight champion McCrory said: "I was thrilled for Carl on Saturday night and for the fans because they can come out in force on a bitterly cold night. It was a very educated performance, he knew it would be tough and he put in a great boxing display.

"It was an excellent win and I thought that he boxed within himself, the most important thing was to get the win and get the belt.

"I don't think he has anybody to fear in the division.

"The WBA and WBO champion Rigondeaux isn't getting any younger, Scott Quigg and him would be a tremendous fight for the UK and you have Leo Santa Cruz the WBC champion and that would be a huge fight.

"And when you have people like Santa Cruz and Abner Mares and Quigg calling him out then you know you are at the top of the tree.

"It's like when people call out Floyd Mayweather, they do it because they know a fight with him will get them a lot of money and it's the same with Carl now," he added.

Former European lightweight champion Charlie Nash had no doubt Frampton would triumph.

"I couldn't see how Carl would not win the fight and I was really delighted to see the way he won it. I'm so glad for him because he's a lovely guy," said Nash.

"I would say that in my time in boxing he is probably the best. We had Eamonn Magee, Brian Magee and Neil Sinclair, great fighters but I think Carl is the best. He can box on the front foot and on the back foot, he's got great skill and power – he has everything."

One of those fighters, Brian Magee – the former WBA super-middleweight champion – was also there on Saturday night.

"It was spectacular, it could hardly have gone better. Carl boxed to the game plan and Martinez just could not get his power shots off, he tried to walk Carl down but just couldn't do it," said Magee.

"It was a better Kiko he was fighting but he always had the edge and they say the crowd can give you two rounds and that was the case on Saturday, they seemed to inspire Carl."

Former British champion Neil Sinclair added: "Before the fight I couldn't see how he was going to lose so I wasn't surprised at all at how well he beat Martinez.

"He worked better than ever up close and there is so much more to come from Carl because he hasn't reached his peak."

Belfast Telegraph

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