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Cyclone boss McGuigan wants more special nights in Belfast

By David Kelly

Cyclone Promotions boss Barry McGuigan believes Saturday night's blockbuster battle between Carl Frampton and World champion Kiko Martinez can be the first of many great boxing events in Belfast over the coming years.

Victory for Frampton over bitter rival Martinez at the open air arena at Titanic Quarter would naturally lead to an opportunity to fight in America, which has always been a dream for the Belfast man, but McGuigan is adamant that he can bring the biggest fights to Northern Ireland.

Tempting Martinez back to Belfast for another date with the Jackal was never going to be easy with Frampton having already stopped him at the Odyssey 18 months ago, but Cyclone Promotions sealed the deal and only a 16,000 arena was going to be enough for the re-match.

"It has always been my modus operandi to bring big fights to Belfast and with Carl we know we can have some very big nights here and we'll go to America on our terms," said McGuigan, who has been delighted with the support he has received from the local business community and the Assembly for the Titanic Showdown.

McGuigan said: "When we started to consider possible venues in Northern Ireland where we could stage an IBF World super-bantamweight title challenge that would have a distinctive, unique feel, all sorts of venues and locations were considered.

"However, it quickly became clear that if we wanted to deliver a showcase fight that reflected the nature of talent that is Carl Frampton, a partnership approach would be required, with input from a range of groups, public sector bodies and businesses.

"I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Northern Ireland Executive, Belfast City Council, Tourism Ireland and the Northern Ireland Tourist Board for the assistance they have provided. We are also delighted to have some of the best brands and top companies from across Northern Ireland as partners.

"Without the collective input of everyone it would not have been possible to stage this global sporting event here in Belfast."

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