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Fans tune in to cheer on their brave hero

By Stuart McKinley

Carl Frampton's showdown with Alejandro Gonzalez on Saturday night not only captivated the audience in Northern Ireland, the Belfast man's victory - as hard fought as it was - has impressed fans in the United States too with his debut performance on the other side of the Atlantic.

Despite the first bell ringing at past 10pm BST, when many youngsters would have been in bed, while others were on their weekly night out, UTV's live coverage of the bout in El Paso, Texas was the most watched programme in Northern Ireland over the weekend, with a whopping two thirds of the country tuning in.

UTV managing director Michael Wilson said: "The Frampton fight attracted an average audience of 292,000 and a share of 54 per cent.

"With a peak audience of 381,000 viewers and share of 69 per cent it meant two thirds of viewers in Northern Ireland were tuned in to UTV to watch."

Frampton also bumped Mexican Julio Cesar Chavez off the front page of the El Paso Times, with their report on what they described as 'a wonderful war' after going 'face to face and fist to face for 12 unforgiving rounds' with Gonzalez.

Their man at ringside, Bill Knight, also labelled the 28-year-old as 'Ireland's rock star/world champion'.

The wonderful war is a surefire candidate for Fight of the Year, according to one of the other major newspapers in the state of Texas, the Austin American-Statesman.

It reported that 'across the pond, Carl Frampton has been a boxing writer's dream.

'The junior featherweight (super-bantamweight) champion is swift on his feet, has lead fists, and wears a satanic, smoldering smile.

'He is the complete fighting package and fights with a rare boxing fervor.'

Frampton didn't merit a mention in other parts of the state, in either the Dallas Morning News or the Houston Chronicle, as they focused on goings on in their own cities.

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