Poll: Is Carl Frampton Ireland's greatest ever boxer?
Following his history-making world title win against Leo Santa Cruz, Carl Frampton has been hailed as potentially the greatest ever Irish fighter.
"I genuinely believe this kid will go on to be the greatest Irish fighter there's ever been," declared Team Frampton manager Barry McGuigan after roaring his protégé on to claim the WBA World featherweight belt on Saturday by outclassing holder Leo Santa Cruz to win a majority verdict at New York's Barclays Centre in Brooklyn.
But where does he rank among the Irish greats?
JOHN ‘RINTY’ MONAGHAN
A hero of Frampton’s, Monaghan was Belfast’s first world champion. He unified the flyweight division by defeating Jackie Paterson in 1948 to become undisputed champion and was known for in-ring performances of ‘When Irish Eyes are Smiling’.
The rock hard ‘Celtic Warrior’ (right) was a relatively late bloomer in the professional arena but ended his career with a 15-bout winning streak, picking up the WBO middleweight and super-middleweight titles in successive fights from Chris Pyatt and Chris Eubank in 1994-95.
Eubank was beaten again in a rematch, with Nigel Benn also vanquished twice.
‘NONPAREIL’ JACK DEMPSEY
Feted as the inaugural world middleweight champion in 1884, the former bareknuckle boxer was, per his nickhame, without parallel over the next seven years.
His eventual defeat to Bob Fitzsimmons after 13 punishing rounds was testament to his bravery. He died at 32 of tuberculosis.
The Wicklow fighter is a phenomenon in the amateur women’s game, with a monster haul of titles, belts and medals in the 60kg weight class over the past decade. A five-time world champion, six-time European champion and Olympic gold medalist at London 2012, where she was Ireland’s flag-bearer.
And not forgetting...
Frampton’s manager and the man who sees ‘the Jackal’ as Ireland’s greatest-in-waiting is himself one of the best loved boxers to hail from the island. His victory over the brilliant Eusebio Pedroza to win the WBA featherweight belt at Loftus Road was the loftiest high of a career that ended with an early retirement at just 28.
Carl Frampton - And the New
AND THE NEW! Carl Frampton takes home the WBA Featherweight World Championship. #SantaCruzFramptonPosted by Showtime Boxing on Saturday, 30 July 2016