Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 25 November 2014

Biting Back: Barry McGuigan is the man with the plan

Barry McGuigan (centre) with Carl Frampton and Kiko Martinez at a press conference to announce their IBF super-bantamweight world title fight which will take place at Titanic Quarter in Belfast on September 6
Barry McGuigan (centre) with Carl Frampton and Kiko Martinez at a press conference to announce their IBF super-bantamweight world title fight which will take place at Titanic Quarter in Belfast on September 6

It was interesting to hear Barry McGuigan pay tribute to the First and Deputy First Minister for supporting Carl Frampton's World Title fight with Kiko Martinez in Belfast in September.

In his pomp, Barry might have considered running for office himself given the backing he had from all sides in Northern Ireland.

To remain in the 'hurt business' for as long as McGuigan has is good going. After doing it as a fantastic fighter he is now delivering mouthwatering sporting events to Northern Ireland in a different role as Frampton's manager.

Yes, Frampton has caught the imagination with sensational performances at the Odyssey Arena, but chasing down world champions and persuading them to fight in Belfast requires a slick hand.

Also local fight fans, who know the game better than most, can be hard to please, but so far when McGuigan has put on a big show that attracts sell-out audiences, punters in their thousands have left happy with the entertainment on offer.

Together Frampton and McGuigan are a winning combination.

For the biggest fight of Carl's career, Barry has opted for a special purpose built arena with tiered seating, housing a crowd of 16,000 at the historic Titanic Slipway.

Already there has been talk about bad weather potentially spoiling the occasion.

Forget that, even in the darkness of the night, this will be the brightest moment in boxing for Frampton.

It's written in the stars... Barry McGuigan says so. He's a man with a plan... Northern Ireland sports fans should be happy to still have him around after all these years.

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