Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 23 August 2014

Carl Frampton on his way to greatness, says Shane McGuigan

Punch perfect: Coach Shane McGuigan takes Carl Frampton on the pads ahead of the European champion's big fight

Shane McGuigan has naturally been in legendary dad Barry's shadow from the moment he persuaded the Clones Cyclone to let him enter the boxing world.

A short amateur career was followed by a decision to become a coach and when former world champion Barry handed him Carl Frampton to hone into a champion there where more than a few raised eyebrows.

But Shane is just as driven and single-minded as his dad and not afraid to speak his mind or stand up for his fighter as he did at the Frampton-Martinez weigh-in when matters got hot and heavy.

The Jackal's sensational stoppage of Martinez – now the IBF world champion – showed even to Barry on a super-charged night at the Odyssey that he knows what he's doing.

"There was a point in the fight when I said to Carl to stand his ground with Martinez," said 25-year-old Shane, who has Frampton primed for the first defence of his European super-bantamweight title against Jeremy Parodi on Saturday night at the Odyssey

"He had taken his best shots and walked through it, but I could hear my dad screaming 'box and move' which had been the game plan. My brother Jake came over and I sent back the message that I had told him to hold his feet and he accepted that and then of course he knocked Martinez out.

"I know there are people who have said, 'what does he know about boxing, he shouldn't be trainer' but some day they will understand. I think the win over Martinez maybe showed a few people that I do know what I'm doing."

Shane, now close friends with Carl, admits that he has been fortunate to have been given such an exciting fighter to coach and has no doubt that the Belfast man is heading for greatness, even putting his skills ahead of his former World champion dad.

"I'd say he's more talented than dad," said McGuigan.

"Can he emulate my dad and what he did? I'm not sure he will, but he's the most talented fighter to come out of here for a very, very long time.

"I do believe he has the potential to become a multi-weight world champion and a superstar. He can win world titles at super-bantam, feather and super-featherweight.

"It's all about the power and the chin. I could put him now with lightweights and he'd win, he'd destroy them and I say that because I know his strength and I know how dedicated he is."

As Shane's reputation as a conditioner and boxing coach continues to grow, the roots of his success stem back to the family home and sitting around the television as a family to watch the best fighters in the world.

"My earliest boxing memory is being at show when I was seven in Nottingham," revealed Shane.

"I was there with my brother Blain because my dad was commentating and all of a sudden a riot broke out – a chair came flying past my head. It didn't put me off!

"But I always remember dad allowing us to stay up late to watch the big fights from the States, people like De La Hoya or Pacquiao – boxing was always on and of course listening to dad I must have picked a lot of things up.

"But you know I think people are born coaches, just the way some people are born fighters.

"When I was boxing I would always record my sparring and play it back. Dad wouldn't tell me to do it but I'd do it and then study what I was doing wrong. For example I remember looking at a video and seeing that I kept missing with the left hook, four or five times and then I put on dad's fight, paused it and moved it on and then I could see why he was landing – because he slipped into the punch, not to the side and that was the kind of stuff I'd naturally pick up on.

"Then, just after Carl had made his debut I took a fighter that dad used to have, Troy James, up for sparring in Coventry and after it he wanted to do pads so I took him. I had never done it before, but I took him for four rounds and he loved it and he couldn't believe it when I said I'd never done it before. So I went on from there.

"I love what I do and I study other coaches, people like Freddie Roach and Emanuel Steward and there's a top Russian amateur coach I look at as well because people can forget that the best amateurs are still becoming the best pros if they are powerful – someone like Golovkin (WBA World middleweight champion) for example. He has the balance and speed and the power, and if you can teach the work inside for the pro game you're flying."

Now he is hoping for another sizzling performance from Frampton on Saturday night.

"He's going to walk through this guy without a doubt," he emphatically concludes.

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