Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 27 December 2014

Carl Frampton learns to live in the spotlight

Carl Frampton works out with manager and former champion Barry McGuigan
Carl Frampton works out with manager and former champion Barry McGuigan

In the history of Irish boxing there can hardly have been many fighters under the kind of scrutiny that Carl Frampton faces after such a short space of time.

Frampton is still in the novice stages of his learning curve as a professional but he knows come Friday night only a performance of the highest calibre will do.

The Belfast man has been placed on a pedestal by manager Barry McGuigan whose belief n the 23-year-old is limitless.

“I’m completely convinced that he can become a world champion,” said McGuigan ahead of Frampton’s Celtic title fight with Gavin Reid at the Ulster Hall.

Working out yesterday at his old amateur club, Midland in Tiger’s Bay, Frampton had the look of a man completely at ease with the growing attention he is receiving after just seven bouts.

“My dad had a guy come to the door the other day and we had to send him a way because we didn’t have enough tickets to give him,” said Frampton.

“The interest in this fight has grown from the last one, there’s more of a buzz and that’s great. I think people enjoyed the last fight and hopefully this one will be just as exciting.”

As for the expectation, McGuigan believes his “humble” nature allows Frampton to handle the increasing hyperbole.

McGuigan added: “When you have an abundance of talent there’s obviously going to be expectations, that’s part of being a top fighter but Carl deals with that very well. He knows what he can do, he knows the talent he has and that’s not him being bumptious, it’s just a real belief.

“Carl’s not infallible and we know he’s not the finished article but we expect big things of him ... we’re certainly not looking past Gavin Reid on Friday night.”

Frampton concurs with his manager and promoter, believing that while 2011 could be a year to remember, Reid comes to Belfast believing that his own career can take off with an upset win at the Ulster Hall.

“Gavin Reid is coming here to ruin my dreams, he’s never prepared as hard for a big fight before. He’s been working with Stuart Hall, the British bantamweight champion so he’s ready and I expect it to be tough.

“Reid has been in with some of the best in Britain at short notice and given them hard nights and now he’s had the proper time to get ready.”

“It’s a big night for me, people are obviously comparing myself to Barry and that brings expectation I guess but I don’t mind that because I believe my performances will show people that I’m justifying the attention I’m getting.

“I want the fans to come and enjoy my fights, to get excited. I can’t wait to be in the Ulster Hall again, the atmosphere is unreal.”

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