Belfast Telegraph

McGuigan’s class rubbing off on Carl

By David Kelly

When you throw a mean body shot, have a tigerish intensity and weigh around 9st then comparisons with your manager Barry McGuigan are inevitable.

On Friday night at the King’s Hall, three days after the 25th anniversary of McGuigan’s World title triumph at Lofus Road, Carl Frampton will have the Clones Cyclone in his corner for his latest step along the road to boxing’s summit.

The Belfast super-bantamweight has a six rounder against Ian Bailey on the supporting bill to Paul McCloskey’s European light-welterweight title defence against Italian Giuseppe Lauri.

McGuigan not only expected the comparisons but believes that some are justified, even if Frampton is in the novice stages of his career.

“I love working with Carl, he’s a joy because of the attitude that he brings to the gym and it’s easy to see why people would make comparisons between himself and me,” said McGuigan.

“Recently he spent 10 days with me, sparred 30 rounds and we were working mainly on doing everything at a high pace while also maintaining the quality of punching.

“So, he has been progressing very well and the sparring he has had has just been fantastic. I would think the Belfast fans are going to see someone they can really get behind.

“He’s got the power and he’s got the boxing skill and he’s probably a better one-punch hitter than I was.

“This guy Bailey is a tough customer, he’s the kind of opponent I wanted for Carl because I expect him to take Carl the distance.

“I’m looking for Carl to put on a good show and I would hope to have him boxing in Belfast more regularly after this.”

Tiger’s Bay man Frampton, a former Ulster and Irish champion as well as an EU championships silver medallist, is certainly hot property and assuming he comes through against Bailey I wouldn’t be surprised if he was pushed on quickly to eight and 10 rounders.

Meanwhile, it’s an important night as well for flyweight prospect Jamie Conlan whose rivalry with fellow Belfast man Luke Wilton is starting to simmer.

Conlan will face Delroy Spencer who has suffered a defeat as well as enjoying a win against Wilton.

Conlan’s coach John Breen said: “This will be a good marker for Jamie. We have seen the trouble that Spencer has given Luke Wilton so it’ll be interesting to see how Jamie goes against him.

“I’ve no doubt that Jamie will win but I want him to show the public just how he has been developing in the gym.

“Once I feel that Jamie is ready for 12 rounds I would be very confident of getting him a British title fight and I don’t see why he couldn’t get it before Luke.

“He’s making very good progress and I think the fans will be very impressed with what they see on Friday night. He’s really looking forward to boxing at the King’s Hall.”

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