Christine Frampton on keeping guard and life as a boxer's wife ahead of Las Vegas fight
Christine talks to Sunday Life ahead of Frampton v Santa Cruz 2 on Sunday
Feisty Christine Frampton can fight her own battles.
The mum-of-two has made lots of personal sacrifices to raise her young children, Carla and Rossa, and support her boxer husband Carl.
But while motherhood may be the best job in the world, there’s another career she would have loved.
“I always wanted to be a prison officer,” Christine told Sunday Life.
“Sadly I can’t really do that now, but I think I’d have loved it.”
Christine has a criminology with criminal justice degree from Queen’s University and when Carl gives up the gloves she hopes to put her studies to good use.
She said: “We always knew that boxing wasn’t going to be a long career and I think Carl is just looking forward to the break. I want to be out working again because I really miss it.
“If we’re lucky, we’d like one or two more kids too so we’ll be keeping busy come his retirement, that’s for sure.”
She added: “In school, for my work experience, I went to Hydebank jail and I loved it so that was always my plan after I’d go to university, but then I had kids so my plans changed.
“I wouldn’t want to put myself in any dangerous situations now, whereas I think before you have kids you don’t think about that so much.
“Plus some people might know who I am so I’d have to go in with a different surname or a good disguise!”
While her dream of a career in the Prison Service may be over, Christine and Carl received a special delivery from a local jail.
“Carl signed a glove for this family recently who were having a fundraiser and one of their sons is in jail,” said the 29-year-old from Poleglass, west Belfast.
“So the prisoners in Magilligan did Carl this big painting and they all signed it for him. It was this huge canvas and they’d painted Carl on it and signed their names.
“I’ve no room for it at the moment but he wants to put it up in his gym when he moves — he loves it.
“You never really think about all these groups of different people who support him, but God love them for doing it for him.”
Christine admits she’s been blown away by the support her world champion boxer husband has received.
“You’re always going to get the odd eejit who says something, but on the whole, he’s liked by both sides of the community,” she said.
“I think a lot of that is because he goes into different areas. It’s not like he’s just stayed in Tigers Bay his whole life.
“My mummy lives in Beechmount in the Falls and when Carl’s home, he’s there every day. He runs in and out of the shop and runs my mummy about and everyone sees him. He’s approachable to everyone.”
With less than a week until Carl fights Leo Santa Cruz at the MGM in Las Vegas, Christine has been touched by the travelling support from Northern Ireland.
She said: “With it being straight after Christmas, I wasn’t sure how many people would go but there seems to be a lot going. Maybe it’s because the Euros are over now, people have saved up a bit of money.”
After Carl’s epic victory over Leo Santa Cruz in New York in the summer, the nerves have already started for Christine ahead of next Saturday night’s rematch.
“I’m starting to get a bit restless now and I’m not sleeping very well but I think once I get there the nerves will kick in, like they always do.
“I didn’t enjoy New York at all because the nerves were crazy. It was too mental and stressful and I just couldn’t relax until it was over and we got a bit of family time afterwards.”
Another worry for Christine is the journey to Las Vegas.
“I’m not a good traveller at all so I’m dreading the journey. I get jet-lagged going to London so I just can’t wait to get off that plane in Vegas,” she said.
“We’re going Dublin to Philadelphia then onto Vegas so at least that will break it up a bit.
“I’ve spent the week getting organised — picking the kids’ outfits for every day and just getting us all sorted. My mummy would have them dressed like absolute balloons if I let her or Carla choose.
“I have everything labelled for each day, just so they don’t go wrong.
“Carl has a suite at the MGM for the week of the fight so I’m going to stay there with him, all being well.
“My friends have got all these plans while they’re there, like going to see Celine Dion and getting a helicopter over the Grand Canyon, but we haven’t sorted anything. When I get there on the Thursday it’ll be late night, then he has a weigh-in on the Friday, the fight on Saturday and then we’re hoping to get a drink with everyone on the Sunday. All we have is the Monday really so hopefully we’ll get something organised because I’d hate to go to Vegas and not do anything, but it’s hard to plan.
“My family and Carl’s family are great, but of course I miss him and wish he was home more, but that’s just how it goes.
“I’ve only just got round to getting Skype so that the kids can see Carl when he’s away. We talked about it before but I always said no because I wasn’t sitting there on the camera like an eejit, but we downloaded it for the kids and they love it.
“But Carla and Rossa just can’t wait to see him for real next week and neither can I.”
Frampton v Santa Cruz 2 is on Sunday, January 29, at 3am GMT.