Belfast Telegraph

Classy Carl Frampton shines brightest of all at Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards

Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards. Carl Frampton and Michael O'Neill. Photo: Kelvin Boyes/Press Eye
Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards. Carl Frampton and Michael O'Neill. Photo: Kelvin Boyes/Press Eye
Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards 2016. Carl Frampton signs autographs and poses for selfies. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
February 2017 - Picture by Darren Kidd / Press Eye. Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards: Niamh Reel, Ciara Byrne, Emma Magee, Eileen Rice, Kayla Burns and Cristin Brown
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 6th February 2017 - Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards 2016. Sarah Little, Michael Jenkins, Arlene Regan, Simon Snodden and Joanne Hayden pictured at the Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards 2016 in the Waterfront Hall. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 6th February 2017 - Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards 2016. Gillian McCrudden and Stacey Gibson pictured at the Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards 2016 in the Waterfront Hall. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Cristian Brown, Lauryn McKay and Eileen Rice from Sacred Heart School in Newry pictured at the Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards 2016 in the Waterfront Hall. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 6th February 2017 - Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards 2016. Carl Frampton signs autographs. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 6th February 2017 - Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards 2016. Carl Frampton signs autographs. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Carl Frampton lifted the trophy for Sports Star of the Year 2016 at the Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards presented by Belfast Telegraph managing director Richard McClean. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Award 12 - Hall of Fame award Snooker legend Dennis Taylor was given the Hall of Fame award, sponsored by the Parr Group. It was presented by Steve Parr, Managing Director of Parr Group, snooker star Joe Swail and Tyrone Manager Mickey Harte. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Snooker legend Dennis Taylor was given the Hall of Fame award in 2016, sponsored by the Parr Group. It was presented by Steve Parr, Managing Director of Parr Group, snooker star Joe Swail and Tyrone Manager Mickey Harte.
Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill, Belfast Telegraph editor Gail Walker, Ulster Rugby manager Les Kiss and Belfast Telegraph sports editor Jim Gracey. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Ed Curran, Gail Walker and Hall of Fame award winner Dennis Taylor. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Northern Ireland Manager Michael O'Neill picked up the Manager/Coach of the Year award, sponsored by Active Financial Life last year. It was awarded by Breeda Toner, Financial Advisor with Active Financial Life and Les Kiss from Ulster Rugby.
Award 11 - Manager/Coach of the Year award Northern Ireland Manager Michael O'Neill picked up the Manager/Coach of the Year award,Ê sponsored by Active Financial Life. It was awarded by Breeda Toner, Financial Advisor with Active Financial Life and Les Kiss from Ulster Rugby. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Award 10 - Special Recognition Award Jonathan Rea picked up a Special Recognition Award sponsored by Volvo. It was presented to his father Jonny, Andy Duke from Volvo dealer, Greers of Antrim, and rugby legend Willie John McBride.Ê Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Award 9 - George Best Breakthrough Award Michael McGovern won the George Best Breakthrough Award, sponsored by Gym Co. It was presented to his father Terry, by Jim Conlon, Director of Gym Co and Northern Ireland sporting icon Pat Jennings. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Award 8 - Paddy Patterson Award David Seaton won the Paddy Patterson Award, sponsored by the Northern Ireland Sports Forum, presented by Chair of the Forum, Roy Millar.   Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Award 7 - Team of the Year Award The Northern Ireland Football Team won the Team of the Year. Manager Michael O'Neill collects the award. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Award 7 - Team of the Year Award The Northern Ireland Football Team won the Team of the Year Award, sponsored by McComb's Coach Travel. Manager Michael O'Neill collected the award. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Award 6 - Local Heroes Award Slaughtneill GAA won the Local Heroes Award, sponsored by Crowne Plaza Belfast. It was presented by Rajesh Rana, Director of Crowne Plaza Belfast and Dame Mary Peters. Chair Sean McGuigan with Claire McCollum Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Award 6 - Local Heroes Award Slaughtneill GAA won the Local Heroes Award, sponsored by Crowne Plaza Belfast. It was presented by Rajesh Rana, Director of Crowne Plaza Belfast and Dame Mary Peters. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Award 5 - Special Recognition Award Rally driver Kris Meeke won a Special Recognition Award, sponsored by Volvo. His brother Barry, picked up the award on his behalf, from Philip Houston, Volvo dealer, SMW, Belfast and rally legend Paddy Hopkirk.   Barry Meeke with Craig Doyle. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Award 5 - Special Recognition Award. Rally driver Kris Meeke won a Special Recognition Award, sponsored by Volvo. His brother Barry, right, picked up the award on his behalf, from Philip Houston, Volvo dealer, SMW, Belfast and rally legend Paddy Hopkirk. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Award 4 - Sports Person with a Disability award. Bethany Firth won the Sports Person with a Disability award, sponsored by Crowne PlazaÊBelfast. She was presented with the award by George Graham, general manager of Crowne Plaza Belfast and former top Ireland cricketers, Kyle McCallan and Andrew White. Bethany Firth with Claire McCollum. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Award 4 - Sports Person with a Disability award. Bethany Firth won the Sports Person with a Disability award, sponsored by Crowne PlazaÊBelfast. She was presented with the award by George Graham, general manager of Crowne Plaza Belfast and former top Ireland cricketers, Kyle McCallan and Andrew White. Bethany Firth with Claire McCollum. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Rory Best won the Malcolm Brodie Player of the Year award, sponsored by Celerion. Paula Quinn, Recruitment Manager from Celerion and rugby legend Stephen Ferris presented the award to Jodie Best, Rory's wife. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Award 2 - Young Player of the Year Golfer Olivia Mehaffey won the Young Player of the Year, sponsored by Decathlon Belfast. It was presented to her father Philip by Richard Larmour, Marketing and Events Manager from Decathlon and Paralympians Jason Smyth and Michael McKillop. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Award 2 - Young Player of the Year Golfer Olivia Mehaffey won the Young Player of the Year, sponsored by Decathlon Belfast. It was presented to her father Philip by Richard Larmour, Marketing and Events Manager from Decathlon and Paralympians Jason Smyth and Michael McKillop. Philip Mehaffey with Claire McCollum. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Methodist College Belfast 1st XI Girls Hockey Team  won the Young Team of the Year award sponsored by Subway and presented by Ireland hockey International Eugene Magee and Scott Hayes, Chairman of Subway Northern Ireland. Current team captain - Jodie Savage with Craig Doyle. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Award 1 - Young Team of the Year. Methodist College Belfast Girls hockey team won the Young Team of the Year award sponsored by Subway and presented by Ireland hockey International Eugene Magee and Scott Hayes, Chairman of Subway Northern Ireland. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Award 1 - Young Team of the Year. Methodist College Belfast Girls hockey team won the Young Team of the Year award sponsored by Subway and presented by Ireland hockey International Eugene Magee and Scott Hayes, Chairman of Subway Northern Ireland. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Jim Conlon, Claire McCollum and Craig Doyle pictured at the Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards 2016 in the Waterfront Hall. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Tiffany Brian and Stacey Deller pictured at the Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards 2016 in the Waterfront Hall. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 6th February 2017 - Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards 2016. Claire McCollum and Craig Doyle pictured at the Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards 2016 in the Waterfront Hall. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
February 2017 - Picture by Darren Kidd / Press Eye. Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards: Martin Lindsay and Trevor Ringland
February 2017 - Picture by Darren Kidd / Press Eye. Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards: Caroline and Rodney McComb with Michael O'Neill
February 2017 - Picture by Darren Kidd / Press Eye. Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards: Les Kiss and Stephen Ferris
February 2017 - Picture by Darren Kidd / Press Eye. Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards: Martin Lindsay, Ad Curran and Len OÕHagan
February 2017 - Picture by Darren Kidd / Press Eye. Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards: John and Geraldine Condie
February 2017 - Picture by Darren Kidd / Press Eye. Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards: Mark Regan, Claire Winter, Joanne McNeill and Kevin Carson
February 2017 - Picture by Darren Kidd / Press Eye. Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards: Aiden Murphy, John Campbell and Gerry Magee
February 2017 - Picture by Darren Kidd / Press Eye. Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards: Trevor Ringland with Pamela and Jimmy Kirkwood
February 2017 - Picture by Darren Kidd / Press Eye. Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards: Brian Magee and Joe Swail
February 2017 - Picture by Darren Kidd / Press Eye. Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards: Michael O'Neill and girls Methodist College Belfast
February 2017 - Picture by Darren Kidd / Press Eye. Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards: Eoin and Art O'Hagan with Michael O'Neill
February 2017 - Picture by Darren Kidd / Press Eye. Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards: Mike Todd and Jim Gracey
February 2017 - Picture by Darren Kidd / Press Eye. Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards: Willie John McBride, Jackie Fullerton and Pat Jennings
February 2017 - Picture by Darren Kidd / Press Eye. Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards: Alan Graham and Pamela Ballantine
February 2017 - Picture by Darren Kidd / Press Eye. Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards: Rachel Johnston, Neil Black and Samantha Kerr
February 2017 - Picture by Darren Kidd / Press Eye. Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards: David and Joan Seaton
February 2017 - Picture by Darren Kidd / Press Eye. Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards: Scott and Lorna Heyes with Frances and Kurt Courtney
February 2017 - Picture by Darren Kidd / Press Eye. Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards: Marc MacFadyen, John Nicholl and Chris MacFadyen
February 2017 - Picture by Darren Kidd / Press Eye. Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards: Chris and Chloe Cumming, Dermot O'Connell, Mark, Jennifer and Maudie Cumming.
February 2017 - Picture by Darren Kidd / Press Eye. Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards: John Sloan, Ivan Coffey and Walter Kennedy
February 2017 - Picture by Darren Kidd / Press Eye. Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards: Peter and Irene Finegan
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 6th February 2017 - Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards 2016. Stephen Ferris and Brian Scott pictured at the Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards 2016 in the Waterfront Hall. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 6th February 2017 - Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards 2016. Karen McGarvey and Julie Maguire pictured at the Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards 2016 in the Waterfront Hall. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 6th February 2017 - Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards 2016. Jim Conlon, Claire McCollum and Craig Doyle pictured at the Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards 2016 in the Waterfront Hall. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 6th February 2017 - Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards 2016. Andrew White and Ydele White pictured at the Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards 2016 in the Waterfront Hall. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 6th February 2017 - Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards 2016. Michael O'Neill with fans pictured at the Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards 2016 in the Waterfront Hall. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 6th February 2017 - Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards 2016. Paul and Janet Gray pictured at the Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards 2016 in the Waterfront Hall. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 6th February 2017 - Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards 2016. Ed Curran and Len O'Hagan pictured at the Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards 2016 in the Waterfront Hall. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 6th February 2017 - Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards 2016. Gavin Devlin, Michael O'Neill and Mickey Harte pictured at the Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards 2016 in the Waterfront Hall. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 6th February 2017 - Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards 2016. Hugh Black and Mark Irwin pictured at the Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards 2016 in the Waterfront Hall. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 6th February 2017 - Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards 2016. Michael O'Neill with fans pictured at the Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards 2016 in the Waterfront Hall. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 6th February 2017 - Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards 2016. Jim Gracey pictured at the Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards 2016 in the Waterfront Hall. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Martin Breen, Michael O'Neill and Mathew Breen pictured at the Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards 2016 in the Waterfront Hall. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 6th February 2017 - Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards 2016. Michael Gilvary, Ciaran McConnell and Neil McGeown pictured at the Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards 2016 in the Waterfront Hall. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 6th February 2017 - Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards 2016. Guests from Methodist College pictured at the Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards 2016 in the Waterfront Hall. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 6th February 2017 - Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards 2016. Michael O'Neill pictured at the Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards 2016 in the Waterfront Hall. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 6th February 2017 - Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards 2016. Barry Funston and Brian McIlroy from the Rory Foundation pictured at the Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards 2016 in the Waterfront Hall. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 6th February 2017 - Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards 2016. Carmel, Terry, Kathryn and Aine McGovern pictured at the Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards 2016 in the Waterfront Hall. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 6th February 2017 - Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards 2016. Pamela Ballantine and Jackie Fullerton pictured at the Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards 2016 in the Waterfront Hall. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 6th February 2017 - Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards 2016. Jim Conlon and friends from Gym Co pictured at the Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards 2016 in the Waterfront Hall. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 6th February 2017 - Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards 2016. Isabella Byrne, Nuala O'Neill and Emma Magee from Sacred Heart School in Newry pictured at the Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards 2016 in the Waterfront Hall. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 6th February 2017 - Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards 2016. Len O'Hagan, Martin Lindsay and Peter Rainey pictured at the Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards 2016 in the Waterfront Hall. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 6th February 2017 - Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards 2016. Jim Gracey, Alan Graham, Mike Todd and Pamela Ballantine pictured at the Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards 2016 in the Waterfront Hall. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 6th February 2017 - Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards 2016. Ciara Byrne, Sasha Boyle and Francis Keenan from Sacred Heart School in Newry pictured at the Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards 2016 in the Waterfront Hall. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 6th February 2017 - Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards 2016. Lynne McCluggage, Fiona McIlwaine, Jackie Armstrong Olive Fenton pictured at the Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards 2016 in the Waterfront Hall. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 6th February 2017 - Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards 2016. Damian and Tara Grimes pictured at the Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards 2016 in the Waterfront Hall. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 6th February 2017 - Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards 2016. Louise Taylor and Dennis Taylor pictured at the Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards 2016 in the Waterfront Hall. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 6th February 2017 - Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards 2016. Len O'Hagan, Anna Armstrong and Naomi Fenton pictured at the Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards 2016 in the Waterfront Hall. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 6th February 2017 - Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards 2016. Kayla Burns and Niamh Reel from Sacred Heart School in Newry pictured at the Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards 2016 in the Waterfront Hall. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Stephanie Stewart and Carter McVeigh pictured at the Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards 2016 in the Waterfront Hall. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 6th February 2017 - Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards 2016. Susan, Stephen, Claire Brodie pictured at the Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards 2016 in the Waterfront Hall. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 6th February 2017 - Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards 2016. Carol Morgan and Breeda Toner pictured at the Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards 2016 in the Waterfront Hall. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 6th February 2017 - Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards 2016. Keith Knox, Simon Cathcart and Sinead Cathcart pictured at the Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards 2016 in the Waterfront Hall. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 6th February 2017 - Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards 2016. Sam and Kris Boyce pictured at the Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards 2016 in the Waterfront Hall. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 6th February 2017 - Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards 2016. Nigel Stewart and Lorna Stewart pictured at the Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards 2016 in the Waterfront Hall. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 6th February 2017 - Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards 2016. Lorna and Scott Heyes pictured at the Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards 2016 in the Waterfront Hall. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 6th February 2017 - Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards 2016. Moyra and Mike Gibson pictured at the Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards 2016 in the Waterfront Hall. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 6th February 2017 - Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards 2016. Hazel and Leslie Busby pictured at the Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards 2016 in the Waterfront Hall. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 6th February 2017 - Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards 2016. Elaine and David Brown pictured at the Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards 2016 in the Waterfront Hall. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 6th February 2017 - Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards 2016. Chris McFadyen, John Nicholl and Mark McFadyen pictured at the Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards 2016 in the Waterfront Hall. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 6th February 2017 - Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards 2016. Ronan and Hugh Rocks pictured at the Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards 2016 in the Waterfront Hall. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards hosts Craig Doyle and Claire McCollum. Photo by Claire McCollum/Twitter

By Steven Beacom

Carl Frampton has joined an elite band of Northern Ireland sporting greats. The brilliant boxer from Tigers Bay won the 2016 Belfast Telegraph Sports Star of the Year award last night and in doing so became only the FIFTH sporting hero from our wee country to win the prestigious prize on multiple occasions.

Also on the list are the finest jump jockey of all time Tony McCoy, golfing greats Rory McIlroy and Darren Clarke plus Northern Ireland's record goalscorer David Healy.

Frampton is in esteemed company and deservedly so.

The 29-year-old may have lost to Mexican Leo Santa Cruz in Las Vegas last month in a rematch of their WBA World featherweight title fight, but to the Northern Ireland public he remains a winner. The reception he received from hundreds of guests in the Waterfront Hall as he collected his award at the glittering ceremony was evidence of that.

For Frampton, the loss to Santa Cruz was tough to take. The first defeat as a professional always is.

But have no doubt that the Belfast man has the tools and talent to come back from what happened at the MGM Grand hotel. More importantly, he has the desire and determination.

Last night's award was for what Frampton achieved last year - 2016 was outstanding for the big Crusaders fan as he made history by becoming the first fighter from Northern Ireland to claim World titles at two different weights.

Last February there was the much hyped tussle with England's Scott Quigg in Manchester. Frampton did not reach his highest standards but was still comfortably too strong for his opponent as he added the WBA super-bantamweight belt to his IBF title.

The Jackal Army took over Manchester that weekend and it was a similar story in New York in July when Frampton first took on Santa Cruz with the Mexican's WBA World featherweight title at stake.

There was no hype required for this one. This was one world class performer against another and fight number one in what should become a trilogy was an epic with Frampton coming out on top on points.

Cream of the crop: Carl Frampton, winner of the Sports Star of the Year prize, is the centre of attention at last night’s Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards
Cream of the crop: Carl Frampton, winner of the Sports Star of the Year prize, is the centre of attention at last night’s Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards
Special talents: Jonathan Rea’s Special Recognition Award is presented to his father Jonny with Andy Duke from sponsors Volvo dealer, Greers of Antrim, and rugby legend Willie John McBride offering congratulations.
Kris Meeke’s brother Barry (right) collects his Special Recognition Award from Philip Houston, Volvo dealer, SMW, Belfast and rally legend Paddy Hopkirk.

In that moment as the decision was announced in the Barclays Centre, Frampton went from Northern Ireland hero to global superstar.

And what is so great about Carl is that, despite all the stardom and the vast amounts of money that have come along with it, he hasn't changed since he was making his name in what is a ruthless game. His parents Craig and Flo deserve much credit for that, as do his early boxing trainers when Frampton first put on a pair of gloves in the Midland Boxing Club in north Belfast.

In 2014, having become World champion, he first clinched the Sports Star of the Year trophy at the Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards, sharing the top prize with McIlroy.

This time, for 2016, he won it all on his own in what many believe was Northern Ireland's greatest sporting year.

To illustrate that, also on the shortlist was double World Superbike champion Jonathan Rea, Ireland rugby captain Rory Best and Paralympic Games swimming sensation Bethany Firth.

Only three boxers have been named Sports Star of the Year; Frampton, Michael Conlan, who was victorious for 2015, and Wayne McCullough, the very first winner of the prize.

"Given the fantastic sporting year that Northern Ireland had in 2016, I'm delighted to win the Sports Star of the Year prize at the Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards, especially considering the quality of the other nominees," said Frampton.

"I always like to see people from Northern Ireland do well and in 2016 we had some great success stories like the Northern Ireland football team at the Euro 2016 finals."

Frampton's ability inside the ring and his personality outside of it has turned him into one of the country's most popular sporting figures.

He said: "I really appreciate the support I receive from the people of Northern Ireland. It means so much to me and my family."

So what's next? Well, following his latest war with Santa Cruz, Frampton is taking a well earned break and spending precious time with wife Christine and children Carla and Rossa.

On the boxing front, negotiations are under way with manager Barry McGuigan hoping to persuade Santa Cruz's team to come this side of the Atlantic Ocean for battle number three.

Regardless of whether the Mexican comes to Northern Ireland, Frampton is insisting that his next fight will be at Windsor Park in the summer with potentially another World title belt up for grabs.

He said: "I was obviously gutted to lose in Vegas but I know I can come back and be a World champion again and I'm looking to have my next fight at Windsor as it will be great to box at home once more."

Expect a sell-out. Expect Frampton to come roaring back and expect King Carl to be crowned champion of the world once again before the year is out.

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