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Dramatic artwork of world champion Belfast boxer Carl Frampton

By Deborah McAleese

This is the very moment that Belfast boxer Carl Frampton realised his dream of becoming a world champion.

Painted by one of his biggest fans, artist Jay Connolly, the image captures Frampton's emotions as he was announced IBF super-bantamweight champion.

The Tigers Bay fighter had just beaten Spain's Kiko Martinez in front of 16,000 ecstatic fans in Belfast's Titanic Quarter in September.

The painting will now take pride of place in his gym.

When Frampton contacted Jay about getting a portrait done, he was so confident he was going to win that he told the artist not to paint it until he beat Martinez.

"I'm a massive fan of boxing and I wanted to do a portrait of Carl. We had been talking through Twitter and he said he was interested. But he told me to wait until he beat Martinez," said Jay.

The Leicester-based artist added: "The picture really captures the moment he won. When I finished the painting I put it on Twitter and tagged Carl in it. He contacted me and said he wanted to buy it."

Jay, whose portfolio includes paintings of the legendary Muhammad Ali, was disappointed not to be able to hand-deliver the artwork.

"I am a massive boxing fan and think that Carl is brilliant. I respect anyone who gets into that ring, but Carl is special. One day I'd like to meet up," he said.

Frampton described it as "an amazing piece of art".

Belfast Telegraph

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