Belfast Telegraph

Thank you all: Carl Frampton hails amazing support after crowds turn out to celebrate history-making world title

And here he is: Welcome home Carl!

Posted by Belfast Telegraph on Friday, August 12, 2016

By Adrian Rutherford

Carl Frampton has thanked all those who gave him a hero's welcome back to Belfast following his history-defining world title win.

The two-weight world champion boxer was cheered as he appeared at a special homecoming bash in the grounds of City Hall on Friday night.

"A big thank you to each and every person who turned out at Belfast City Hall tonight," he tweeted after the event.

"Always very grateful for my amazing support."

First Minister Arlene Foster and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness were among those there to greet him.

The Belfast man became the first Northern Ireland boxer to win world titles at two weight divisions when he defeated Leo Santa Cruz last month.

Frampton told the vast crowd: “I love Belfast and I want to fight here as much as possible.”

Sports Minister Paul Givan and Belfast Lord Mayor Brian Kingston were also at the homecoming.

Clips from the fight against Santa Cruz in New York on July 30 were played during the event, drawing cheers from Frampton’s fans.

The 29-year-old praised the near 1,600 who travelled to New York to watch the fight.

“A lot of people spent a lot of money to come over and support me … I’m just very grateful,” he added.

A rematch with Santa Cruz later this year back in the US or in Belfast has been mooted.

Asked where his next fight would be, Frampton replied: “I don’t know yet. We need to discuss Santa Cruz, there is potential for a rematch with Santa Cruz.”

He added: “I want to be fighting here more often, I want to be fighting here at least once a year - Windsor Park in the summer.”

Ahead of the event the First Minister said it was a proud night not just for Belfast but for all the people of Northern Ireland.

“Carl Frampton has brought immense excitement and joy to the boxing and sporting world but also to non-sports fans,” she said.

"I am incredibly proud of Carl Frampton for his boxing achievements but also the manner in which he conducts himself making him a superb ambassador for Northern Ireland.

"Carl Frampton is a world star but he hasn’t forgotten his roots and it is only right and proper that his many fans and supporters were given the opportunity to congratulate him in Belfast on his latest victory.

"I wish Carl Frampton every success for the future.”

Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness said: "It was an honour and a privilege to congratulate double world champion Carl Frampton tonight in Belfast.

"Tonight is an important night for the people of Belfast and beyond as it gives them the chance to congratulate Carl Frampton in person. The rapturous reception Carl received tonight reflects the regard in which Carl is held by his many supporters.

"Carl’s latest victory has made him one of the finest boxers in his generation and I wish Carl, Shane and Barry McGuigan every success in the next chapter of this sporting fairytale.”

Sports Minister Paul Givan said Frampton’s win over Leo Santa Cruz was “truly inspirational”.

“Northern Ireland now has a double world champion at super bantamweight and featherweight. These achievements are exceptional and demonstrate the commitment and hard work that Carl has put into his sport,” he said.

The champion comes home: What a welcome for NI's king of the ring Carl Frampton

Posted by Belfast Telegraph on Friday, August 12, 2016

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