Belfast Telegraph

We're in Carl Frampton's corner... the local celebs who will be glued to their screens tonight

By Claire McNeilly

Genevieve Porter, model and graphic designer

"I'll certainly be watching with my boyfriend Arjan here in Amsterdam. I have to say I'm looking forward to seeing Carl Frampton making his US debut. He's an exciting fighter to watch and he appeals to the whole community - a world champion and a normal guy, proud of his roots, working hard to achieve great things. He's a great role model, not only for sport but for cross-community relationships."

Gloria Hunniford, TV presenter

"My husband is a boxing fanatic so I'll be watching the Frampton fight along with him at our home in Seven Oaks, Kent. Everybody loves a world champ - but Carl Frampton is very grounded, very down-to-earth and has a likeability that people love to support. He's very talented and very charismatic with it, and yet he remains down-to-earth and he definitely has no airs and graces."

Alan Simpson, broadcaster

"I'll be watching it in the Harbour Bar in Portrush with a large group of people. I put Carl's popularity down to the man himself and Barry McGuigan. They are really decent, genuine, affable, friendly people. There's no airs or graces with Carl. He's a down-to-earth guy with a ridiculous talent. It's great to see a boxer who will be a hit in America - there's no doubt about that."

Zoe Zalmon, model and TV presenter

"I'll be at a 30th birthday party and we'll all be sipping our Champagne and eating our cake while watching the fight and supporting our local boy. No matter whether you're into boxing or not, the people in Northern Ireland will be getting behind him. It's fantastic that he has already done so well already. He's a great personality and so exciting. I don't know anyone who doesn't love Carl."

Lynda Bryans, lecturer and former TV presenter

"I'll be listening to the fight at home on Radio Ulster with my husband (Mike Nesbitt, UUP leader). Five years ago Barry McGuigan told me Carl Frampton was going to be a world champion, and that's what happened. He had faith in him and I think Carl's brilliant. He will bring the people of Northern Ireland together. He's a very unassuming lad and a great ambassador for Northern Ireland."

Stephen Clements, radio presenter

"I'm working during the fight but I'll probably be following it on my phone in the background; I couldn't not watch it. I'm a boxing fan. Carl has reinvigorated the boxing scene over here and he has a lot in common with Barry McGuigan, including the likeability factor. People love him because, like Barry, he's a beast inside the ring but outside he looks like he wouldn't say boo to a goose."

Eugene Laverty, motorcycle racer

"Carl Frampton has rekindled my interest in boxing, which is often the case when there's someone from home to support. The hype surrounding his climb up through the ranks has been huge and he sure hasn't let anyone down. He's delivered the goods time and time again so my money's on him to retain his title. I'll be watching the fight on TV at home here in Monaco and cheering him to victory."

Stephen Ferris, ex-Ulster and Ireland rugby star

"I'll be watching the fight with some of the guys. Carl is a world champion boxer but he's very grounded. He wouldn't pass you in the street without saying hello. He wasn't handed everything on a silver platter growing up; I have a lot of respect for him, too. I sent him a good luck message and he replied very quickly, despite all the messages he's getting, because that's the kind of guy he is."

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph