Belfast Telegraph

Carl Frampton's a superstar to be proud of

Editor's Viewpoint

So often the news headlines convey some of the more unpleasant sides to life in Northern Ireland, with its controversy and conflict.

It is therefore refreshing to be able to reflect upon the stunning success of the Belfast boxer Carl Frampton who has won his world super-bantamweight unification battle by beating Bury fighter Scott Quigg.

The hype leading up to Saturday's fight was immense, and it is difficult to imagine how one young man could sustain his professionalism amid such hyperbole.

However, Carl Frampton managed to do this magnificently and to outbox his long-time rival Quigg, thus opening the way to becoming another Northern Ireland sporting superstar.

Under the mature guidance of Barry McGuigan, himself a former world champion, it is likely that Frampton will be steered to bigger, better and even more lucrative contests.

It is exciting to think that some of these could be staged in Northern Ireland, and already Frampton and McGuigan have spoken about venues either at Windsor Park or the Kingspan Stadium.

Such occasions could provide rich memories for sports fans in a province where they have had more than their fair share of these achievements to savour.

What is particularly appealing about Carl Frampton is his appreciation of his roots, and despite his success in the ring, he remains a down-to-earth hometown hero.

The latest contest was held in Manchester, which is Quigg's home territory, but it might as well have been held in Belfast - given the large number of supporters from this city who travelled across the Irish Sea.

The vocal support for Frampton was greater than that for Quigg, the local boy.

Fittingly, the music which accompanied Carl into the ring was Belfast Child, and a host of Northern Ireland celebrities attended the contest - including AP McCoy, Martin O'Neill, Jimmy Nesbitt and Paddy Barnes.

Even Rory McIlroy joined the fun from afar through social media.

Boxing is a harsh and unforgiving sport, careers can be cut short, and we do not know how many more memorable nights lie in store for us.

Carl creates a feel-good factor across the entire province, and far beyond it. Long may his super boxing adventure continue.

Belfast Telegraph

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