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Carl Frampton a 'rascal' at school who has grown up to be a role model

A hero. A legend. A man who brings the people of his city together.

Carl Frampton's fans were unanimous in their praise for the fighter from Tiger's Bay who saw off his American rival with very little effort.

The Jackal's appeal was evident in the range of spectators there to roar him on - male and female, young and old, from all communities in Northern Ireland.

Father and son Christopher and Ryan Black from Newtownards were thrilled to see their hero win in emphatic style in the fifth round.

"He's actually a genius," Christopher said. "He was waiting for round five. He hit him once and the story was over."

Ryan (16) added: "He said he was going to warm up his hands for the first four rounds and knock him out, and that's what he did."

Keith McClurg, from Antrim, said: "He is brilliant. He is doing great things for this country."

George Murray, a PE teacher at the Boys Model school in north Belfast, said Carl was a "cult figure" among pupils.

"He is super. He is unbelievable," he told the Belfast Telegraph. "You could see he was focused and determined.

"That is a great role model for any kid watching. He raised the roof. I have never experienced an atmosphere like it."

Carl's appeal is about more than just sporting prowess.

Beauty salon owner Clare Connolly (26) from Ardoyne said: "He is a really good representative of our country.

"He is a good family man. I like the fact that he is part of a mixed relationship couple. He shows times are changing and we are moving forward."

Glengormley joiner Phil Wallace (28) went to Glengormley High with Frampton.

"He was a rascal at school," Phil said. "He has grown up so much. He's brilliant. I'm really proud of him."

Nicola Paul (41), a care assistant from Ballysillan, said: "There are not many people here you can worship but he's one of them. He's acknowledging Belfast and bringing two communities together."

Tarquin Lee (34), a dolphin trainer from Cork, said: "I'm a massive boxing fan. He was under a lot of pressure with millions of people watching on TV. He's mega."

Among those supporting Frampton at the Odyssey was retired Northern Ireland footballer Keith Gillespie.

"He is brilliant," Keith said.

"He's a proper Northern Ireland person and deserves his success."

Robert Rickey (39), a businessman from Belfast, said: "He brings everybody from Belfast together.

"He's a legend.

"He's a focused boxer, devoted to his trade and he brings the whole city together."

Belfast Telegraph