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Carl Frampton packing a heavy punch at box office

By David Kelly

Carl Frampton has already proved himself a world class operator in the ring and now he is building a similar reputation at the box office.

It is understood that the Odyssey Arena holds a maximum of around 8,200 for a boxing night and manager Barry McGuigan says the European super-bantamweight champion is on course to sell out the arena for his clash with Frenchman Jeremy Parodi on October 19.

Frampton's career took off this year when he showed the Northern Ireland public his true worth with a stunning stoppage of Kiko Martinez to land the European belt. The Spaniard has since gone on to win the IBF title and makes his first defence on December 21 in Spain.

Tiger's Bay man Frampton is eager to meet the winner of Martinez's battle with South African Jeffrey Mathebula in 2014. Indeed, manager McGuigan is hopeful of the Belfast man fighting for the World title after he deals with the threat of Parodi.

McGuigan said: "It is unimaginable the feeling a fighter has boxing in front of a sell out home crowd.

"Carl is a cross-over fighter, he attracts the wider public to his fights and the Odyssey have now said they are opening a further part of the arena so more tickets can be sold.

"More tickets are going to be sold for his fight with Parodi than have ever been sold before for a boxing event at the Odyssey.

"It's great news for Carl. He's a great fighter and a great lad and the public are getting behind him. The Belfast public know their boxing and they know that Carl is special and also that it's a great bill.

"There are not many other fighters in Britain who can generate this kind of support."

Frampton headlines a show which also features Shankill Road featherweight Marc McCullough against former world title challenger and European super-bantamweight champion Willie Casey as well as Jamie Conlan and Eamonn O'Kane in tough fights against Frenchman Hassan Azaouagh and Welshman Kerry Hope respectively.

McGuigan is hoping that not only will local fans have the opportunity to roar Frampton to major title success over the coming years but also hot prospects such as Conlan and McCullough.

McGuigan added: "I'm pulling for all the local fighters because they all need opportunities. I can see the potential Conlan has but he needs to be fighting regularly so he can move up a level. But I would be surprised if he doesn't fight for a world title one day.

"And the fight between Marc McCullough and Willie Casey is going to be a barnburner. I said from the start that we want to put on value-for-money shows and I believe this show proves that.

"O'Kane and Hope is another cracking fight, so the fans are in for a real treat. For too long the fighters here have been struggling to stay active and we want to change that."

Meanwhile, this Saturday's show at the Holiday Inn has been postponed until November 9, with Luke Wilton headlining.

Belfast Telegraph


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