Belfast Telegraph

Home Sport Boxing

Carl Frampton will win back dad's title: Shane McGuigan

By David Kelly

Shane McGuigan was not even born when dad Barry was at the peak of his fistic powers but in the early hours of Sunday morning he expects to guide Carl Frampton to the title once held by the Clones Cyclone.

It was June 1986 when Barry lost his WBA World featherweight belt to Steve Cruz in the Las Vegas sunshine and now 30 years later he will walk to the ring in Brooklyn, New York as Frampton's manager willing him to win the same belt at the expense of Leo Santa Cruz.

It is not something that Shane wants to focus on but he nevertheless recognises how great an evening it could be in the Big Apple as Frampton seeks to make history by becoming the first Northern Ireland fighter to win World titles at two different weights, having earlier this year vacated his WBA and IBF super-bantamweight belts.

More: Frampton v Leo Santa Cruz: Carl's Windsor Park goal after New York title quest

"We're not allowing emotion to get in the way of what we're here to do and that's win a big fight but it would be a special moment to win back dad's belt. It's 30 years on against a guy called Cruz, it's funny how fate can make things like this happen," said Shane, who has detected an extra glint in the eye of the Jackal during the 15 weeks of preparation for his date with destiny.

"We've been wanting this fight with Santa Cruz for some time, we wanted it when Carl was at super-bantamweight and now it has come at featherweight.

"The styles are going to gel and it'll be a fantastic fight and it's the chance for Carl to really announce himself to the world, to show his very best.

"I would say Carl's best performance so far was the win against Chris Avalos. The last two performances he has not been at his best - in El Paso against Alejandro Gonzalez and then in Manchester against Scott Quigg.

"There was a strange atmosphere in El Paso and he wasn't himself but he got the win and then Quigg, after all his talk, just froze. Carl just did what he had to, there was a lot of pressure going into that fight and he got the job done.

"Now he has the chance to show everyone what he can do, to show everyone what we've seen in the gym so often and that hasn't been seen in the last two fights.

"This camp is probably the happiest I've seen him in a long time this close to a fight. Normally he's getting a bit narky and grumpy, not because he's nervous or annoyed but because he is having to make the 122lb limit.

"He feels that he has outgrown super-bantamweight and is more comfortable at 126lb and I think that's why you'll see the best of him.

"He's looked a little jaded at times at super-bantamweight but I expect his energy levels to stay up and you'll see that he is the stronger featherweight in there. I don't think Santa Cruz really knows just what he is facing. You will only ever see the best of Carl when he is really pushed and Santa Cruz will do that but I expect Carl to respond and he will be the boss in there."

Opinion is divided on the outcome of what promises to be a pulsating encounter at the Barclays Centre with the majority of the American media convinced that Santa Cruz will inflict the first defeat on Frampton.

But Shane, who now also coaches former World heavyweight champion David Haye and World super-middleweight title contender George Groves, believes those heavily favouring the Mexican are seriously underestimating the power of the Jackal.

"Santa Cruz has very long arms and when he starts hitting he hits you with 10 shots but when he's met with something heavy coming the other way then he won't be throwing so many," he added.

"Carl can keep up a great pace and I think he will stop Santa Cruz.

"The first three rounds are going to be very interesting. Carl is carrying his power up to featherweight and it'll be interesting to see Santa Cruz when he gets hit. I really think it's going to be a great fight."

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph