Dave McAuley: Carl 'The Jackal' Frampton will go down in history books
McAuley expects Frampton to shatter his Northern Ireland record
Dave McAuley knows what it takes to win and defend a World title – and he is backing Carl Frampton to become the most successful fighter in the history of Northern Ireland boxing.
Stage one for Frampton is on Saturday night when he challenges bitter Spanish rival Kiko Martinez for his IBF World super-bantamweight title at the purpose-built open air venue at Titanic Quarter.
Victory would then hand him the opportunity to beat McAuley's mark of six IBF World flyweight title defences – once a British record before the arrival of the World Boxing Organisation in the early 1990s, a belt then dominated by UK fighters boxing moderate opposition.
McAuley, who will be at ringside for the Titanic Showdown bill, has been impressed with how Frampton has progressed and has no doubt that he will make it two out of two against Martinez – whom the Jackal defeated 18 months ago in a European title fight at the Odyssey Arena,
"I'm sure Carl can go on and break my record of six World title defences by a Northern Ireland boxer," said McAuley, who lost controversially to Rodolfo Blanco in Spain in what proved to be the final fight of his career.
"Records are made to be broken and I'd love to see him break my record – and I would say he will because he's that good.
"I love to see people from here doing well, in business and sport, it's great for such a wee country – we really do punch well above our weight.
"I always thought that someone would come along eventually to give us the kind of nights we had in the 1980s because every 15, 20 or 30 years someone comes along that the public take to and who has world-class talent – and Frampton is a really well grounded guy and the public love him and he can fight, he really can fight.
"I think he can go on from this and dominate the division. I'd leave the WBC champion Leo Santa Cruz for a while – maybe one or two defences and then take on someone like Santa Cruz. Carl will improve 25 per cent after winning the World title, you just lift your game, that's what happened to me and there is loads more potential to come out of Frampton, you can see that.
"There's talk of a fight with Scott Quigg but Quigg needs Frampton a lot more than Frampton needs Quigg. When Frampton wins the World title he is a true World champion and he can go on and make a pile of money.
"Preparing for a World title fight is different, it's so tough and for me it was a nightmare at times to get in shape to make sure I kept my title. You really push yourself so hard and that's why I didn't come back. I was offered three World title fights after I retired and turned them all down.
"If I'd beaten Blanco – and I believe I did – then I was on for a seven-figure sum against Michael Carbajal in a World flyweight title unification fight and I'd have beaten him.
"Then I could have retired and not worried about a thing the rest of my life but it wasn't meant to be.
"I'm really looking forward to this fight because it's going to be a special night and when Carl gets the World title around his waist it will mean so much, it will be so special but to be honest it's only when it's gone that you really appreciate what you have achieved."
While McAuley does not underestimate the threat of Martinez, he feels that Frampton will have all the answers to the questions posed by the Spaniard.
"For five or six rounds Kiko will be dangerous but Carl can frustrate the life out of him and then take over," added McAuley.
"I believe that Frampton has Kiko's measure because Kiko is a one-trick pony. He comes forward and throws bombs and if I was fighting Kiko I would love it because I would back my boxing skills against him every time and I'm sure Frampton feels the same way because he has very good boxing ability, he has the punching power and he seems to have a good chin.
"The way Kiko fought against Bernard Dunne years ago when he won the European title is exactly the way he fought against Frampton, only Frampton is a smarter fighter and he didn't get caught and then knocked Kiko out.
"Frampton has all the ingredients to beat this guy and more and that's why I just can't believe that his manager is bringing him to Belfast again having already been beaten by Frampton.
"If someone had knocked me out like that you'd have to grab me kicking and screaming back to defend a World title against him. I think they're crazy and if it was me I think I'd sue my manager!"