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How Wayne McCullough left a legacy of hope for future boxing stars like Carl Frampton

 

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True grit: Wayne McCullough battles with Jose Louis Bueno in 1996

True grit: Wayne McCullough battles with Jose Louis Bueno in 1996

Celebrating his WBC bantamweight title defence against Johnny Bredahl in Belfast’s King’s Hall

Celebrating his WBC bantamweight title defence against Johnny Bredahl in Belfast’s King’s Hall

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True grit: Wayne McCullough battles with Jose Louis Bueno in 1996

As Wayne McCullough celebrated his 1995 World bantamweight title success in Japan, an eight-year-old 6,000 miles away in Belfast was turning on the television to see if he had indeed pulled off one of the finest ever victories by a Northern Ireland boxer. Carl Frampton would enjoy his own crowning moment 14 years later on the Titanic slipway.

The BBC on-screen Ceefax service was the medium for Frampton to discover that the man whom he idolised at the time had defeated the home town Nagoya favourite Yasuei Yakushiji to become the WBC champion after 12 hard rounds, decided on a split decision.

"Wayne was always an inspiration for me," Frampton would later comment.