BOXER Carl Frampton has spoken about witnessing sectarian violence growing up, including the aftermath of a kid "being blown up".
The former two-weight world champion admitted that it would have been "very easy for me to get involved" in trouble as a young man in north Belfast.
Carl (34) said: "I lived on an interface, so Tiger's Bay was separated - a loyalist, unionist neighbourhood separated by one street to the republican, Catholic neighbourhood, which is the New Lodge.
"I saw so much violence, so much trouble - especially in the marching seasons.
"I'd seen a kid actually get blown up, I saw the aftermath of him being blown up.
"And I'd seen people being shot at, I saw buses being hijacked and parked across a road and burnt out.
"I just saw things I probably shouldn't have seen as a young lad and things that were kind of exciting.
"Although they were dangerous they were exciting.
"And it would have been very, very easy for me to get involved in that."
But Carl credited both his parents, Craig and Flo, and boxing for taking him on a different path.
He said: "Because of boxing and because of my parents, I think I made the decision myself as well to stay away from all that and understand what was right from what was wrong.
"So I'm going to link that back to boxing, that was really boxing more so than the area.
"But the area, I could have gone in a much different direction.
"It was a tough area. It's an area that gets its fair amount of criticism, unfairly at times I feel, and obviously there's a few bad eggs like there is everywhere.
"But there's so many good people in Tiger's Bay and a lot of people not from that area don't understand it's full of good people, there was always a bad impression of it.
"My Mum and Dad were always very generous people although they never had much, I think a lot of people around me were always very generous as well.
"I think the morals of a lot of working-class people are very high and it's something that is kind of overlooked sometimes."
Carl also spoke about growing up with little money and credited his late trainer Billy McKee, who passed away last week, as teaching him "respect".
He explained: "A lot of people don't have much money in these places where I come from.
"I didn't have any money. My parents didn't have any money, but they would always try to help other people if they needed it.
"I suppose it's taught me how to grow up and be a man. Boxing as well then obviously, the club that I came from was the club in Tiger's Bay called Midland. It taught me so much more as well.
"And I owe, I suppose, Tiger's Bay, the area that I come from, and my boxing background as an amateur - I owe it everything really.
"Boxing I know definitely taught me respect. It taught about self-discipline as well.
"I had a trainer called Billy McKee, an amateur trainer, who in my opinion is one of the greatest men the world has ever seen.
"I think I learnt respect and I learnt to respect him first, before I respected really anyone else.
"I didn't want to disappoint him more than anybody else in the world and if you want to pick out anything that boxing has taught me, respect has got to be number one."
Carl told the High Performance Podcast, hosted by BT Sport presenter Jake Humphries, that boxing and Billy also kept him away from other bad life choices.
He added: "There was an age there when I hit about 16 as an amateur where I started to maybe go the other way and start to do things that 16-year-olds do and not train as much as I should have been training, I was hanging around the parks and having an odd beer and stuff.
"And I saw a bit of a blip for about two years and guys were beating me who should not have been beating me.
"I was 16 years old but I was kind of sensible enough to understand that why I was losing these fights was because I wasn't as committed as I should have been, and that was a big change for me.
"After that point I just kind of knuckled down. I always had the dream of becoming a world champion as a pro and I've achieved that and a little bit more."