That was my worst experience ever watching Carl fight, says Frampton’s wife
A gutted Christine Frampton has spoken of her pain at seeing husband Carl's world title dreams shattered.
The Belfast fighter has hinted he will consider retiring after losing to Josh Warrington.
Frampton (31), from Tigers Bay, suffered a unanimous points loss in a memorable IBF featherweight world title bout in Manchester on Saturday night.
The loss, only his second professionally, doesn't seem to have tarnished his status as a Northern Ireland sporting icon.
None more so than in the eyes of his proud wife Christine, who paid tribute to her 'hero' yesterday.
Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph as Carl was preparing to come home to Belfast yesterday, she reflected on the fight and how it unfolded. For the first time ever, she had to turn her head from the action.
"That was the worst experience I've ever had watching Carl fight," Christine added.
"It was such a brutal fight. I ended up having to look away and so I missed a lot of it in the end, and that has never been the case before.
"It just shows you what a tough sport it is.
"I'm obviously devastated for Carl because I know how much hard work he put in and it would have been great for him to enjoy another big win but it just wasn't meant to be.
"But boxing is just part of his life and we can't wait now to get home to the kids and to go and enjoy Christmas with them and we will have a good Christmas. I just want to thank everyone for all their support and all the kind messages, it means a lot when you're hurting."
Carl's father Craig said he was still proud of him.
"We'll see what he decides to do now, but if it is the end he can look back on an incredible career," he said.
"He conducts himself in the right way. It doesn't take a lot to be nice to people and the support he has had from the public is very much appreciated."
Hype had been building for the bout since Frampton's win at Windsor Park back in August, when around 24,000 people flocked to south Belfast to see him beat Australian Luke Jackson.
Although not as many fans could pack into the Manchester Arena, support came from across the UK and back home in his adoring Northern Ireland.
Fans took to social media before, during and straight after the epic contest in what is being labelled as the 'fight of the year'.
Popular figures from Northern Ireland weighed in behind Carl, including chef Michael Deane who said he had "so much respect" for the boxer.
Comedian Patrick Kielty said: "And still... the greatest champion and hero we have @RCFrampton Pure talent, bravery, heart and humility. It's why we love you, our kid. Win, lose or draw."
Rumours have now started to speculate whether the defeat will signal the end of Frampton's career, but he was solely focused on getting back home for Christmas to spend it with his family on Saturday.
Speaking in the ring directly after the 12th round, a tearful Frampton said he wasn't going to make any rash decisions.
"I'll have to sit down with my team," he said. "I have a young family at home and I've been in this game a long time. I'll have to sit down with my team. I'll not be making any decisions right now."
Frampton has never shied away from his Shore Road roots and someone who knows how closely Frampton is connected with the area is Crusaders' striker Jordan Owens.
The club's record goalscorer has been a player there for 10 years, and spoke of the area's adoration for the boxer.
"With the fights he's had (in Belfast) and the support he has, it just shows how much the country loves him," he said.