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Tigers Bay ace on course to be a superstar in the States, predict experts

By Steve Wellings

Carl Frampton will get a chance to display his skills to the world boxing audience once again on Saturday night when he faces Alejandro Gonzalez Jr in Texas.

Five local boxing luminaries have been running the rule over Frampton's exciting American debut, potential super-bantamweight rivals and his overall ability.

Former WBA super-middleweight champion Brian Magee is looking forward to some big fights in the future for the Tigers Bay boxer.

"He has a fantastic style with plenty of action and likes to fight," said Magee.

"I think there's no doubt he can go all the way and top the division. It's about getting the fights to show that and I can't see there being a problem. He's got the ability and the mentality to go all the way to the top and stay there for a while. Frampton's young enough to be at his peak for three or four years.

"Everything they've done so far has been fantastic for him and they've brought him along nicely, getting the right opponents at the right times. Now he's ready to take on anybody and he has the fitness to match all of them."

Belfast's John Breen has trained many champions over the years and reckons "The Jackal" is now capable of dominating his weight class.

"Carl's improved so much over this last year that he looks something special now," said Breen.

"I think Frampton beats Rigondeaux now - in fact I think he beats the whole lot of them [fellow belt holders]. He's a different class to Gonzalez Jr.

"I think he'll win in four or five rounds because this guy's not in the same league. The Americans love bangers and punchers so if he goes out and does what he's been doing here then he'll definitely do OK. If Carl keeps on winning then it's good for boxing in Ireland as well."

Monkstown man Neil Sinclair once fought for the world welterweight title and boxed in America in 2006.

"Carl's flying now and should be approaching his peak. Look at his performance at the Titanic where he boxed beautifully and then again in the first defence," said "Sinky".

"The noise of the crowd here in Belfast is brilliant and I'm sure he'll have some support with him in Texas but it'll be a different experience.

"He's exciting and not a brawler as such but he's a great boxer who can punch and will throw the big shots. Carl just seems to be getting better and better with each fight. There's no doubt the wee lad will rise to the occasion and revel in it all."

Belfast promoter Mark Dunlop believes there are some big fights on the horizon for Carl, both at home and in America.

"He can go on to superfights because it's a great division to be in at the moment," said Dunlop.

"I think he's phenomenal and they're doing a great job with him in terms of picking opponents and so on. It all depends on how he performs on the night but if everything goes to plan then Frampton will come through and if Scott Quigg does the same [in Manchester] then they can make that superfight. The Gonzalez Jr bout will be tougher than people think because his father was a world champion so I'm sure he's been in the gym all of his life."

Holy Trinity coach Harry Hawkins guided Dubliner Bernard Dunne to the WBA super-bantamweight title in 2009.

"The bigger plan is there and I'm sure Carl will be around for a long time," said Hawkins.

"Boxing in America is great but it will take three or four fights at least to get some kind of superstar status over there. It takes a lot to break into the American market but remember that Carl's already a superstar on this side of the pond. I still think Carl's a better fighter than Quigg."

Belfast Telegraph


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