Belfast Telegraph

Biting Back: Northern Ireland's biggest sporting weekend of the year

By Steven Beacom

There have been a few contenders in 2014 with Rory McIlroy's heroics and our Commonwealth Games boxers Paddy Barnes and Michael Conlan delivering gold, but without question this weekend is the BIGGEST of the Northern Ireland sporting year.

Carl Frampton fights for a World title.

The Ulster rugby team start what is a massive season for them.

And Northern Ireland kick-off their European Championship campaign with, for the first time in ages, hope that we might actually qualify for a major finals.

I'm thinking a glorious treble here, folks.

Michael O'Neill's team to beat Hungary in Budapest on Sunday (truth be told I'll take a draw), Ulster, with new man Les Kiss in charge, to whip Scarlets in the opening Pro 12 fixture the day before and of course King Carl to rock Titanic Quarter and defeat Spaniard Kiko Martinez and take his belt.

You can bet your life the Ulster and Northern Ireland players will be tuning in on televisions, laptops or whatever to see Frampton's fight.

As well as a star to the rest of us, Carl's become a hero to the heroes, you see, much like his manager Barry McGuigan back in the day. Everybody loves Carl and quite right too... not only is he a brilliant boxer with talent and desire oozing out of him, he's a genuine, warm young man of whom Northern Ireland can be proud.

Filled with charisma, energy and personality, this is one kid who really does have it all.

And this is his time.

Carl Frampton... World Champion. Four words made for each other.

Belfast Telegraph


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