Belfast Telegraph

'I've promised my kids I'll come back as world champion,' says Carl Frampton

By Carl Frampton

One of the toughest parts of fighting in the United States for the first time was having to say goodbye to my children Carla and Rossa for two weeks.

As a proud daddy, I’ve promised my kids I’ll come back as world champion so I have to go and keep that promise against Alejandro Gonzalez jnr on Saturday night in El Paso. Gonzalez is coming in knowing he has the biggest opportunity of his career.

It’s tough being away from the family during training in London   — although for this camp I’ve been able to get back to Northern Ireland most weekends.

During fight week when I’m boxing at the Odyssey Arena  I’ll see them every day for a while — I always stay at the Europa Hotel in Belfast — and that’s good for me.

Some people, like my manager Barry McGuigan when he was fighting, liked to get away from everybody but I prefer to have my loved ones around me, I enjoy chatting with those close to me and just take things nice and easy.

So, there’s no doubt this is going to be hard without them and I really haven’t seen a lot of my son Rossa since he was born and he’s eight months now.

Hopefully I can keep winning and one day he’ll be at one of my big world title defences because when I look back to winning the World title it was special for me to have my daughter Carla there, even though she slept all the way through it. It’s a nice story that we’ll always cherish.

I have to keep the stories coming and on Saturday in El Paso I want it to be the next big chapter for me.

The fight’s live across America and live on ITV so I’m going into millions of homes, the stage couldn’t be bigger or better for me to build my profile on both sides of the Atlantic.

My training camp has gone very well in London.

I’ve  had some very good sparring and when I weigh everything up I believe there’s only a couple of things this guy has over me — height and reach.

But all-round I believe I’m the better fighter — I punch harder, I’ve fought better opponents, I’ve never been beaten and I’ve got a better workrate.

Of course I’m going into the lion’s den for the first time and he’s going to have passionate  vocal support but I’ll thrive in that hostile environment.

I’m going there to do a job and to give an explosive, exciting performance.

One thing I won’t be doing is behaving like Chris Avalos who was a disgrace with the way he behaved when he came over to Belfast to fight me at the Odyssey Arena last February.

I’ll conduct myself like a world champion should, I’ll respect my opponent and his fans.

It’s important to me as a role model that I conduct myself in the right way and if you look at many of Northern Ireland’s top stars that’s the way they have been over the years — Pat Jennings, Dennis Taylor, Joey Dunlop and now Rory McIlroy. 

None of them were flash or arrogant but they went to the top of their sport.

Rory has put Northern Ireland back on the world sporting map in recent years after his major victories and I hope I can give him a helping hand, starting with a big win over Gonzalez.

Belfast Telegraph Digital

Daily News Headlines Newsletter

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox.


From Belfast Telegraph