Former World Champion Barry McGuigan is tipping his Super Bantamweight protégé Carl Frampton to follow in his footsteps by reaching the very top in the sport.
The “Clones Cyclone” is now managing a stable of boxers himself and he’s very excited about Belfast man Frampton who will have his third pro fight on the undercard of Paul McCloskey’s European title challenge at the Meadowbank Sports Arena in Magherafelt on Friday, November 6th.
While McCloskey will be looking to take the European Light Welterweight title off former World Champ Souleymane M’baye in the main event the 22-year-old Frampton will be looking to continue his professional apprenticeship on the supporting bill.
The 2009 Irish Senior Featherweight Champ made his punch for pay debut in June with an impressive second round KO before adding a second win to his record last month and McGuigan believes he’s destined for stardom.
“Carl’s a world class super bantamweight and every time I watch him spar that’s confirmed to me,” said McGuigan. “He’s something really special and he has everything that’s needed to succeed in the pro game. He’s a really exciting talent and I think he’ll prove that at the highest level.”
Even as an amateur Frampton’s all action style marked him out as ideally suited to the pro ranks and McGuigan believes he’s made a relatively seamless transition to date.
“There’s a major transition to be made from the amateur to the pro game,” said McGuigan. ”They’re very different codes but it’s a very exciting journey for Carl.
"His style was already more suited to the pro’s but there are subtle, little things he’s had to work on and they will take time to perfect but he has a tremendous boxing brain and he’s getting good quality sparring against top pros.
“Right now at this stage of his career it’s all about getting Carl regular fights and the best sparring available. He’s already spent time in a lot of different training camps.
"Before his last fight he sparred the Commonwealth Featherweight Champ, John Simpson and I’m planning on having him spar the likes of Rendall Munroe and Jason Booth shortly.”
McGuigan also believes that Frampton possesses the kind of knockout power that will make him a big hit with fight fans. “He’s a phenomenal puncher. He might only be a super bantamweight but he punches like a welterweight and he’s fabulously exciting to watch and I expect him to be in contention for the British title within 18 months.”
The undercard at the Meadowbank Sports Arena also features Belfast’s Martin Lindsay with the reigning British Featherweight Champion getting a chance to press his European title claims and add to his 14 fight perfect record on the card. In a second title bout on the card Liverpool’s Steve Williams and Londoner Michael Grant will square off in an English Light Welterweight title decider.
Liverpool’s “Dangerous” John Donnelly will also be in action as he builds towards a shot at the British bantamweight title while further local interest will come in the shape of Omagh’s popular light welterweight Damian Taggart with hard hitting Belfast heavyweight, David Hannah also making his debut on the card.
The event will be live on Sky Sports and tickets priced £30, £60 and £90 are available from Ticketmaster, all usual outlets and the boxers on the bill. Contact Ticketmaster 0844 8472455 (0818 719300 from ROI), Box Office 01277 359900, Julie 07745698372, Emma 07703723074, Francie 07803282224 or Eurospar 02877741245.