Frampton looks to join greats by winning World title in Belfast

Carl Frampton
Carl Frampton

Carl Frampton knows he is on the verge of making history when he takes to the ring in the Titanic Quarter on September 6.

Frampton will challenge Kiko Martinez for the Spaniard’s IBF Super-bantamweight title in front of thousands of passionate and vocal fans with the Harland & Wolff cranes looking on.

This is one of those moments in local boxing that you have to be in attendance as ‘The Jackal’ looks to join a small number of fighters from these shores who have the tag ‘World Champion.’

It is one of those ‘I was there’ moments that may not be repeated in Belfast for quite some time.

We all remember where we were when Barry McGuigan saw off Eusebio Pedroza at Loftus Road in 1985 .

What a night that was when 26000 supporters cheered ‘The Clones Cyclone’ to victory.

Most of us will also have memories of Dave ‘Boy’ McAuley winning his IBF World Flyweight title against Duke McKenzie in 1989 after two failed attempts to be WBA king against Fidel Bassa.

“Dave Boy’ was the underdog that night against McKenzie but he got the job done and the rest is history.

Then there was Wayne McCullough - who flew to Japan - and claimed the WBC bantamweight crown by beating Yasuei Yakushiji in his own backyard.

‘The Pocket Rocket’ also faced the likes of Naseem Hamed and Eric Morales in what was a star studded career.

Now Frampton goes to the ring a stones throw from where he was brought up in Tiger’s Bay with the chance of obtaining a special place in the history of boxing on these shores.

And Frampton says he will make history on September 6.

“To be able to call yourself a World Champion is something else.

“McGuigan, McAuley, McCullough and Rinty Monaghan are legends of Irish boxing. To be up there with them would be something else.

“For people to talk about me in the same breath as those guys is going to be a great thing.

“When you become a World champion, you can dine out on that forever.

“Once you win a World champion, you are one forever and I am going to be very proud,” he added.

“But this is only the start, I’ve got a few years left yet, I’m a young 27 and I after this all the fights will be a huge fights.

“When you are a World Champion, every fight is a huge fight and that is what we have to look forward to,” he added.

But the Crusaders Football Club fan knows there is still work to do before he joins McGuigan, McAuley and McCullough in the hall of fame.

“When Kiko boxed me the last time he was relentless, he never stopped.

“He was non-stop aggressive pressure and then he won the world title he was the same.

“But in his two defences he looked harder to hit. He seems to have worked on his defence a wee bit. But having said that the last time I fought him he was hard to hit.

“I hit him loads the last time but I did not really catch him clean and when ne marches forward he slips shots and his defence is good.

“He has improved a bit but I have improved massively and that is going to be the difference.

“I know this is going to be the toughest fight of my life and I am prepared for that.

“But this is only the start and Kiko is not stopping me from getting to where I want to go. No chance.”