Rory McIlroy to cheer on Carl Frampton ringside as Belfast fighter takes on Leo Santa Cruz in New York

Carl Frampton pictured training at Church Street Boxing Club in New York
Carl Frampton pictured training at Church Street Boxing Club in New York

Carl Frampton will draw inspiration from fellow Northern Irishman Rory McIlroy in his bid to become a two-weight world champion this Saturday night.

Undefeated Belfast boxer Frampton is preparing to meet Mexican featherweight world champion Leo Santa Cruz at the Barclays Center in New York.

Golf star McIlroy will be at ringside for Frampton’s eagerly anticipated clash this weekend, with the former unified super-bantamweight world champion admitting his presence will help spur him to victory.

“It will be a big boost to have Rory McIlroy in the crowd supporting me,” Frampton told BoxNation, who will screen the fight.

“He’s achieved a lot for Northern Irish sport and to have him behind me when I become the country’s first two-weight world champion is a huge motivation.

“It will be the first time he’s seeing me fight live and it’s my toughest fight so far but I’m going out there to impress and win.

“I’m going to build on the great momentum in Northern Ireland at the moment, especially after our success in the Euros, and having the support of other successful sports people and the fans will take me to another level on Saturday night. I can’t wait.”

Frampton added: “It’s not going to be easy, but I think I can punch very hard and I don’t think that Leo has been hit by anyone that can punch as hard as me, yet.”