A nine-year-old Ballyclare boy is boxing clever after his idol Carl Frampton gave him the medal from his Las Vegas fight with Leo Santa Cruz.
Fairview Primary School pupil Devon Gillespie and his dad, Phil, travelled to the USA to support the local sporting hero as he attempted to defend his WBA featherweight title.
Despite Carl being beaten by the Mexican, Devon and Phil were given a reason to celebrate when the caring fighter showed he had a heart of gold, as well as fists of steel.
“We went to the after party in Las Vegas which Carl was holding for his supporters and Devon managed to get into the VIP area,” Phil recalled.
“When I got in I found Devon with Carl’s medal around his neck and I thought he had given him it to mind.
“When we went to leave I told Devon to give it back but Carl laughed and said: ‘No wee man, I want you to have it.’
“It’s an inspiration for a sports man of his stature to give Devon something like that in the hope of inspiring him.
“I actually contacted Carl again last week as I didn’t want him to have a gap in his medal collection, but he said under no circumstances were we to return it and he honestly wanted Devon to have it.
“Devon just wants to follow in Carl’s footsteps.”
And Devon, who is already a keen boxer and a member of the same boxing club where Carl began his training, is already showing signs of taking after The Jackal.
“Devon trains three nights a week and he wanted to do even more,” his Dad revealed.
“Some other kids are determined for a few weeks then they decide they don’t want to be a boxer, but with Devon you just can’t sicken him.
“Carl started training at the Midland Boxing Club when he was seven years old, and Devon is eight.
“A couple of ones in the club say they have seen things in Devon which are like Carl.
“Whatever Devon decides to do I just want him to make a success of his life, to make good choices and to do something that makes him happy.
“Boxing has really brought him out of himself and I want him to understand that if he wants to follow that career he will have to work hard.”
Meanwhile, Devon says that the Carl’s medal gift was a “big surprise.”
“I would like to be a professional boxer some day,” he said.
“I’m a big boxing fan and I want to be like Carl.”