Frampton’s ‘grit, heart and skill’ hailed by Foster and McGuinness

Rory McIlroy with Carl Frampton after his win
Rory McIlroy with Carl Frampton after his win

Northern Ireland’s political leaders were among those hailing Carl Frampton’s victory in New York.

The north Belfast fighter, who had previously taken two world super bantamweight titles off his rivals, was judged to have outscored Mexican Leo Santa Cruz on Saturday night to take the WBA featherweight title – a slightly heavier weight category.

The victory earned ‘The Jackal’ the belt his manager Barry McGuigan had won in 1985.

First Minister Arlene Foster and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness congratulated him.

“Carl has proven once again he is a true champion and last night showed incredible grit, heart and skill against a formidable opponent,” the leaders said.

“His relentless determination and incredible sacrifice to be the best he possibly can be has now deservedly made him champion at two different weight classes.

“Carl deserves this well-earned success and we extend our congratulations to his wife Christine and his extended family.

“We congratulate his manager Barry McGuigan and trainer Shane McGuigan for the role they have played in helping shape Carl’s path to success and stardom.”

Golfer Rory McIlory, who was at the fight in Brooklyn, joined the celebrations and said: “He’s just made everyone so proud. Unbelievable night.”

Michael Conlan, fellow Belfast native, and a world amateur champion and Olympic bronze medallist, tweeted: “Wow class by Frampton thought it would be hard for him to get a points dec, but he defiantly deserved that! Unbelievably for Irish sport!!”

Stormont Sports Minister Paul Givan said: “For our country to again punch above its weight in sport is a great credit to all our sports men and women,” the minister said.

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