New podcast: Carl Frampton takes on stars of wrestling, MMA, cricket, snooker and football

Carl Frampton steps in the ring with a WWE champion, picks up some tricks from a Premier League footballer and tries not to get bowled out by an English spinner in a new six-part podcast series.

Tuesday, 9th November 2021, 6:12 pm
Carl Frampton takes on MMA fighter Leah McCourt in a head-to-head challenge. Carl Frampton - A Different League starts Tuesday, November 16 on BBC Sounds. (C) BBC Northern Ireland - Photographer: NA

In the series on BBC Sounds, the Belfast boxing champ who retired in April, meets some sporting stars to chat about their chosen profession and what it takes to become an elite athlete through a series of head-to-head challenges.

He said: “I’m really excited about this series – I dedicated nearly 30 years of my life to boxing to get to the very top of the sport, but I’ve always been interested in the backgrounds of other sports stars and what it took to reach the pinnacle of their game.

“It’s been a brilliant learning curve for me getting an insight into their lives, and as well as having a laugh, we’ve talked about some difficulties they faced and where they found the strength to overcome them.

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“Some of the challenges the sports stars set have taken me completely out of my comfort zone; I never thought I’d be going head-to-head with a WWE champion or trying to defend against one of the best MMA fighters in the world, but it’s been great.”

In the first episode of Carl Frampton – A Different League, available on BBC Sounds on Tuesday 16 November, Carl chats to WWE superstar Drew McIntyre from his home in Nashville, Tennessee about toning down his strong Scottish accent for a global audience, and why this hasn’t been received well with fans in his home country.

Drew talks openly about his professional highs and lows, including being axed from the company in 2014 when personal difficulties led him to go off the rails, before returning to become Britain’s first ever WWE champion.

In episode two Carl meets former cricketer, Monty Panesar who was once considered England’s first choice spinner for a candid conversation about his career. Monty teaches Carl how to bat against his spinning, can our former boxing hero hit him for six or will he lose his wicket?

Other guests in the series include local sporting stars Leah McCourt, the MMA fighter who talks about balancing competing at the highest level with being a single mum, Leeds United and Northern Ireland international Stuart Dallas and four-times World Championship snooker player John Higgins.

• Carl Frampton – A Different League is a BBC NI production. The first episode is available on BBC Sounds from Tuesday.

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