The Carl Frampton Barry McGuigan boxing duo has been a highly successful one since it started in the professional ranks a number of years back, but it will be put to it's biggest test yet this weekend against WBA featherweight champion Leo Santa Cruz. The Carl Frampton Barry McGuigan relationship has been a close one since it began, with McGuigan taking…
Carl Frampton Can Become Best Irish Fighter Of All Time
Before his fight with Mexican Leo Santa Cruz, Carl Frampton’s mentor Barry McGuigan said that: “He (Frampton) is a better fighter than me.” After an enthralling win, McGuigan’s prophecy of Frampton’s potential is now being realised.
Carl Frampton (23-0-14KO) has always been a gifted talent as a boxer, but the consistent improvement in both his all round boxing game and physicality in recent times under the tutelage of Shane McGuigan is also testament to his relentless drive to be the best he can be.
It’s a trait that has seen him now become the first man ever from Northern Ireland to win world titles in two weight divisions, a feat even his great mentor Barry McGuigan never even achieved.
Frampton’s performance to win the WBA featherweight title by majority decision over Santa Cruz had a bit of everything you’d like to see from a top, top world champion.
Punch variation in abundance, whether it was sharp left hook counters, screw shots, over hand rights, or right uppercuts, Frampton’s quality of work over a man who was meant to beat him according to the bookmakers, also highlighted his steely metal yet again to get the job done on the big stage in boxing.
Despite giving away a height and reach advantage to three division champion Santa Cruz, Frampton negated this with excellent footwork and distance control, making Santa Cruz miss at times and see his high work rate often neutralised by Frampton’s more eye catching, thudding shots.
But Santa Cruz dug in as all great fighters do, showing a champion’s resolve and testing the chin of Carl Frampton on quite a few occasions.
But this chin was to prove solid. Moving up from super-bantamweight to the 126lbs limit seemed to have made Frampton stronger. Fresher.
In a toe to toe battle, Frampton was made fight to the best of his ability to get the win in what was in the end, a close, hard fight to score.
I gave it to Frampton by one round but the fight could have went either way – indicative of just how good it was.
It had been just over 30 years since Frampton’s mentor Barry McGuigan had lost the very same title (WBA featherweight) to Steve Cruz in Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, but his protege that he had predicted would be as good as he has now become, made sure that the title would be returning to both men’s native land from New York this weekend.
When looking at some of the greatest Irish boxers of all time of which there are too many to mention, there is no reason in my opinion why Carl Frampton can’t become the best of them all before his prizefighting career is over.
He’s got the tools, drive, team and plenty of big fights available to him to stand at the pinnacle of the Irish boxing pantheon in the coming years.
Oscar Valdes, Lee Selby and Gary Russell Jr are the other current featherweight champions at present which Frampton will now look to go after.
After beating long time rival Scott Quigg earlier this year and now moving up to beat Santa Cruz, if Frampton (age 29) were to unify the featherweight division in the coming years cases for him being the best Irish fighter ever will continue to grow stronger.
There’s also elite level pugilists like Guillermo Rigondeaux at super-bantamweight and Vasyl Lomachenko at super-featherweight who no doubt will want a piece of this Irish boxing superstar before his career is out.
Exciting times ahead for fans of ‘The Jackal’.