Carl Frampton-Leo Santa Cruz rematch should be in Belfast argues Glenn McCrory

Carl Frampton is the best Irish fighter of all time says Glenn McCrory
Andy Watters

“The bell rang and the whole place exploded into a cacophony of sound. I didn’t walk to the centre of the ring - I sprinted and smacked Patrick Lumumba flush on the nose,” Carrying David.

GLENN McCRORY’S autobiography Carrying David gets stuck into the action just like the affable Geordie did against Patrick Lumumba back in 1989, when he won the IBF cruiserweight title.

McCrory will be at the Dockers' Club in Belfast on Thursday from 4pm for a book signing and a boxing Q&A, along with respected BoxNation commentator John Rawling, and it’s an event all fight fans will enjoy: “We’re going to do a boxing talk, I’ve got my book out, Carrying David, about my career and my inspiration, my younger brother David, who I used to carry to school,” McCrory said.

“John’s coming over and he’ll talk about my life and times and some of the great fights and the book will be on sale. I love Belfast, it’s one of my favourite cities in the world and I’ve got lots of pals there - it’s a boxing place and it’s somewhere to come and have a bit of chat about boxing and hopefully sell a few books.”

McCrory’s autobiography promises to be a great read. His career was a real life ‘Rocky’ story that took him from the long dole queues of the north-east of England to the world title via a spell in New York, where he was a sparring partner for heavyweight great Mike Tyson.

Newcastle born with Tyrone roots, after hanging up his gloves McCrory established a career as a popular pundit on Sky Sports and has become a feature of the channel’s boxing coverage over the past two decades.

“For most of my career, I didn’t have a trainer,” he added.

“It was a very tough career, where I had to do things myself and I went out to spar with Tyson and stuff. I was on the dole, getting unemployment benefit of about £25 a week when I won the world title. I got $15,000, which turned out to be about £7,500 and I had two managers who both took their percentages, so I got about £2,500 for winning the world title.

“My career was different, but I came through all the adversity to win a world title - I was never supposed to win one. They were real hard times, a different world - it was very much a Rocky story, in fact it was a bit rockier than Rocky.”


CARL FRAMPTON intends to give Leo Santa Cruz a rematch and Glenn McCrory says ‘the Jackal’ should stage the fight in Belfast.

McCrory says that, with TV companies clamouring to screen his bouts new, WBA featherweight champion Frampton can fight where he likes and where better than on home soil in front of his adoring fans: “I think he should bring Santa Cruz back home - bring it to Belfast,” he said.

“Why take it anywhere else? Why take it to Manchester or London? I want him to fight in the UK or Ireland because I want the fans to see the best of him. It’s great taking your skills to New York or LA, but you want to see him now - when he can make premium, premium money for selling out arenas - this is when he can cash in and have lots of fights at home.

“It would sell massively in London but, if it was in Belfast, it would a celebratory homecoming for Ireland’s greatest fighter. The main money comes from TV and he’d have American TV, so they could pretty much put it anywhere.

“Bums on seats is brilliant, but TV is where the money comes from. There are a lot of other places that want to see Carl now - he’s on the radar for the big, big fights - the Germans want to see him, all the fight countries want to buy into it. Going to New York and beating an undefeated three-weight world champion is superstar status, he’ll be up there in the top-half of the pound-for-pound list, he’s got to be.”

Frampton beat Mexican Santa Cruz convincingly on points in New York on July 30 and has predicted the fight will be “either in the UK” or a return to the USA. The Jackal wants to get the rematch done and dusted so he can enjoy Christmas with his young family and McCrory can’t see the result changing second time around.

“It’s a big fight and people would want to see it again,” he said.

“He’ll know he’s better, he knows he’s got more. He was able to out-jab Santa Cruz, who had a six-inch reach advantage… He’s a formidable fighter and I think he knows he can win the rematch - it’s another payday and a big fight, so why not?

“I’m looking forward to him fighting Lee Selby, that would be another cracking fight, but Leo Santa Cruz is a great fighter and he deserves another shot - but he loses again. Frampton never really got pushed out of his comfort zone, he never really had to bite down on his gumshield and show that Tigers Bay toughness. He was in control the whole time and he never really had to push up a gear - the way he gets his range and gets out of distance is just fantastic. People don’t look at his footwork, but it’s second to none.”

After his win over Santa Cruz, some judges predicted Frampton would become the best Irish fighter of all time - but McCrory says he is already there. He rates him as the best fighter in the UK and Ireland operating at the minute.

“He already is the best for me,” he said.

“Dave McAuley was a great Irish fighter and I think he has already eclipsed him and Barry [McGuigan] and I think, if he retired now, he’d go down now as Ireland’s all-time greatest fighter and there’s so much more to come. I don’t even think we’ve hit the peak yet - there are some great fights to look forward to, it’s a great time.

“I’m at boxing all the time, I do it every week, but Carl is the only fighter I’d paid to come and see and I have done - I’m a fan and I would have went to New York if I hadn’t been working in Leeds [for Sky Sports]. He’s my favourite fighter, I think he’s brilliant and he is proving that now - he’s the best one we’ve got in the UK and Ireland. He’s the man. He’s a two-weight world champion, he’s undefeated and that’s a class above what anybody else has done at this point.

“It shows by Showtime’s ratings - an Irishman and a Mexican have the best ratings in the US so far in 2016. That just shows his pulling power. He’s doing a fabulous job of uniting people - he has pulled all the fans in and there’s nobody with more drawing power.”

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