Boxing

Carl Frampton can have 'one more hurrah' and beat Herring says Ricky Hatton

Belfast's Carl Frampton speaking at yesterday's press conference in Dubai ahead of tomorrow night's world title showdown with Jamel Herring
Neil Loughran

FORMER two weight world champion Ricky Hatton has backed Carl Frampton to have “one more hurrah” when he challenges American Jamel Herring for the world super-featherweight title tomorrow night.

‘The Jackal’ is bidding to become the first Irishman to hold world titles at three different weights - having previously won belts at super-bantam and feather - with champion Herring the man who stands in the way of that dream in Dubai.

At 34, the Tigers Bay fighter has suggested he could hang up his gloves if he comes out on the wrong side of Saturday night’s showdown – though he remains utterly convinced that won’t be the case.

Hatton isn’t just so sure, having been struck by the sheer size of Herring in comparison to Frampton.

But Hatton and Frampton’s trainer Jamie Moore were former foes in their amateur days before becoming firm friends, and the presence of his fellow Manc in the corner is swaying ‘The Hitman’ towards the Belfast man.

“It’s a very tough one,” he said during a Zoom forum in partnership with the County Antrim Boxing Board, as part of the Belfast Boxing Strategy.

“I remember when Carl boxed Tyler McCreary and Herring was in the ring after, and I saw pictures of them shaking hands and he looked two weights above Carl.

“But Carl’s got the experience, he’s got the knowledge - how many times do you see when you think a fighter has had better days, they come back and put in the performance of their life?

“Jamie Moore is solid gold, one of the best. If he didn’t think Carl was in with a chance of winning this fight he would tell him now – that makes me think he’s got half a chance. What more does Carl need to achieve? He’s made his money, made his legacy and he’s got the right man in his corner.

“It’s a 50-50, maybe people will see Herring as the fresher and maybe Carl’s had slightly better days after losing to Josh Warrington, but he might just have one more hurrah in him - fingers crossed. He’s a good man.”

Hatton, meanwhile, has a vested interest in the career of another Irish boxer who would love to follow in Frampton’s footsteps by reaching the very top level of the fight game in years to come.

After a successful amateur career, Brett McGinty turned professional with Hatton in 2019. And while the Covid-19 pandemic has limited him to just one fight so far, ‘The Hitman’ is convinced McGinty has the tools to go far.

“He’s very much like myself, very aggressive, likes to do damage to his opponents, a body puncher, he’s very heavy-handed. All he needs is time,” said Hatton.

“We had an opponent for his first fight but because of this lockdown the opponent pulled out, and then another opponent pulled out. Eventually we got an opponent in who was a weight above, Brett won the fight - it was probably a tougher fight than he wanted for his first one but he went up more in my estimation.

“He showed a bit of courage there that I would be expecting in his 10th fight not on his debut. That’ll stand him in good stead in future because sometimes if you have 13 fights against 13 nobodies, it can give you a false reading.

“Brett’s going to have an exceptional future – he will be having belts around his waist, I really do believe that.”

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Boxing