History will remember Carl Frampton as one of Ireland's greatest

Thumbs up... Carl Frampton leaves his fans with so many great memories
Andy Watters

CARL Frampton fell short in his bid to make history but history will remember him as arguably the best Irish fighter of all time and a great ambassador for his people.

A career that began with a stoppage win against Hungary’s Sandor Szinavel in Liverpool back in June 2009 came to an end almost a dozen years and 30 more fights later with defeat to Jamel Herring in Dubai on Saturday night.

The lad from Tigers Bay deserved to take his final bow in front of a packed house at Odyssey Arena with a world title belt around his waist but there is no room for sentimentality in sport. Taking on Herring turned out to be a bridge too far for the Jackal who couldn’t quite muster the speed and energy needed to compensate for the massive advantages in height and reach that he was giving away to his opponent.

His retirement leaves a void in Irish boxing that Michael Conlan looks best placed to fill and Frampton’s legions of loyal fans, from across the divides in the North and from around the world, are left with memories of the great nights he gave them from the classic win over Kiko Martinez at the Titanic Slipway that earned him the world super-bantamweight title, the victory over Scott Quigg in Manchester that unified the division and of course, probably his best performance of all, the featherweight triumph over Leo Santa Cruz in Brooklyn, New York.

Frampton never lost touch with his roots and kept his feet firmly on the ground with a steadfast refusal to get carried away with his success and stardom and he has retired with a record of 28-3 and matched the record of Dublin’s Steve Collins by winning world titles in two weight divisions.

That he dedicated the fight to the memory of his late mentor Billy McKee was typical of the 34-year-old who now intends to make up for lost time with his wife Christine and their two children.

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