Irish talent is there and it has to be nurtured says Carl Frampton

Ireland's gyms are full of boxing talent says Carl Frampton
Ireland's gyms are full of boxing talent says Carl Frampton

IRISH boxing is packed with young talent, says Carl Frampton, and if it is properly nurtured there is no reason we can’t have “10 superstars” here.

Frampton wasn’t the stand-out amateur of his generation but he went on to be the stand-out professional, winning world titles at super-bantamweight and featherweight and packing out arenas from Manchester to Las Vegas.

He says he “piggy-backed” on the rise of Paul McCloskey to world title level and then, after his stellar career came to an end in 2021, he passed the baton to Michael Conlan. 

“Mick hasn’t been successful in terms of winning a world title yet but that might still happen,” he said.

“Then you have guys like Tyrone McKenna and Lewis Crocker coming through and fighting in a massive fight on December 2 which I’m buzzing about.

“Belfast, and Ireland as a whole, is full of great kids and it’s just about nurturing them and giving them the right advice and we can have 10 superstars here.

“I look at kids at 10-11 years of age and a lot of them are better than I was at that age so why can’t they go and do what I’ve done.

“Many people beat me as a kid in the schoolboys in Belfast, County Antrim, Ulster – and beat me well – and I always think: ‘Why did I have so much success and they didn’t?’

“I can only put it down to my attitude and determination. They maybe didn’t have that and maybe that made me and bit different from most. If you have the right dedication and attitude you go a long way.”   

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CONOR Quinn is licking his chops at the prospect of his double-title fight against Scotland’s Chris Liddell at the Girdwood Community Hub on October 14.

After learning his trade against a succession of journeymen, Quinn wants to test himself against an opponent who will fire back and come to win. Liddell (5-1) should be that man and Quinn is looking forward to the test.

“He’s tough and strong and he looks to come forward but I’d be confident that I can deal with someone like that,” he said.

“He’s the perfect fight for me to show what I can do rather than having someone constantly moving away from me, he’s going to come straight at me and that gives me the opportunity to land the shots I want to land and get the performance I want.

“Most of the guys I’ve fought, once you land one or two shots on them their whole demeanour changes and it’s just about them taking as little punishment as possible and that leads to me beating away at arms and gloves.”

Quinn and Liddell will fight for the Celtic flyweight title and winning it should put the West Belfast native in the frame for a British title shot. The Commonwealth ‘silver’ belt is also on the line meaning that a pathway to the top of his division is beginning to open up for Quinn.

It’s early days yet of course but ‘The Magnificent’ is very focussed on the journey ahead of him.

“In the lighter weights there’s not as many fighters around,” he said.

“That can mean that the belts are tied up and it can be hard to get yourself into a position to fight for one. I’m not with one of the big promoters who can throw a lot of money at it so sometimes it takes you to be in a mandatory position or to have an eliminator to get yourself into position to fight for the belts and that’s what the Commonwealth Silver and the Celtic title do.

“Liverpool’s Conor Butler holds the Commonwealth and European belts and there is talk of him fighting Jay Harris, the British champion. So they could all be tied up with the one fighter so the idea would be to go in with him and win them all on the one night.”

October 14, Girdwood Community Hub, Belfast, Live on TG4:

Boxing Union of Ireland Irish Welter (vacant): Declan Geraghty (24-5) v Owen O'Neill (12-0)

BBBofC Celtic Fly (vacant) and Commonwealth silver flyweight title: Conor Quinn (7-0-1) v Chris Liddell (5-1)

Super-featherweight: John Cooney (8-0) v Louis Norman (14-14-1)

Featherweight: Colm Murphy (8-0) v TBC

Middleweight: Dominic Donegan (9-5-1) v TBC

Featherweight: Connor Kerr (1-0) v Luke Fash (3-94-3)

Tommy McCarthy lost his EBU title to Chris Billam-Smith
Tommy McCarthy lost his EBU title to Chris Billam-Smith

TOMMY McCarthy will challenge Poland’s Michael Cieslak for the EBU European Cruiserweight title in Zakopane, near Krakow, on November 4.

Highly-rated with the WBC, IBF and WBO, Cieslak (24-2 with 18 stoppage wins - the two losses came in world title fights) will be making the first defence of his title on home soil while McCarthy bids to recapture the belt he lost to Chris Billam-Smith in July 2021.

McCarthy had signed a contract to fight WBA champion Arsen Goulamirian and was disappointed when that fight fell through. However he can put himself right back in the frame if he can beat Cieslak on his native soil.

“If Tommy can regain the European title it’ll get him a shot at one of the champions for the full world title,” said his manager Mark Dunlop.

“He’ll become a wanted man with the belt. He’s got a chance and he’s going for it and when he was training to fight Goulamirian he put in the best camp he’s ever done. He still has five weeks until we go to Poland and he’s still in great nick so if he boxes like he has been in sparring there’s no reason why he won’t win the title.”

Meanwhile, Anthony Cacace will return to action against unbeaten Ryan Gardner at the Manchester Arena on November 18.