Frampton Shows TV Star Quality

boxingBy Brendan Galbraith - Last night Carl ‘The Jackal’ Frampton (6-0) made two debuts; headlining a show for the first time and making his inaugural live televised appearance courtesy of the first instalment of a 6 fight television deal with Barry McGuigan Promotions and Setanta Ireland.

The expectations of former amateur star, Frampton were elevated further with predictions from many pundits, including his manager and promoter, Barry McGuigan, that he will become a future world champion. And to top it off, Frampton in only his seventh fight as a professional in his home city of Belfast, was facing a heavy handed and vastly experienced former three-time European Title challenger Yuriy Voronin (27-11-2).

For 23 year old, Frampton, this was a very big night and a real test of his mental toughness and boxing prowess. And let’s not forget about the calculated risk that manager and promoter, McGuigan, took in matching his fledgling prospect with such a tough fight so early in his career on his first promotion. This was a night that was either going to be a glowing success or a massive banana skin for McGuigan. Setanta pundit and former three-time world champion Duke McKenzie warned that it was a bold match-up for Frampton at such an early stage of his pro career and questioned if it was a good move..

It was poised for a competitive main event and the commentators for Setanta Ireland’s first televised McGuigan Promotion, Will Downing and Harry Hawkins (who appeared to have an excellent chemistry in steering the TV audience through all of the under card fights) pondered if Frampton could rise to the challenge.

Frampton entered the ring to the classic Thin Lizzy track “The Boys are Back in Town” to a rapturous Ulster Hall fight crowd that included a breadth of sporting, television and film personalities that had earlier been introduced to the Ulster Hall crowd. The roll call included veteran sports commentator Jackie Fullerton, TV Presenter Gerry Kelly, TV Chef Jenny Bristol, amateur Irish boxing stars Tommy McCarthy and Ryan Burnett and Academy Award winning actor Daniel Day Lewis.

In a cagey opening round, Frampton pawed a rangy jab and had a good look for openings before engaging. Frampton scored with solid body shots and finished the round with a crisp left handed head shot. If the first round was a feeling out round, then the second was all about landing his powerful combinations and testing the Ukrainian’s durability. Frampton soon wobbled his opponent with a peach left cross and Voronin nearly went over, moments later the Ukrainian was decked, this time getting nailed with right handed headshot. Voronin got up on shaky legs and was fortunate to get saved by the bell.

In the third, Frampton wasted no time in getting back to business, landing another heavy right head shot and almost knocking Voronin through the ropes with a follow up flurry. Voronin showed good durability to stand up to continuous savage attacks downstairs and series of straight rights that pierced his high guard. Voronin was taking a one-sided beating and getting knocked about the ring, looked ragged and on borrowed time.

Frampton walked down Voronin landing a hellish left to the liver and then following up with two single flush left head shots. As the heavy handed Belfast man pressured Voronin on the ropes with a flurry, referee Kenny Pringle wisely called a halt to proceedings, stopping the fight at 2.43 into the third round. Voronin complained about the stoppage but it was fully justified as he was not offering much resistance and was leaking a flow of flush head shots.

Afterwards, Setanta TV anchor, Paul Dempsey interviewed Frampton, McGuigan and trainer Gerry Storey:

A delighted Frampton said:

“So far from my seven professional fights, that has been my best. Voronin was the best I have boxed and I had to up my game and trained hard for this fight and it paid off.”

“It was a dream come true to be topping a bill after only seven fights and people were asking questions what gives me the right to top a bill so early but I think I have give them the reason why, I am born a top competitor and I am just over the moon with that performance and the fans in here tonight were just unbelievable and I am sure it spooked Voronin a wee bit”.

A clearly excited McGuigan drew parallels with Frampton’s third round stoppage win over Voronin:

“It is important to quantify that performance, because this guy went seven rounds with Scott Quigg [writers note: Quigg beat Voronin by TKO in the 6th Round] – who is considered the hot prospect and he went eight rounds with Joe Murray and gave him trouble. And he (Frampton) just took him apart there – that is the difference - that is the sort of quality that he has got. This kid is an incredible talent.”

Legendary Irish trainer Gerry Storey clearly views Frampton as a star in the making:

“This guys’ career is only starting and the people here haven’t seen half the talent that he has got. This is the best thing that has happened to us in a long time, with Belfast back on its feet we have got the star behind them now”.

McGuigan said at the beginning of the televised show that he believed that Frampton was the best domestic prospect at the moment and again reaffirmed that assertion after his prodigy’s three round destruction. McKenzie, who had earlier voiced concerns about the matchmaking of Frampton-Voronin, so soon in the Belfast man’s pro career, was persuaded by Frampton’s blistering performance and agreed that Frampton was the best domestic prospect in his division.

Frampton progresses to 7-0, and will be in action again very soon for the next instalment of McGuigan’s six-fight television deal with Setanta Ireland. From the perspective of Irish boxing, particularly boxing in Belfast, this is an invaluable addition to the sporting calendar and television schedule. Top Belfast prospects Jamie Conlan and Carl Frampton got their first live television appearances and Lurgan’s Stephen Haughian got the opportunity to exercise the demons from his recent failed attempt a the Celtic Title by bouncing back to winning ways in a duel with Birmingham’s Dee Mitchell – a fight that was also shown on the live Setanta show.

A final word on Setanta’s re-entry to the live televised boxing market. The programme was a slick production that was boosted with the presence of experienced anchor Paul Dempsey as anchor. McGuigan and McKenzie doubled up to assist with punditry and the newly trialled commentary team of Will Downing and former trainer of Bernard Dunne and Brian Magee – Harry Hawkins worked a treat. Finally, the main event of the show – Carl Frampton – showed he has the skills and explosive power that is a prerequisite for a main event TV fighter.

*A round-up of the under card will follow including an in depth feature interview with Lurgan’s exciting and hard-hitting Light Middleweight, Ryan Greene – who was making his second pro appearance on the Frampton-Voronin under card.

*Setanta Ireland will screen the best of the Frampton-Voronin under card Wednesday 22nd September from 10pm.

*Setanta Ireland subscribers can subscribe online at or call 0818 20 30 40 (Republic of Ireland) or 0871 277 0393 (Northern Ireland)

Article posted on 20.09.2010

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