Frampton retired after loss to Jamel Herring, his legacy will go on for a long time yet.
Sometimes in sport a talent comes along that not only inspires the next generation of stars, but also inspires the generation beforehand. Last night a decorated career came to an end, will this be the end of Carl Frampton inside the sport of boxing? Or, will the man from Belfast take up coaching, managing or punditry? Only time will tell, but what we do know is 'The Jackal' has left a long and lasting impression.
Frampton, was born in Belfast in 1987, and grew up living amongst a torn nation which is famous for its struggles for the Irish natives for decades. The Irish, have a history of breeding steel-like gladiators with the likes of Steve Collins, Wayne McCullough and Barry McGuigan holding world championship honours, and Frampton has openly spoke about his admiration of McGuigan for being a symbol of peace during his fighting days. Frampton started his amateur career fighting out of the Midland Boxing Club in Tiger's Bay, and won his first title in 2003, at the age of 16, by winning the World Cadet Championships in Romania in the 46 kg category. He then went on to win the Irish National Championship in both 2005 (51 kg) and 2009 (57 kg) and also was a silver medalist in the European Championships in 2007 also in the 57 kg division.
Frampton finished his glittering amateur career with a record of 114 victories and 11 losses. The professional ranks came knocking on the door in 2009, and he made his debut against Sandor Szinavel on Sky Sports in a four round contest. In the opening round Frampton knocked down Szinavel, and knocked him down a further two times in the second round stopping the Hungarian. In December 2010, Frampton won his first professional title, the BBBofC Celtic super-bantamweight title, with a second-round TKO win over Scottish boxer Gavin Reid in the Ulster Hall in Belfast.
The show was promoted by Barry McGuigan and was shown live on Setanta Sports. This fight elevated Frampton from a prospect to a dangerman. On 22 September 2012, Frampton took on former two-time world champion Steve Molitor. The fight took place in the Odyssey Arena in Belfast. Frampton scored a sixth-round TKO and had the former champion on the canvas three times during the bout. After the fight, Frampton announced that he was "ready for a world title opportunity". His first world title opportunity came knocking on 6 September 2014 in a rematch against Kiko Martinez. Martinez was defending his IBF super-bantamweight title and the fight took place at the Titanic Quarter in Belfast. Frampton knocked Martinez down in the fifth round and won by unanimous decision, with two scores of 119-108 and one score of 118-111, winning his first world title and also taking his unbeaten streak to 18 victories with 13 of them being by way of knockout. Interviewed after the fight Frampton said "I've got the world title. I feel a bit emotional – it has been a long time coming, it has been a hard road."
Frampton moved up a weight class to fight the undefeated Mexican superstar, Léo Santa Cruz for the WBA (Super) featherweight title at the Barclays Centre in New York City on 30 July 2016. Frampton became the first ever two-division world champion in the history of Northern Ireland as he dethroned Santa Cruz, winning by majority decision. One judge scored it a 114-114 draw but the others made Frampton the winner, 116-112 and 117-111. One year later following this victory Frampton lost the rematch with Santa Cruz, and beat Horacio Garcia, Frampton still had dreams of a showdown infront of a raucous crowd at Windsor Park, while defending a world title. Them dreams did become a reality when he fought Luke Jackson in August 2018, but before this fight he faced Nonito Donaire. That fight took place on 21 April 2018 at the SSE Arena, Belfast. A month before the fight, it was announced that the WBO interim title would be at stake, and Frampton put on a defensive masterclass and beat Donaire in a unanimous decision, becoming the WBO interim champion. All three judges scored the fight 117-111 for Frampton. Once this fight was over, his dreams became a reality.
Although a big name was targeted for his dream encounter, Frampton confirmed it would be unlikely and the fight would not be a world title fight. Frampton's opponent was confirmed to be unbeaten 33-year-old Australian boxer Luke Jackson with Frampton defending his WBO Interim title. Infront of 24,000 fans, Frampton dominated Jackson in stopping him in round 9 after his corner threw in the towel. After the fight, Frampton said, “This was unreal.
The atmosphere was special, the crowd was fantastic and they made my dream come true. It was unbelievable from start to finish.” In the latter stages of his career Frampton lost, battles with Josh Warrington and last night to Jamel Herring. He will always be remembered for his fighting spirit, and his transformation from a young boy to a striving and determined man. Frampton will be remembered as one of the greatest Irish fighters of all time, and will be remembered as a fighter who would try and unify an island. For me watching Carl Frampton's career as only a year older then him, and also having family who encountered the struggles in Northern Ireland, I can safely say he has had a glittering career and the emotion of last night's loss was to be felt by all watching.
One of my favourite fighters of all time was Steve Collins, and I will always remember 'The Jackal' as not sporting Idol but an inspiration to the Irish people. Let's hope he takes the time to evaluate his future endeavours, but future talents could earn a lot from him and fulfill their potential.