Only a pro for six years, Carl Frampton has already done most everything he can do in Ireland and the United Kingdom. He’s won all-Ireland tournaments, European tournaments, British Commonwealth championships and a 122-pound world title.
Now he gets to do the one thing he hasn’t yet accomplished: fight in the United States as a professional. And in the most unlikely of places: El Paso, Texas. OK, so it’s not a place that’s going to be turning out for St. Patrick’s Day in Boston-like droves, but it’s still the States.
“I’m really looking forward to this. I wouldn’t have said Texas first of all,” he laughed. “But I’m getting my foot in the door. After that we can take the East Coast by storm where there’s a lot of Irish-Americans.”
Instead, the crowd will be far friendlier to Mexican foe Alejandro Gonzalez Jr., coming as it does in a city that forms one big metropolitan area with its just-across-the-border sister city, Juárez.
Which means that taking the crowd out of it early will be the first step in Carl Frampton’s red, white and blue takeover.
“I’m excited. I’ve wanted to box in America for a long time,” Frampton said. “I believe I’ve got the style to make people in the U.S. stand up and take notice of me. I believe I’m exciting. I’m aggressive, I can punch well, I can take a good shot. It’s not really only about getting the win, it’s also about how I do it, how I go about it. I want to put on a good show.”
Conveniently, the 4 p.m. ET/1 p.m. PT fight on CBS will air in prime time in the United Kingdom on ITV, where his last fight with Chris Avalos netted 2 million viewers.
That in itself is an impressive figure as all of Northern Ireland has a population of less than 2 million. It’s testament to the growing boxing tradition in Belfast, going back to his mentor and manager: former 126-pound champion Barry McGuigan.
“We’ve always produced good fighters, the amateur fighters,” Frampton said. “But now on the professional side of things, we’re starting to kick off a little bit. We’re doing small shows on quite a regular basis around Belfast. Obviously, I’m bringing big fights back as much as possible. The boxing game in Belfast and in Ireland as a whole is really on a high.”
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