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Carl Frampton Is Awarded One Of Boxing's Greatest Honours

Carl Frampton Is Awarded One Of Boxing's Greatest Honours
By Conall Cahill

It was a phenomenal 2016 for Carl 'The Jackal' Frampton. In February he fought his nemesis Scott Quigg, ending a long-running war of words between the pair by winning the WBA super-bantamweight title by split decision and retaining his IBF super-bantamweight title in the process. Frampton was then stripped of both titles due to his decision to move up to featherweight in order to fight Leo Santa Cruz in New York for the WBA title in that class.

But the Belfast man didn't allow that to stop him winning that title - again by decision - in an absolute war, becoming the first Northern Irish fighter (and only the second from the island of Ireland) to hold the status of a double-weight world champion.

Frampton fights Santa Cruz in the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on January 28th in a hugely-anticipated rematch. So he doesn't have much time to dwell on the fact that he has been named The RING magazine's 'Fighter of the Year' for 2016.

It's a huge accolade to receive - perhaps only behind being inducted into the boxing Hall of Fame in terms of prestige - and comes a month after he was named the ESPN 'Fighter of the Year'. Last year he was featured on The Ring's cover, which is in itself a serious achievement. But this just proves how respected Frampton is within the sport. It also goes to show just what a clanger the BBC dropped by not including Frampton in even the nominations for BBC 'Sports Personality of the Year' this time around (even the former NI First Minister Arlene Foster complained).

Frampton told RING Magazine:

Obviously it’s a huge honour. Toward the end of the year I picked up 'Fighter of the Year' on some websites but THE RING Magazine, that’s the one. I’m very, very proud of that.

I had an amazing year last year. I unified at 122 and moved up and fought a great fighter at featherweight in Leo Santa Cruz. The year went pretty much to plan. It couldn’t have went better.

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It's great to see the man from Tigers Bay getting this recognition. Not only is Frampton a phenomenal athlete and fighter, great to watch when on form, but he is also a brilliant ambassador for Northern Ireland and the island of Ireland. A bit like Rory McIlroy - an equally suitable role model from that part of the world - Frampton is always careful to illustrate that he represents all sides of the community, both in Northern Ireland and on the whole island. For that reason, he'll have every sports fan from this part of the world cheering him on when he steps into the ring in eleven days' time.

SEE ALSO: The President Of The AIBA Has "Ducked Out Of A Meeting" With The Irish Junior Sports Minister

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