Carl Frampton: The New Hitman?
By Lee Costello
"HE WALKS THE WALK, HE TALKS THE TALK, WALKING IN A FRAMPTON WONDERLAND"
Tuesdays press conference at the Europa hotel in Belfast for the rematch between Carl Frampton and Sanata Cruz wasn't quite as explosive as the David Haye and Tony Bellew one but it was just as loud.
The Belfast champion had to hush the crowd in order to even get a word in as his loyal supporters sang his name in different song variations including "Framtons on fire, Santa Cruz is terrified", "There's only one Carl Frampton" and of course "Sweet Caroline".
At the press conference it was said that there hasn't been a following like this since Ricky Hatton was at his peak... now what a comparison that is!
For those with short memory, Ricky Hatton had an elite following of thousands. They would travel to Vegas, New York and all around the world to watch their beloved Hitman fight for world titles against the world very best boxers and more often than not conquer.
They are both representatives of the working class who love their sport but never forgot their background.
Hatton's passion for football and love for Manchester City is famous and the Jackal shares this passion following Northern Ireland to France in the Euros and is always seen to be sporting a new Northern Ireland kit when he is out and about as oppose to a new three-piece suit.
They both come across as down to earth, average men who in the off season enjoy going to football matches and drinking pints but when they are at work they are out winning world titles and climbing the list to be the pound for pound best.
There courage is another trait that they that share and they are not afraid to not only move up a weight vision, but dominate them as well.
Frampton could have easily stayed in the Super-bantamweight division and comfortably defended his titles just as Ricky Hatton could have done at lightweight. Their ambition however, is much greater than this and they both wanted to not only challenge all of the best fighters, but challenge themselves as well.
Making weight jumps is always a dangerous move but it has become a neccassity if you want to maintain a legacy and that is exactly what they both have done, and Frampton is still doing for that matter.
Just as his success is famous his failures are just as well known as the darling of Manchester lost his undefeated record to Floyd Mayweather and was emphatically knocked out by Manny Pacquiao which led to his life spiralling out of control in a cocktail of drugs, alcohol and anti-social behaviour.
He has since recovered and is now one of the most well-respected trainers in the game and a living legend but we can only hope that not only does Frampton maintain his unbeaten record, but his also his image as a peoples champion.