Photograph: Russell Pritchard
CARL FRAMPTON has been presented with the Boxer of the Year award for 2013 by the Irish Boxing Writers’ Association (IBWA). The award follows the 27-year-old’s European title win over Kiko Martinez and successful title defence against Jeremy Parodi in 2013, with both fights ending in knockout victories.
The recently-revived IBWA voted for the Belfast super-bantamweight to retain the Boxer of the Year plaque after he claimed the same gong for 2012. Frampton was previously named Prospect of the Year by the IBWA in 2009.
His two-in-a-row triumph sees him emulate Neil Sinclair (2000, 2001) and he is now looking to overhaul two-weight world champion Steve Collins, who won four awards on the trot between 1994 and 1997.
Frampton said: “It’s great to win the award two years in a row, I’m very happy with that. If I win the world title and defend it in the meantime, I’ll be hoping to make it a hat-trick next year. Then I’ll do my best to catch up with Steve Collins.”
‘The Jackal’, who is a 1/14 favourite to beat Mexico’s Hugo Cazares in their WBC world-title eliminator on Friday night at Belfast’s Odyssey Arena, expects to challenge for world honours later this year. He wins the 2013 Boxer of the Year award with Dublin lightweight and WBO European champion Stephen Ormond the runner-up.
McCULLOUGH IS LEADING PROSPECT
Belfast featherweight Marc ‘Marco’ McCullough was acknowledged as a quality fighter to keep a close eye on after the IBWA presented him with the Prospect of The Year award.
McCullough went undefeated in 2013, claiming three wins with two coming inside the distance, culminating in an impressive stoppage victory over former European champion Willie Casey to claim the Irish featherweight title.
He is determined to follow in the footsteps of previous winner and Cyclone Promotions stablemate Carl Frampton, who has enjoyed a steady rise in the five years since he was named as Ireland’s top prospect.
McCullough said: “Carl Frampton won it a few years ago and now he’s headlining bills and on the brink of a world title fight.
“It’s a good thing to get and has given me a bit of confidence. I can honestly say that the Willie Casey fight got my name out there and was a big statement to make. It all seems to be taking off for me now.”
The Shankill Road boxer’s trainer John Breen believes his young charge can go all the way.
Breen said: “Marc’s a puncher and he wants to go out there and knock people out, but he also does what he’s told and can box to instructions. I’m expecting very big things to come from him.”
McCullough wins the 2013 Prospect of the Year award with Dublin light-welterweight Philip Sutcliffe Jr the runner-up.