There is no doubt that September’s Titanic Showdown captured the public’s imagination as Carl Frampton swept home to word title glory in front of a capacity crowd. Not only did the event draw a mammoth gathering of ardent fans but there were plenty of familiar faces planted around ringside lapping up the big fight atmosphere.
Former WBC light-heavyweight champion John Conteh was very impressed with what he witnessed: “It’s absolutely fantastic, the best atmosphere I’ve ever experienced, even as a fighter. They’ve both improved so much and Frampton had a tough job on his hands tonight but he was in great condition. The world’s his oyster now, it’s all about the next level. I’m not sure who would win out of him and Quigg to tell you the truth. A lot depended on how he got on tonight. The fights will be a lot harder from now on. I love coming to Belfast.”
One-time WBA super-bantamweight champion Bernard Dunne experienced a few special nights himself in Dublin during his heyday and he was lauding ‘The Jackal’s’ display: “Carl was absolutely fantastic tonight and a worthy world champion on a fantastic evening. Kiko didn’t just steamroll in, he respected his power. The crowd were a bit subdued during the fight. When Carl used his jab Kiko couldn’t get out of the way of the shots. Carl’s footwork and movement was phenomenal, he was one step ahead of Kiko for every moment of the fight. It was only when he stopped using the jab that Kiko could get close to him.”
Limerick’s former world title challenger and 2004 Olympian Andy Lee also weighed in: “He caught him with the same punch that he knocked him down and stopped him with eventually in the last fight. Up until that point in round five Kiko Martinez was having his best round and Carl showed tremendous courage, bravery and tenacity. I actually thought it was closer myself judging the fight and Kiko showed skill and condition, especially in the last round when Frampton went to finish him.”
The BoxNation team, led by Steve Bunce, will now be hoping that Team Cyclone renew their agreement with the subscription station so that they can enjoy more evenings of this magnitude.
BoxNation summariser and former WBO super-featherweight boss Barry Jones said: “The concentration was tremendous and the accuracy was spot-on. He made a 28-year-old world champion look like a pedestrian old man. The whole city will be enjoying themselves. It’s been freezing cold but a great night.”
Veteran commentator John Rawling added: “You have to go back to Ricky Hatton-Kostya Tszyu for a night with this type of passion. A fight with Santa Cruz is potentially huge. He has a big following in the United States and they will have been watching this from across the pond.”
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