Purposefully striding into the ring amidst a cacophony of cheers and adulation Ciaran McVarnock was relishing his Belfast debut. After all, the 22-year-old had been eager to return home and display his skills to a burgeoning fan base after winning two bouts across the water. Following a bruising six-twos against Lithuanian survivor Aivaras Balsys, Ciaran moved his fledgling record to 3-0 by virtue of a 60-54 success on Hugh Russell Jnr’s Scorecard. The youngster later revealed, however, that he was not happy with his overall performance.
Chris Avalos insists that the IBF super-bantamweight title should be his personal property. Speaking to the Californian on the telephone recently he described his displeasure at the Frampton-Martinez world title affair and described it as a “secret fight”.
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.
“A fighter is at his most dangerous when hurt” is an aphorism often trawled out after boxing matches. Trainer Shane McGuigan has seen his own stock rise off the back of Frampton’s success, since taking over full training duties from Belfast veteran Gerry Storey. Considered and erudite in his vocal delivery, Shane’s record is currently speaking for itself despite the detractors.
“Big Tony Bellew over there will tell you that Liverpool fans are the best but they aren’t, Belfast fans are!” yelled Carl Frampton shortly after settling down on the ring apron to speak with BoxNation TV. Bellew, commentating at ringside for BBC Five Live, was no doubt grinning away as the diminutive Frampton hollered across the ring. No animosity was intended from the jubilant newly-crowned world champion, still on a high after posting the finest win of his career to date.
Jamie Conlan had his hands full with sprightly Mexican Jose Estrella on the Titanic Showdown undercard but managed to eke out a unanimous victory. Scores of 97-93 (twice) and 99-92 enabled the Belfast super-flyweight to take away the WBO inter-continental belt. Estrella pressed the action throughout and was not easily deterred, making it a tough night’s work for Conlan who also suffered a cut.
The first fight was an intriguing clash of styles. Kiko Martinez swaggered in to Belfast with his European super-bantamweight title but left empty handed after being comprehensively knocked out by Carl Frampton on a cold February evening at the Odyssey Arena. Now they will do it all again, in an impressively constructed outdoor venue on the Titanic Slipways in early September. This time Kiko arrives with a world title and promoter Barry McGuigan reckons that his man will once again strip the Spaniard of his prize asset. The Cyclone Promotions head man is expecting the fight to be even better than the first and a scrap befitting of the fantastic 16,000 capacity venue.
The clock is ticking down on Carl Frampton’s highly-anticipated rematch with Kiko Martinez on September 6 as both men prepare for their crossroads fight. Even though the first Martinez encounter was seen in many quarters as Frampton’s finest performance to date, he is not a fan of reliving that glorious February evening.
Carl Frampton has stated that he is “over the moon” with his world title fight on September 6. Even though the deal was agreed between the fighters themselves a while ago, all parties were still waiting for formal confirmation from the International Boxing Federation (IBF) before announcing the event. Carl whips his frame into prime physical condition before every bout at this level and the Kiko Martinez scrap will prove no different.