Northern Ireland

Carl Frampton: Belfast City Hall homecoming for WBA champion

Frampton Santa Cruz Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Belfast's Carl Frampton beat Leo Santa Cruz on points in New York

A homecoming party for WBA featherweight champion Carl Frampton is to take place at Belfast City Hall on Friday evening.

The Belfast man became the first Northern Ireland boxer to win world championships at two different weights when he beat Leo Santa Cruz.

The Tiger's Bay man defeated the Mexican in New York at the end of July.

Footage from Frampton's fights will be shown on big screens during Friday's event.

"I am honoured that the city of Belfast is hosting a homecoming event for me," the champion, nicknamed the Jackal, said.

"I'm a working-class lad from Belfast and I'm delighted that I'll be able to celebrate my world title win with the people of this great city."

The reception is being jointly hosted by Lord Mayor Brian Kingston and Sports Minister Paul Givan.

Image copyright Noah K Murray - USA Today
Image caption The Tiger's Bay man became the first Northern Ireland fighter to win a world title in two weight divisions

Mr Kingston said the whole city would want to pay tribute to "a fantastic fighter".

"He is hard working, determined, focused and a first-class ambassador for Belfast - he never forgets where he comes from and often pays tribute to it and its people," the mayor said.

"At Friday's event, our people can pay their own well-deserved tribute to him - an extraordinary champion and an even more extraordinary man who has his roots firmly planted at home."

Mr Givan said that Frampton had "once again put Northern Ireland on the sporting map".

"I was keen for an event to be staged as soon as possible once Carl came home to mark his success so that all fans could come together to celebrate his success,".

Image caption Among those who congratulated the 29-year-old after his historic victory in New York was golfer Rory McIlroy

"I trust it will be a great occasion."

Frampton, 29, won his first world title - the IBF super-bantamweight crown - on 6 September 2014, defeating Spain's Kiko Martinez.

He became unified world champion at that weight when he defeated WBA champion Scott Quigg in February of this year.

Frampton moved up a weight and gave up his belts to fight the previously undefeated Santa Cruz in July.

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