Commonwealth Games: In the semi-finals of the boxing competition at the Commonwealth Games on Saturday, Northern Ireland is well-represented.
At the NEC in Birmingham, seven of their team’s boxers will compete for a spot in Sunday’s finals but are already promised a medal.
Carl Frampton is aware of the satisfaction gained from a medal at these Games. He rose to fame in the sport and was crowned a two-weight world champion. But he still regrets not attending the Commonwealth Games.
“It’s just one of those things, you win the Ulster championships and that’s your ticket for the Commonwealth Games, that’s it,” he told Sky Sports.
“I was Irish champion and I think probably number one in the Four Nations at the time. I’d just won the multi-nations the week before. If I didn’t enter the Ulsters, I would have been sent I think, just because of being the Irish champion but I entered and lost.
“I remember going home and crying my eyes out because I wanted to represent Northern Ireland at the Commonwealth Games. It never happened.
“I’d have been extremely proud to represent Northern Ireland at a Commonwealth Games.”
Boxing is an important sport in Northern Ireland. “It’s massive. It wasn’t that long ago that the Ulster championships used to be shown on TV in Northern Ireland,” Frampton said. “It’s a sport that people respect at home.”
Additionally, it is a game that cuts beyond social and political barriers there.
“Boxing in Northern Ireland has always been a sport that brings people together,” Frampton said.
“I’m not exactly sure why. Perhaps it has to do with the respect and admiration you must have for someone who has the courage to cross the ropes. To achieve that requires a lot of courage.
“That’s kind of my answer for it. That could be the right answer but I don’t know.”
Amateur boxing groups contribute much to their communities while frequently going unnoticed.
“My old coach Billy McKee used to always say the greatest achievements for him as a coach were not me winning championships or whatever, or anyone else winning titles, but it was about taking a guy who’s having a bit of a rough time, maybe going down the wrong path, and getting him back on the straight and narrow, a kid going off to university who maybe wasn’t expected to do it, and succeeding or getting a job,” Frampton said.
“They were the real success stories for him. Maybe people on the outside see that and they understand it. I think all sports as well at that level, it’s all on a voluntary basis and these guys give up a lot of time to just try and help, help other people.”
For boxing fight, boxing championship, boxing live score, boxing ring, boxing match, boxing tournament and other boxing news follow Livematchupdates.com.