While fight fans in the United States have been focused on the development that boxing is back on network television thanks to the Al Haymon led Premier Boxing Champions, boxing is also back on terrestrial television in the UK. Here, ITV is returning to broadcasting ‘world title’ boxing for the first time since Carl Froch fought Jean Pascal in 2008.
This time, the network has chosen Belfast’s Carl Frampton as the man to follow and will start by showing his title defense against Chris Avalos on February 28th. Frampton is the perfect choice for a number of different reasons. In fact, here are the top 4 reasons why Frampton will reignite the sport in the UK.
Frampton is a humble yet confident person. He is not particularly charismatic or overtly brash, but he knows he is good. He has handled each career step-up with aplomb utilizing such self belief. The UK audience will appreciate such traits in a fighter.
The Belfast Crowd
Every time Frampton fights Belfast seems to shut down temporarily. He has arguably become the city’s headline sporting attraction in recent years and the crowds will only get more frenzied.
If there’s anything better than watching top level boxing, it’s watching top level boxing with an outstanding atmosphere to accompany it, even if only through the medium of TV.
Since the early to mid 1990’s, ITV haven’t quite seemed as interested in boxing as they once were. Until Froch vs. Groves II, the same could be said of the UK public. This was mainly due to the ending of the Nigel Benn, Chris Eubank, Steve Collins, Michael Watson era. Frampton could revitalize the interest, though, as he has plenty of potential rivals at super bantamweight.
This could mean big fights on the horizon, including domestic grudge matches with the likes of Scott Quigg and Kid Galahad, as well as match-ups with international stars such as Leo Santa Cruz.
Frampton’s Exciting Style
He may be small, but Frampton can definitely punch. From 19 fights and wins he has 13 knockout victories to attest to such power. He’s also versatile – at times he like to box on the back foot, at others he will attack relentlessly. This style makes him exciting to watch and should help in enticing the UK public to watch his fights.
It must be stated that ITV’s deal with Frampton is only for one fight, so his clash with Avalos is of huge importance to the prospects of boxing on UK television. However, if there’s anyone that can handle such pressure it’s Frampton.
Avalos’ come-forward style should blend well with Frampton’s boxer-puncher traits to produce a fight of interest for the UK public and, as a result, secure his – and boxing’s – future on terrestrial TV.