Frampton shows he's a class act
By dint of evolution, we navigate our way through life with an ingrained negativity bias. Happenings of the negative variety, be they worrying thoughts or unwanted outcomes or arguments, will always leave much more of an impression on us than positive ones.
Of late, psychologists largely subscribe to the 5:1 ratio, which dictates that to really flourish one needs five positive thoughts for every negative one. It is why techniques such as gratitude practice are very much in vogue.
Negativity bias isn't thoroughly bad of course, it helps with the fundamentals of survival like avoiding onrushing traffic or sabre-toothed tigers, but it does skew the focus of our attention. Clickbait has become an exact science because we will invariably choose the negative, scary headline over the moderate, positive one.
Following that logic through, we have to consciously look out for the good stuff to form a more realistic viewpoint of our world. This naturally applies to sport, where the bad stuff is all too prevalent and the angrier the columnist the better.
Carl Frampton's behaviour on Saturday in Las Vegas can be chalked down as one positive from the week that was. The context is that he must have been utterly deflated with the result, given the high stakes and the travelling crowd and the enormous hype. As the judges' scorecards were read aloud and the first wave of disappointment was starting to hit, Frampton applauded opponent Leo Santa Cruz in the ring.
Later he spoke honestly: "Leo is a tremendous fighter. He surprised me with his tactics. If I'm being honest, hand on heart, I feel Leo deserved the win. Congratulations to the new champion. I hope we can do it again in Belfast. He can stay in my house if he wants. There were great fights." The admission drew some scattered applause and laughter.
Several times Frampton said the better man had won. Several times he apologised to his fans. It was a triumph of dignity and maturity. Trash talking and ego were left aside for the children. Across the spectrum of another busy sporting weekend, his comments didn't generate big headlines. We glanced at them. No big story. No scandal. Move on. But, actually, they're worth stopping on for a few moments.