Sunday 15 December 2019

McGuigan makes pilgrimage for Frampton

Barry McGuigan. Photo: PA
Barry McGuigan. Photo: PA

Gareth A Davies

Carl Frampton has spoken of his admiration for Barry McGuigan after his manager travelled to Carlow to pray for his charge with an ancient order of Catholic nuns ahead of tonight's world title rematch with Leo Santa Cruz.

It is even more poignant that McGuigan is a Catholic, Frampton a Protestant.

Yet they are bound by history, tradition, the same World Boxing Association featherweight world title belt - three decades apart - and an addiction to boxing and the deepest personal challenges.

"The Poor Clare nuns have been around for over 800 years," explained McGuigan. "They live a life of complete and total commitment to God. Lots of us have lost faith, certainly in Catholicism in the last 10 or 15 years with all that's gone on, but these ladies are the most dedicated and committed people. If anyone is close to God, they're close to God. Carl and I are both involved in mixed Catholic/Protestant marriages. And we like to set a good example."

McGuigan's pilgrimage a few weeks ago goes deep to Frampton's heart. "It means a lot, you know. Of course it does," explained 29-year-old Frampton, who is unbeaten as a fighter.

"Just the fact that Barry goes there and does this before fights. It hits home to me how much he cares about me, and the faith he shows in me.

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