A Newtownabbey councillor was among the thousands of local fight fans in Manchester at the weekend to cheer on Belfast boxer Carl Frampton.
Glengormley man Mark Cosgrove was among more than 20,000 people who packed into the Manchester Arena on Saturday night to witness the Tigers Bay man’s win over Bury’s Scott Quigg. But he was one of only a lucky few who got to try on the champ’s gloves after the fight.
The UUP man, who happened to be staying in the same hotel as ‘The Jackal’ and his family and friends, took the opportunity to try on the gloves and pose for a photograph.
Sharing the picture on social media on Saturday night, Alderman Cosgrove tweeted: “Great night in Manchester. Wearing the gloves that ‘our Carl’ wore the night that Ulster took over Manchester.”
Frampton, a former pupil of Glengormley High School and a regular visitor to Monkstown Boxing Club, won the super-bantamweight world title unification bout on a split decision, giving him the IBF and WBA belts - a result that delighted Alderman Cosgrove and the thousands of other Frampton fans.
“He was very, very smart,” he said. “Carl was always going to be the more technical and the better boxer and Quigg was going to have to try and rough him up to have any chance of winning. Carl was smart the whole fight and he was a clear winner.
“I don’t think he (Quigg) deserves a rematch. I don’t think the public want to see it and I think Carl needs to move onwards and upwards - he has bigger fish to fry. Hopefully the ‘Frampton Army’ will get a trip to Vegas some day!”
Alderman Cosgrove, who along with his friends in the Glengormley Sports Society has been to some of the world’s biggest sporting events over the past 29 years, added: “I’ve been to World Cup finals and European Championship finals and Saturday night was one of the best atmospheres I’ve ever been in. It was incredible. Carl must have had about 13,000 of the 20,000 crowd, so it was just like being in the Odyssey, only a better stadium.
“Carl is a tremendous ambassador for north Belfast and for Northern Ireland. This really whets the appetite for our trip to France for the European Championships.”