Former British welterweight champion Neil Sinclair says Carl Frampton could go on to be a boxing superstar if, as he expects, he defeats Kiko Martinez later this year.
Frampton will go head-to-head with Martinez for the IBF super-bantamweight title at the Titanic Quarter in Belfast on September 6.
Frampton, an ex-pupil of Glengormley High School, defeated the Spaniard at the Odyssey Arena in 2013 and Newtownabbey man Sinclair was impressed with what he saw that night.
“I was at the first fight and he (Frampton) really did a number on him,” he said. “It was a great performance and it looks even better now when you think of what Martinez went on to do. From that he went and fought for the IBF title in America and won it and he’s had two defences. His confidence will probably be at an all-time high.
“But I see the same thing happening again: Carl winning. Carl himself has went on and improved with every fight. I think the result will be the same but Kiko’s not coming to lie down either. He’ll leave every ounce of himself in that ring.”
He added: “I haven’t been to fights here that have had the crowd and the following that Carl has had. When I was boxing I didn’t have that; no-one had that on the bill. It’s good to see the people coming out to support him. They are really creating a great legacy for him.
“He’s had three or four great fights back-to-back in the Odyssey and he’s just on the verge now. He’s fighting for the world title outdoors - I don’t think that’s ever happened in Belfast.
“It’s all set up for him to be a superstar, to win the title here and to unify the title or make defences of the IBF title. It’s there for him to do.”