BARRY McGUIGAN reckons Carl Frampton has the world at his feet after his stunning victory over Leo Santa Cruz.
McGuigan fought back tears of joy on Saturday night as Frampton, trained by his son Shane, won the WBA Super world featherweight title with a majority decision at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center.
The Jackal’s manager had confidently predicted his fighter would successfully claim the belt he had captured himself in 1985.
And he believes the humble Northern Irishman can now join him in boxing’s Hall of Fame.
McGuigan, 55, said: “I wanted this kid to win so badly.
“Sure I wanted him to win my old title but I wanted it to be a sensational fight — and it turned out to be just that. It was amazing, Fight of the Year material.
“I want people to talk about him the way they talk about me 30 years after he retires. It was a great performance against a great three-weight world champ.
“I am so proud of Carl and also of my son. Shane is just 27 and his tactics have been sublime.
“Frampton has incredible trust in him. Shane was talking to him throughout — ‘duck, move, step back, attack’. A perfect game plan.”
The Belfast boxer, unbeaten in his 22-fight career before this bout, started well and had the Mexican champ rocking on the ropes in the second round.
Frampton, 29, built up a lead but Santa Cruz fought back in the sixth and seventh. The Jackal regained the initiative yet was caught in the tenth as Santa Cruz finished strongly.
One judge scored it a 114-114 draw but the others made Frampton the winner, 116-112 and 117-111.
Frampton would happily grant Santa Cruz, 27, a rematch, while a mouth-watering clash with IBF champ
Frampton said: “I needed to get his respect from the start and I hurt him in the second round.
“Although he was throwing a lot of punches, he wasn’t throwing as many as normal. I said all along that once I nailed him the output wasn’t going to be as great.
“There’s no rematch clause in place, but it would be a great fight and one I’d be happy to do. I’d love to bring him to Belfast.”
McGuigan added: “Frampton has options — and can become a star in America. You can fight at home but to make a legacy and turn yourself into a Hall of Famer, you have to be in the US.
“We have the world at our feet. Selby is an interesting fight, Gary Russell Jr is a good fight and the rematch with Santa Cruz would be amazing.
“I would love to have something at Windsor Park and Carl has always fancied fighting at the home of the national football team.
“Maybe another fight before Christmas — either a voluntary or Selby if we can do it — and then a big showdown in the summer. I’d love it to be Santa Cruz. That would pack out Windsor Park.”
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