The Frank Warren column
CARL FRAMPTON, FOR me, has always been a thrill to watch and a pleasure to promote. Due to the stage he is at in his career we are not going to have too many more opportunities to see him in action so I am delighted he is topping our show on Saturday, live on BT Sport.
However, much as I want to make the most of seeing Carl play out his career and hopefully become a world champion at a third different weight, I am probably more excited this weekend over the prospect of again seeing a spectacular young talent at the other end of his career path.
Our teenage terror Dennis McCann has got it all in front of him and it wouldn’t surprise me one bit if he won the lot over several weight classes.
I knew we were on to something special when we signed the nine-times national champion in the early part of last year and the attraction of adding him to our squad wasn’t just his track record in the amateurs.
Dennis is more than that. He possesses a personality to match his ability and he certainly has the potential to be a crossover star and a household name. He manages to combine being cheeky and still polite and courteous at the same time – and not many manage to do that without coming across a bit boorish.
He has got a spark about him, along with a total belief in himself and what he is doing. The major upside for fans is that I doubt very much he will ever be in a boring fight.
Dennis has that fortunate combination of speed, spite, skill, stealth and power. Even as an amateur he was banging out his opponents on a regular basis, which is pretty much unheard of at his weight.
When the time arrived for him to make his debut in May of last year at Stevenage FC I had absolutely no hesitation over insisting he occupied one of the live TV slots.
He issued an emphatic statement in his first fight with a first round stoppage and so many astute boxing judges tip him to go right to the top.
The Naz comparisons are obvious but perhaps the most important thing he can learn from the Prince is the value of staying in the gym and continually working on improving his game. Unfortunately Naz’s career veered off course when gym-work became a secondary consideration to an extravagant lifestyle.
There are so many examples of this throughout boxing history for Dennis to take note of and the fact he has this year become a young husband hopefully indicates that he will lead a settled life and put his career at the forefront while it lasts.
There is probably no better example for Dennis to follow than Carl, who needs to be on his guard against Darren Traynor in order for his forthcoming world title shot against Jamel Herring to remain in place for later this year.
Traynor, with no burden of expectation, can and will simply go in and give it his all. If he causes an upset he can turn his own career on its head and even if he loses while giving a good account of himself it will do him no harm at all.
I am happy to have Carl back performing in the UK and I have always found him a complete gentleman to deal with. It will be so fitting if the back end of his service to the sport of boxing is marked by another world title.
Hopefully, if he proceeds to part Herring from his WBO title, Carl will stick around long enough to defend against one of our next generation of super featherweights in Archie Sharp.
Archie has really stepped it up over the last year or so and has become a genuine force to be reckoned with. He is highly ranked by the WBO and another impressive performance against Jeff Ofori on Saturday should see him closing in on a mandatory position.
With all the talk of British super welterweights at the moment – with the names of Fitzgerald, Fowler, Cheeseman, Metcalf and Sheeraz believed to be the leading lights domestically – don’t rule out our man Troy Williamson making a surge and becoming the best of the lot.
Trojan Troy has got the pedigree and clearly possesses the power to force his way to the top of the pile. He takes on former English champion Harry Scarf on Saturday, who took Fowler the distance in his fight before last, so it will be an interesting measuring stick of Troy’s progress.
In what is a high quality card on Saturday we also get to see Michael Conlan take on former world title challenger Sofiane Takoucht in his latest assignment and the Andy Lee-trained welterweight Paddy Donovan in his fourth fight in the pro ranks.
To catch all the action, tune into BT Sport 2 from 8pm on Saturday.