Heart breaking is what it was.
Not just for one fighter from the isle of Ireland but two.
From the bubble of Dubai to the streets of Belfast, there was not a dry eye in the house when Carl Frampton lost his attempt to gain a third weight world title. But in amongst that, on the morning of Saturday the 3rd of April in Dubai, the WBO intercontinental super lightweight contest between Zhankosh Turarov and Tyrone McKenna was off as Turarov tested positive for COVID. The wasted training camp, the flying all the way to Dubai and for McKenna it was turn tail and return home with nothing, not even the bruises from an honest contest.
The main event, the WBO super featherweight title fight between Jamel Herring and Carl Frampton. Frampton saw Frampton being unable to get beyond Herring’s jab and be floored twice before the towel got thrown in, in the 6th round. Following the announcement of his retirement, his wife tweeted that she had been trying for years to get him out the ring and the desperate plea in his voice for time for his family to enjoy their sacrifice was a poignant reminder of how many of the camps Frampton has endured to be the fighter we loved to watch. It is a reminder of the types of sacrifice the support network endure so that fighters can stand for 12 rounds trading and then return home, bumped, bruised and hopefully intact. It is a brutal sport and none more so than when a bruised and battered Carl Frampton left the ring in tears, gave interviews in defeat with great grace and showed us all how humility enhances your reputation and does not diminish it.
The other negative? Channel Five – sort out your coverage. That was quite a shocking night to witness. Josh Taylor and Steve Bunce were wasted in the studio, whilst the ring announcer/MC struggled with his script and the camera angles were all over the place as if they were following Ann Widecombe in Come Dancing. The commentary team were OK but the packaging was suspect.