Carl Frampton named ESPN's fighter of the year

He is only the second European fighter to win the award

Carl Frampton named ESPN's fighter of the year

Carl Frampton celebrates in his dressing room after defeating Scott Quigg Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Presseye/William Cherry

Carl Frampton may still be underappreciated in certain parts of Ireland, but the wider boxing community have been mesmerised by his performances in the ring in 2016.

The Belfast fighter has been named as ESPN's fighter of the year for 2016. He becomes only the second European boxer to win the award, following Ricky Hatton's triumph in 2005. Frampton joins the likes of Floyd Mayweather Jr. Manny Pacquiao and Bernard Hopkins as winners of the award.

Frampton fought twice in 2016 and won World titles in each bout. In February, 'The Jackal' travelled to Manchester and defeated the previously undefeated Scott Quigg to add the WBA (Super) super-bantamweight title to his IBF super-bantamweight title.

 

Privileged and honoured to be named ESPN fighter of the year #FOTY #Boxing

A photo posted by carl frampton (@theframpton) on

After defeating Quigg, Frampton moved up a weight division and beat the previously undefeated Leo Santa Cruz to win the WBA (Super) featherweight title, in July, in New York. He became only the second fighter from the island of Ireland to become a multiple weight World champion, following in the footsteps of Steve Collins.

"No other fighter in 2016 scored such an impressive combination of victories in high-profile bouts against elite opponents -- in multiple divisions, on the road -- with one of them a contender for fight of the year," EPSN writer Dan Rafael wrote in his reasoning for giving Frampton the award.

The 29-year-old returns to the ring next month. He fights Santa Cruz, in a much anticipated rematch, on January 28th in Las Vegas.