BOXING: Dave ‘Boy’ McAuley hails history-maker Carl Frampton

Carl Frampton celebrates with Northern Ireland players Gareth McAuley, Josh Magennis, Kyle Lafferty and Stuart Dallas after defeating Scott Quigg in Saturday night's world super-bantamweight unification clash at the Manchester Arena. Photo: Presseye

Carl Frampton celebrates with Northern Ireland players Gareth McAuley, Josh Magennis, Kyle Lafferty and Stuart Dallas after defeating Scott Quigg in Saturday night's world super-bantamweight unification clash at the Manchester Arena. Photo: Presseye

Dave ‘Boy’ McAuley praised Carl Frampton after he won his IBF and WBA shoot-out with Scott Quigg in Manchester, writes Nicky Fullerton.

The super-bantamweight won the fight on a split decision and former IBF Flyweight World champion McAuley says he understands why the fight was not a barn-stormer.

“The first six rounds were cagey and I can understand why. There is loads of pressure and so much at stake for both fighters,” McAuley said.

“They will both know that if you win this one the world is your oyster and you will be heading for more massive fights and pay days.

“But if you lose then you have to start again and the big money fights may never happen again.

“The first six rounds were very slow and neither fighter wanted to take a chance.

“But Carl boxed well and he has made history by being the first Irish fighter to win two world titles,” he added.

And McAuley thought Frampton deserved to have his hand raised in victory.

“I had him one round up going into the last and I thought he won the last round, so I think he won the fight by two rounds.

“It was a good performance and what an atmosphere in the stadium. If I was Carl I would take a month off and then get back into it. The body needs a rest and he deserves a break,” he added.

Meanwhile, Leo Santa Cruz issued a challenge to Frampton after successfully defending his WBA featherweight world title against Kiko Martinez.

He twice knocked down Martinez in the first round before ending the contest with a barrage of punches as the fight was called at 2:09 in the fifth.

“I’m up for anyone,” he said. “I want the rematch with Abner Mares. Since Frampton won, if he’s ready to go up in weight, I’m ready for him. I challenge him to a fight whenever he’s ready.”