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hero's return; Champ Frampton greeted by fans.

Byline: NATHAN HANNA

BOXING hero Carl Frampton has arrived home from his fairytale in New York.

The North Belfast fighter clinched the WBA featherweight title last weekend in the Big Apple with a historic victory over Mexican Leo Santa Cruz.

And after enjoying his win, the Tiger's Bay man jetted back home and said, "Wasn't a bad trip to New York..."

An ecstatic Frampton revealed after the fight at the Barclays Center: "It's a dream come true, when I turned pro I had a dream of winning a world title but never to be a two-weight world champion.

"I want to thank the amazing support that came from Belfast and Northern Ireland and all over the place.

"It was a tough fight, I wanted to be in a fight that people would remember.

"Santa Cruz is a true warrior, I respected him before and I respect him even more now. What will this mean now? Well, hopefully I won't have to buy a pint for the next 20 years."

Frampton, who has smashed his way into the top 10 rankings of pound-forpound boxers in the world, was greeted by jubilant fans when he touched down at Dublin Airport yesterday.

The 29-year-old added: "I had a good game plan, Shane McGuigan is an unbelievable coach, I've told the world that. "I fought with my heart rather than my head sometimes.

"The game was to hit him hard and make him earn my respect.

"He was coming forward but my distance control and hard punching was the key.

"I'd love to bring him to Belfast and show the people of Belfast.

"He gave me the opportunity here.

"I thank my travelling support and the Irish-Americans and everyone else who came out to support me."

THUMBS UP Carl is congratulated by fan Sam Hamilton irish@mgn.co.uk

CAPTION(S):

NUMBER 1 Boxer soaks up his world title victory

PICTURE THAT Fan grabs a selfie with the champ

HAT'S IT CARL Carl Frampton after he landed in Dubin Airport yesterday

BELFAST'S BEST Carl and wife Christine after their flight home

SMILES BETTER With airport worker

THUMBS UP Carl is congratulated by fan Sam Hamilton

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Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Aug 7, 2016
Words:361
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