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Jamie Conlan: The Calm Before & After the Storm

Before The folly of conflating the combatant and non-combatant shades of a boxer’s character is regularly lost on those not involved in the sport.  That fighters can be so brutal inside the ring and so gentle out is still viewed as a delightful paradox by many who, I can only presume, believe that boxers live […]

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The Night of the Jackal

For such a relatively small patch of land in the north east of Ireland, Belfast has a habit of producing very special sportsmen.  That rarest of rare breeds who, through the grace of God, are blessed with a particular, often intangible, gift that elevates them beyond the mere good and great and into the pantheon […]

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The Carl Frampton Interview

I catch Carl Frampton just after 9pm on a Wednesday evening as he crosses the River Thames heading towards his temporary home in that most affluent of London boroughs, Kensington and Chelsea.  He is acclimatised now to the rarefied air breathed in by the Dukes, Earls and Knights listed as notable residents of the area, […]

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Carl, Kiko & the Book of Irish Invasions

The countries of Ireland and Spain have for centuries been brothers-in-arms.  In fact, their relationship began even before it actually began.  The largely mythical 11th century Lebor Gabála Érenn, or Book of Irish Invasions, describes how, long before Jesus walked the earth, the eight sons of the Galician Míl Espáine stormed Ireland to avenge their […]

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Leave the Fighting to Frampton

Belfast has changed dramatically over the past 30 years but one thing remains the same: the city loves a fighter.  When Carl “The Jackal” Frampton steps into the ring tomorrow night against France’s Jeremy Parodi, the noise generated is likely to threaten the integrity of the Odyssey Arena’s roof.  There is a momentum building behind […]