Belfast boxer Carl Frampton was determined to show his appreciation to his legion of travelling fans in Las Vegas, after suffering his first professional defeat.
The Jackal brought 5,000 Northern Irish fans half way around the world to watch him defend his WBA featherweight title against Leo Santa Cruz at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
Despite the disappointing result, which saw the Jackal relinquish his title on a majority points decision, the Tigers Bay man proved he is a class act by congratulating his opponent on his victory.
The 29-year-old now hopes a second rematch can be held in Belfast.
Taking to social media yesterday, Frampton tweeted: “A great fighter & even better man. We have to do it again. Congratulations champ.”
The father-of-two was also keen to let his thousands of travelling fans know how much he valued their unwavering support, describing them as the ‘best fans in the world.”.
All fans were invited to the afterparty on Sunday afternoon (Vegas time) at the Nine Fine Irishmen bar, just across the road from the MGM Grand, where Frampton spent three hours signing autographs and posing for photographs.
One lucky fan who got to meet the Jackel yesterday told the News Letter: “He told us he was sorry he didn’t get the result but was determined that next time he would get a win.
“Even though the didn’t get the win in Vegas, you wouldn’t have know it looking at the fans. Plenty turned up to show their support and they were in fine voice.
“Frampton looked pretty beat up with two black eyes, and I’m sure he would rather have been in his bed recovering. But he spent hours meeting and greeting his loyal fans. Money was put behind the bar there was a great atmosphere.
“Let’s hope Frampton gets the rematch in Belfast, it would be the perfect way to cap things off.”