Documentary following the fortunes of the McGuigan family and their stable of boxers. The team is in New York for Carl Frampton's world title bout against Leo Santa Cruz.
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This programme contains strong language.
Boxing is my life. When I was a kid, I was obsessed with boxing.
I had the ability, but I was also a pretty damn good fighter.
Since then, I manage.
My family promote.
-Do you want it or not?
And my son trains professional boxers
to help them maximise their potential.
Sometimes we drive each other mad.
-Straight up with the left.
-No. No. No!
That's why you don't talk.
But it's also hugely gratifying.
The greatest thrill in the world is to work with your family
and to work with your sons.
Make him fucking start feeling that shit. He hates it.
Boxing is the honesty business.
It is like a microscope looking into your heart and into your soul.
The fight's going to... People are going to remember...
..remember this for 40 fucking years, son.
It's like life in a 12-round fight.
Work! Work! WORK!
Half a second and you're knocked out,
you're unconscious, you're looking up at the stars and it's over.
There's no sport as brutal as the fight game.
This is probably the most important year
of my life, certainly as a boxing manager.
Carl Frampton is one of the leading fighters in the world at the moment.
We have this huge fight in the Barclays Center in New York.
We're fighting a fabulous fighter in Leo Santa Cruz.
He has been World Bantamweight, World Super-bantamweight
and World Featherweight Champion.
It's a chance to do something that no other Northern Ireland fighter
has ever done before and that's to win a world title
in a different weight division.
It is a mammoth affair for him and for us.
My dream when I turned professional
was to win a world title and I've done that.
Beautiful shot. That's a dynamite shot!
'The next dream is I want to win titles
'at featherweight as well.'
And I want to go down in history
as one of the greatest-ever Irish sports stars.
Carl is the first fighter that I've ever worked with,
and knowing him from when we used to box together in the amateurs,
he was always a little better than me.
Don't forget the power in the right hand.
I was thinking maybe I do go pro,
but one thing led to another and I started training,
taking Carl on the pads at the end of my sessions.
It really just felt like that was me.
People have destinies and things happen for a reason
and for me, that just happened.
Ease up, Carl. Fuck's sake.
'Obviously we grew up in different backgrounds,
'but Shane's a good lad.
'He's pretty close to my age. We can laugh at the same things.
'We can take the piss out of each other
'and other people in equal measures.'
Now, you let a few too many go on his head.
You go on about other people bullying people in sparring
and yet you do it all the time.
THEY LAUGH He got to him there. He got to him.
I have complete trust in him as a coach.
But first and foremost, he's a friend of mine
and I think that we will be, you know, forever,
for the rest of our days.
We've just got a good connection.
I was coming from private schools every day,
coming from like these, like, really wealthy schools
and then going to a council estate at night-time,
punching lumps out of lads and lads punching lumps out of me,
but it felt real.
We're a generation that's thrived off my dad's success.
That's it. Your mum and dad are working-class people
who have done really well for themselves.
Your mum in her own right, too,
and obviously your dad being world champion
and you're kind of reaping the rewards from that
because of how dedicated and how good they were
-at what they've done.
So hopefully, it's going to be similar for me,
you know, and my kids.
-It's going to be a similar sort of story.
If you look at what I do on a day-to-day basis,
no working-class person would do it any better than I do
or dedicate any more time.
I'm out of the house in the morning at 8 o'clock
and I'm not home sometimes till midnight.
You just get on with it. It's Shane's job. He's hard-working.
He comes back late
and...what I wanted to marry.
I like ambition, I like drive, and that's exactly what he's got.
This is the biggest year of Shane's life
because he's getting married to his childhood sweetheart,
I've changed the invites. I've taken out all the church stuff.
-It's just come up really quickly, to be honest.
Everything's come up fast, but this whole year's been like a flash.
But that's because you do so much.
This has definitely been the fastest year, without fail.
If I actually thought about it in someone else's shoes,
where we are at the moment is really massive.
The situation the boys are in,
it does baffle me a little bit,
cos I think I'm almost doing what they're doing
and just getting on with things and just being normal,
and actually, they're not really that normal.
'Our life isn't that normal.'
But this is our second...
I'm going to go to New York on Monday.
-Monday, they're going to New York.
Oh, yeah. Yeah.
I can't wait.
Are you coming?!
I thought I'd got rid of you.
You want them to fall in love with someone like that,
that are a kindred spirit.
Like, me and my wife are together 36 years.
I'm still madly in love with her after all this time.
-Right, I hate to break the news to you.
You're either excessive with the amount of socks you're taking
or you've got a problem with your feet.
One of the two.
You do not need 86 pairs of socks.
The boxing industry, it's quite a small world.
It's quite a male-orientated world I would say.
Em...I have to say,
the guys are pretty respectful to women.
Some, kind of, might flinch a little bit if you're too involved,
but that's their problem.
So Jerobe's flight,
as far as I know, everything's in place for it
and he's arriving Monday as well.
We've had a lot of pressure.
We spent an awful lot of our own money
to get things to where they are now and,
you know, and I asked my kids,
who are bright, intelligent kids with careers in front of them,
to get involved with this.
Those three have taken chances, the same as me.
You have to get it right and you make two or three mistakes,
you're out of business.
If you're not going to be on time,
they're going to go without you, right?
We'll get there.
I've got this thing. I've got this thing coming in five minutes.
All the best. Good luck. Have a good one. Good man.
Good to see you.
That was brilliant work in the gym. Good man.
We'll do a face-off.
There you go.
This is a first, everybody.
Santa Cruz is a volume puncher, comes forward,
throws 150 punches a round.
It's a clash of styles. Boxer versus fighter.
It's going to make an incredible fight.
Unarguably, it is easily the biggest fight of my career.
I believe that is the toughest opponent I've faced,
so, em...I'll be ready.
Santa Cruz is a three-weight division champion.
He is an elite fighter, not just here, not just there,
we're talking about the very best in the world.
Of course, we're nervous about it, and as the fight gets closer,
those nerves will intensify.
Take that belt back.
Keeping it warm for us.
Keeping it safe.
Follow us in here.
-How are you, mate? Nice to see you.
-Are you a boxing referee?
-Are you well?
-How are you?
Guys, can you move back a little bit?
Just give him a bit of room there to wrap his hands, can you?
Just move back a bit.
Take your hand back a bit and give him a bit of room, will you?
The opponents for Conrad...
Do you want me to ring,
have the match-makers contact you...?
You've got the two kids on the undercard,
Conrad Cummings and Josh Taylor,
and we're developing them and they'll be looking for title fights
before the end of the year as well.
But we want opponents they can beat
and look good. Precisely.
So you've got plenty of guys that can...
-Can I get a picture with you later?
-Of course you can.
I remember when you fought. I remember when you came a couple of years ago with your son.
-Yeah, yeah, yeah. That's right. He's there.
-You don't remember me.
-I do remember you.
-You do? OK.
What are you giving me? A chewing gum?
Yeah. You worked with Sky-something News.
I did. Back then, I did, yeah.
This gentleman wants to interview you.
-Indeed. Nice to see you, mate.
Just a few more questions. The second fight here in the US...
That's in there. Yeah?
How does Carl feel fighting here on American soil?
Does he feel that maybe the crowd will influence the fight at all?
It's mad. It's absolutely crazy.
Can you imagine training here, Carl?
We needed to get that press day in.
It's important to get the ball rolling.
They couldn't be more happy.
"Right hands! Left hook!"
He is fucking winding me up.
You know, he's holding the pads...
How many lads from Ireland
are coming over to watch this fight live?
Probably 1,500 people.
-So you think you'll have that many?
We need to kick that up as well.
We need to create as much interest as possible over here,
hence the reason I'm employing you, John.
Yes! So now here's a few questions.
Just for the PR team,
Carl fighting for the same title that you had
and then lost in the States.
-Has that been a big part of the conversation?
The story is he'd be winning back my old title.
He would be the first Northern Ireland fighter
to ever win two weight divisions.
That's unique to him.
We know that he's an outsider, but we're not worried about that.
He has trained ridiculously hard. Shane has done an amazing job.
I've got a lot to thank Carl Frampton for.
He gave me an opportunity.
He trusted me
to bring the best out of him and, you know, here we are,
he's a unified world champion.
He's fighting for his second world title in another weight category.
Our relationship is so strong and so tight,
but there's also a massive working part of that.
Got to feint loads, OK?
Feint, and just be really reactive. Just watch him all the time.
We're friends outside of the gym,
but we're not going to start feeling sorry for him because he's my mate.
If anything, that's going to want me to push him to his best.
I want the best for him so I'm going to push him to his limits.
Leo Santa Cruz is an elite, world-level fighter
and, you know, when you're in a fight of this magnitude,
you can't be cutting corners.
Keep on him. He doesn't like the pace.
Come on, stay on him.
Great finish. It's in the tank.
With Shane, my trainer, he understands what it's like.
He understands the slogs of making weight.
He understands the slogs of, sometimes,
you're not performing in the gym.
Someone is getting the better of you that shouldn't be.
You weren't in good form today, but you gutted it out, you know?
-You came on like a fucking train.
Boxers are hard men,
but they're complex men and they can be very emotional
and sometimes hot-headed,
and their head can be all over the place,
especially someone who has a wife and a couple of kids
that they don't see very often in camp.
-Hello. Did you phone me on WhatsApp there?
-And then I tried to ring you back and it just kept ringing.
Do you want me to try...?
Oh, all right.
No, it doesn't matter. It doesn't matter.
'It can get lonely sometimes. I'm away from my family'
who live in Belfast.
My wife Christine and my two kids, Rossa and Carla.
Is Carla around? I want to have a chat.
Ah, flip's sake. All right. No worries.
I wanted to phone you just for a wee quick one.
Is Rossa being good?
'It's probably the hardest thing. I miss them all the time.'
She is very headstrong, Christine.
Very, very independent. She is a brilliant mother.
She is brilliant to our kids and I'm away a lot of the time
so she's bringing them up the right way
and I'm very, very lucky, I suppose,
that I have that and I'm able to go away
and do what I want to do and fulfil the dream
while she kind of stays at home
and puts all hers on hold.
I said to Christine,
"I might get hit a bit in this fight now",
so she'll be shitting herself at ringside.
"What do you mean, you might get hit?"
"Well, he throws a lot, you know what I mean?"
And what did she say to that?
"Just, like, keep your hands up or something."
Well, I am going to agree with her on that one.
Certainly in the early rounds.
Where are we going? Does anyone know?
I think we're going west.
Where's Times Square?
Look at that, awesome.
This must be it.
Find out today about your future tomorrow.
Boxing can be very serious and...
..it can be very lonely at times.
So to have that good bond where you're having a laugh
and a joke together is vital, you know?
It's a big thing in our gym, we're always taking the mickey out of each other.
Thanks very much.
Right, Josh, we've decided enough is enough.
These socks are a crime to humanity.
Yeah, the feeling in the camp is brilliant.
Can slag each other, relax.
Take our minds off the boxing and just chill out
and be normal lads for a wee while.
Historically, Madison Square Garden was always the home
of big-time boxing in this fight-mad city.
Now, the top bouts take place here at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn,
and it's where Carl Frampton is hoping to make history.
Yeah, so you need all the names, basically - Don...Mc...Rae.
It's last name first, you know that?
-You guys know what you're doing? The questions too tough?
-Who are you?
-My name is Barry McGuigan.
-OK. No worries.
HE SHOUTS IN SPANISH
He's got about 75 family members coming.
He loves having people around him, cos it's security.
Yeah, he loves the entourage. Loves it.
He wants to feel like he's centre of attention.
The almighty has arrived, you know.
He's a creature of comfort, don't shake its hand.
You know you've got to eyeball him a little bit now.
Make him fucking start feeling that shit. He hates it.
He's trying to do it so he can control the atmosphere all the time.
That's why they've got the belts up and everything up there.
You've only got a big crowd up there,
so start slapping your chest and let him know.
# Everywhere we go
# Everywhere we go. #
Boxers, they're a strange bunch, you know -
it's not normal, these 12, 14-week training camps,
preparing to fight another man in front of a huge crowd.
It takes a special type of person.
I believe all boxers, we're all brave, we're all tough.
-That was loud.
-It surprised me.
-"Who are ya? Who are ya?"
He wasn't even allowed to talk.
Well, he was, but he couldn't hear himself.
I like him, though.
I think he seems respectful. He's calm.
He still wants to take your fucking head off.
He still wants to take Carl's head off.
I looked at Santa Cruz, and I was like,
"He's a family man, he's got loads of kids around him.
"He's just like Carl," and...I don't know.
It did feel weird, actually.
They must have a switch where they just go, "Do you know what?
"I'm in the zone. I'm doing it."
I think, after the fight,
there will be a lot of mutual respect between them.
Not if Carl knocks him out.
-I think he will.
-No, I don't think so.
Although he was, like, bigger than me,
I think they all thought he was going to be way bigger.
When he stood in a couple of times, he had, like, a twitch...
Give us a hug, all right?
'My kids and my wife are really my motivation
'and I'm trying to make a comfortable life
'for us all after boxing.'
Give us a big hug and a kiss.
'It's hard, me being away from them,
'and I just use them as a driving force
'all the time and as motivation'
to remember, you know, who I'm doing it for.
-The other lad.
The 14 weeks in the build-up to this fight,
you're training and you're like, "What am I doing this for?"
But it's the most important fight of my career up to this point.
Shane? Going to let me out, son?
I think it's going to be his best fight.
He's in a good space, head space.
'Well, as we look around at ringside,
'Frank Lampard is here - now playing, of course,
'for New York City.
'Rory McIlroy is in attendance.
'It's that kind of occasion here and the crowd are awaiting the arrival
'of the two men.'
Don't be nervous about this shit. You know what I mean?
You know what I mean? Just nice and relaxed.
If you miss with the right-hand, don't go crazy with the left.
Step off. No need to impress anybody.
If you miss with the right, straight up with the left.
-That's why you don't talk.
-No, no, cos he's too long for that.
Get that then out of your head.
'There is a line with Dad.
'I say, "Listen, Dad, you know, you're too heavily involved, almost. Just go outside."'
When I was boxing, he used to weird me out
and make me feel really nervous because I could just feed off him.
You've done your last pee?
I'll go and squeeze a little bit out.
Shush... Shut the fuck up.
Sorry for my extremely bad language, but please do me a favour and shush.
We just need... Just let it be.
'You do have doubts and boxers do have doubts,
'but it's up to their team around them to sort of make sure that
'these doubts don't start creeping into their head.'
All right. Here? Glide your head off.
See you, Ricky.
We've done all our sparring. He's looked great in sparring.
Everything's ticked off. We've done it all.
He's entering the ring at the right weight.
Ooh, good shot.
That's the little checks you've got to go over in your head from a coach's standpoint,
or from a manager's standpoint, even from a fighter's standpoint.
You've got make sure you're going over these things.
Honest to God, Carl, this is the fight that's going to...
People are going to remember...
..remember this for 40 fucking years, son.
-Ladies and gentlemen,
from Barclays Center here in Brooklyn,
the time has come for the bout you've all been waiting for,
the WBA Featherweight Championship of the World.
It's time for Santa Cruz versus Frampton!
The Frampton army made the trip from Northern Ireland.
Carl "The Jackal" Frampton,
hoping the grass is indeed greener on this side of the pond, Al,
because he is moving up in weight and challenging...
When I ring-walk and when I get into the ring,
there's no nerves.
You know, I've done everything I can.
I know that I'm going to stay in there for as long as I can.
All right, let's go. Let's do it.
I'm prepared to put every single thing on the line.
-BELL RINGS COMMENTATOR:
-The bell in round one.
We are scheduled for 12. Carl Frampton...
Go for the body, Carl!
Santa Cruz feels that Frampton has a weak chin.
-How do you feel?
Get those fucking hands up! You're getting kicked a little bit.
It's just looking worse for the judges, OK?
Barclays Center, Brooklyn...
And they are each trying to light each other up.
No, it's all right, Dad. Let him mix it.
Frampton sweeps in with a right-hand. It's a left hook.
He staggers Santa Cruz!
He's tasting some of the power of Carl Frampton.
He's not strong. He's not physically strong.
That little pushes on the inside wears him out.
If you do the same thing all the time, marching in,
he's going to become adjusted to it.
So mix it up.
Right in the gut by Carl Frampton.
-Frampton's landing at a high percentage.
Now Santa Cruz has Frampton on the ropes.
Santa Cruz landing some strikes.
Santa Cruz opens up on the inside and lands some solid shots
to the body and follows up with a left hook to the head.
Good work from Santa Cruz, and now a left hook to the body
and a left hook to the head. Twice in a row, Santa Cruz lands.
Another right hand from Santa Cruz gets through,
and then a left hook to the body.
Frampton second-best according to show stats.
-Lost that round.
Come on, now, some motivation for you.
All right? But you don't beat him.
We're fucking punching with him.
You beat him with your phases and your feet, OK?
Come on, mate.
-How impressive Frampton's counterpunching is.
Carl Frampton, Leo Santa Cruz, two blood-and-guts warriors.
Both yet to taste defeat and yet somebody's O has to go here tonight.
-This guy is tired!
-He's smiling cos you hit him.
He's smiling because you're annoying the shit out of him.
It may be a crowd of 1,200 Northern Irish,
but they sound like a crowd of 12,000!
Switch yourself on, all right? Switch your brain on.
We need these last two rounds.
Come on, you've got a fucking great engine.
Let's show me it. You've got to push him back.
Every time somebody lands something big,
the other guy comes back, they both land with big right hands.
Don't give him any free shots.
Use your phases, but keep the pace really fucking high!
Come on. I'm proud of you. Let's do it.
Unbelievable. Is this Round 12 or is it Round 1?
Work, work, work! WORK! WORK!
'Left-hand to the head by Frampton.'
Do you believe he's won that?
-I don't know.
-I think he's won it.
But, Dad, I don't know. They favour the fighter, mate.
-But they had him four-up.
-The unofficial score.
'The winner, by a majority decision
'and the new WBA Featherweight Champion of the World...'
.."The Jackal" Frampton!'
'Success is in winning.
'We're winners. We work very hard together.
'The greatest thrill in the world
'is to work with your family and work with your sons.'
-What a fucking win. What a win.
Are you coming with me to the changing room?
Are you happy about that? Give me a hug.
Don't be afraid to give me a hug.
These Presbyterians don't like to hug.
No more fights, let's get married.
So many of us never get
the opportunity to find our perfect soul mate.
Frampton, we've been, eh...
He got emotional when he spoke about me more than anyone else.
It has to be the loneliest sport out there
because he is my son and I know him better than anybody.
I worry that some of the days are going to get too dark sometimes.
# There's only one Carl Frampton
# There's only one Carl Frampton
# There's only one Carl Frampton
# Walking along, singing this song
# Walking in a Frampton wonderland... #
Documentary following the undulating fortunes of the McGuigan family and their stable of boxers in pursuit of glory in the most brutal of businesses. With unique access, the series provides an intensely personal and intimate insight into their world both in and away from the ring.
In this first episode, the team is in New York for Carl Frampton's world title bout against Leo Santa Cruz.