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Lessons From The Life And Career of Carl 'The Jackal' Frampton:

5 Techniques To Supercharge Your Success

Read Time : 4 minutes

The Jackal.jpg


Carl 'The Jackal' Frampton will undoubtedly go down as one of the greatest Irish boxers of all time.

His name will now join the ranks of Steve 'The Celtic Warrior' Collins, Wayne 'The Pocket Rocket' McCullough and Katie Taylor in the inevitable fire side debates about 'The Best Irish Boxer Ever'. Carl, in his prolific, yet turbulent, career transcended the sport of boxing. Not only did he succeed in becoming a two-weight World Champion but, maybe more impressively, he succeeded in unifying both sides of a divided community.

The life and legacy of Carl Frampton has many lessons, with the five most pertinent, actionable and impactful outlined below:

Every journey in this life starts with a single step.

This young kid from Tiger's Bay was never to know that making the decision to step into the Midland Boxing Club would transform the trajectory of his life. By having the courage to dance under the bright lights, Carl gave himself the opportunity to defy the odds that were stacked against him and to have a successful and lucrative professional career. Undoubtedly honing his skills, paying his dues and working his way from the amateur to professional ranks took hard work and dedication to his craft, but it all started with that first step.

For those thinking about a career change, starting a business or getting back into shape, give yourself that chance; Take that first step!

Failure and adversity are part of the process.

Carl has had to deal with some serious adversity throughout his career; From lost fights, questioning over his choice to fight for Ireland, disputes with trainers, opponents falling in the shower to a large hotel ornament falling on his hand prefight. As a true professional he has grown and learnt from each of these experiences while managing to keep the main thing the main thing. His constant focus on boxing, improving his skillset and his mindset of controlling the controllable are what set him apart from those around him.

If you are to move from amateurism to professionalism within your chosen domain the adoption of a 'Win or Learn' mentality, as coined by Coach Kavanagh, in the face of adversity is essential.

It takes a village to raise a child.

As a dejected Carl pulled on the t-shirt of his late coach and mentor, Billy McKee, it was obvious that the weight of failing (in his eyes at the time) to honour Billy by winning the WBO World Super-Featherweight Title lay heavier on his shoulders than the defeat itself. This poignant, yet beautiful, moment highlighted just how important our community and the people we surround ourselves with really are. By simply caring enough to recognise that there was something special about Carl Frampton, Billy McKee began the process of 'creating a champion'!

Surround yourself with great people and be the mentor, coach and person that you needed growing up – that way you won't go far wrong.

Know when to quit.

The phenomena described by psychologists as 'sunk cost bias' describes our tendency to continue investing in a losing proposition because of what it has already cost us. For Carl, sunk cost bias, would have involved him giving it 'one more go'. Thankfully, deep self-reflection and realising that time has simply caught up with The Jackal means a safe and gracious exit from the sport.

We have all seen the fighter who had 'one more fight', the rugby player who played 'one last season' (in my own case, resulting in a ruptured bicep) or the principal who worked 'one last academic year', usually resulting in irreparable damage; Leave before your body decides for you.

Family is number one.

When all is said and done, the bright lights switched off and the crowd gone, Carl and his family are the only ones who will be left to deal with the consequences of his career.

In his own words, 'boxing has been very good to me, but it's been bad too'. To reach the pinnacle of his profession required complete laser like focus and total dedication to the detriment of other areas of his life. Thankfully his lifetime earnings will allow him a comfortable life that he can now fully dedicate to his wife and children.

As Steve Bunce alluded to on the night, the fairy tale in boxing is a rare thing which unfortunately eluded The Jackal.


On a personal note, and I speak for the majority of the Irish boxing community on this one, I would like to thank you for the wonderful memories and occasions, with family and close friends, that your fights and performances helped create.

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