Frampton – World Champion

Carl Frampton – World Champion

Carl “the Jackel” Frampton has been crowned a World Boxing Champion winning the same belt his manager and Promoter Barry Mc Guigan won 30 years ago. On a very special evening for Irish boxing “The Jackal” beat Mexican Leo Santa Cruz in a majority decision in The Barclays Centre New York.

30 years on from Barry Mc Guigan’s famous night, his protégé Carl Frampton became a two weight World Champion by defeating Leo Santa Cruz. His win has been meet with very little fanfare even though in the early hours of this morning he was crowned a World Champion, a huge achievement in any sport.

The comparisons with Conor Mc Gregor have immediately been made with people saying is he now the most popular name in fighting circles , both men are hugely popular  in their chosen disciplines , one in MMA and the other in Boxing.

Is Frampton as popular as Steve Collins or in more recent times Bernard Dunne who won his World Crown back in 2009 on the same day as Ireland won the Grand Slam in Cardiff. A major difference between Frampton and Dunne is Frampton won his belt by going over to the States and beating Santa Cruz in his back yard.

Shane Mc Guigan has also got to take huge credit for the development of Carl Frampton as he has developed a very good training regime that has helped bring Frampton on another number pf levels that last night saw him crowned WBA Super Featherweight World Champion.

The unfortunate thing is that his win will not be met with the same level of enthusiasm as his manager Barry Mc Guigan’s win was back in 1986 and even Bernard Dunne’s win in 09.  It was a great day for all in the Frampton camp and let’s hope like Mc Guigan he gets the same amount of appreciation when he arrives back to Belfast.

It is so seldom we have World Champions in this country North or South, so let’s be thankful for what is so seldom. Well done Carl on what is a huge achievement, enjoy every minute.


Cian Mc Gibney



Olympics 2016

Olympics 2016

So Olympics 2016 is only days away where 77 athletes from Ireland will compete in a number of different sports with hopes of medals in a few sports given some strong showings at London 2012 and also some really good performances in the years between London and Rio.

People like Annalise Murphy, Rob Heffernan and Natalya Coyle will want to improve on their performances where both Murphy and Heffernan finished just outside the medal places with Murphy leading her Laser Radial class until the final day of racing where she slipped from 1st to 4th.

The medal hopes are of course mostly with our boxers which has delivered most of our Olympic medals over the years. I feel that we can win at least 5 medals in Rio where I think athletes like Natalya Coyle and Ciara Mageean can deliver a medal in their respective sports. Rob Heffernan has unfinished business at Olympic level and will want to end his Olympic career on a high so I expect him to be fighting at the business end of 50km road race.

With all the controversy over the participation of Russia at this games over alleged doping offences , the Olympics has crept up unknown to people although most of the World’s best golfers have decided to skip Rio and concentrate on preparing for the Ryder Cup in September. While most of the golfers have sited the threat posed by the Zika virus has a contributing factor to them deciding against heading to Rio.

Another side show heading into these games was the fact that Professional boxers were given the chance to qualify for Rio and a number of our top amateurs were hugely disappointed by the move even though nearly every top Pro stayed away and didn’t attend the qualifying event. It would have made a mockery of the whole ethos of the Olympic Games.

Even though the continued participation of athletes that have been banned for failed drug tests is still a major blight on the second biggest sports event on the Planet after the FIFA World Cup. How a Federation can allow an athlete found guilty of failing a drugs Test the second chance to perform for their country is beyond me.

Another big issue that will hang over this Games as it has done at past Games is the eligibility row that will see a number of athletes compete for their adopted countries, a number of Kenyan and Ethiopian athletes will compete for countries like The Netherlands  and Turkey to name just two countries who will have people born outside the country compete for them in track events like the 5,000 and 10,000 metres and also in the 100 and 200 metres.

This particular row has reared its ugly head in Rugby circles in recent times where a player has to least spend three years living and playing in his chosen country before he can even be considered for the National Team.

This has alas not been the case in a number of countries who have granted citizenship to a number of athletes so they can represent certain counties at this year’s Olympics. It is wrong that you can be given a fast tracked citizenship just to compete, there surely has to be correct procedures put in place before Tokyo 2020. This issue will not be corrected in time for Rio 2016 but it does need urgent attention.

To all of our 77 competing athletes I wish you all the very best and do yourselves , your families and the Nation proud. We are all behind you and who knows we may get a couple of surprise results at Rio 2016. I hope we can at least win 5 medals. To the athletes I have had regular contact with namely Ciara Mageean , Natalya Coyle , Fiona Doyle and Shannon Mc Curley I wish you all the best in Rio……..

So sit back and enjoy the Olympics everybody because it’s going to be one hell of a rollercoaster ride.


Cian Mc Gibney


Hansen To Continue All Black Reign

Hansen To Continue All Black Reign Until 2019

Steve Hansen has signed a new deal to continue as All Black coach until the 2019 World Cup in Japan. He has an incredible record as coach winning 52 of his 57 tests in charge losing only 3 and drawing 2.

He was assistant to Graham Henry who took over as All Black coach in 2004 and served his apprenticeship before being handed the big job and since he has taken over he has overseen a second World Cup win while also introducing a new breed of All Black player.

They are just getting better and better as the years move on and outside of current 6 Nations Champions England I can’t honestly see anybody getting anywhere close to them before 2019 comes around.

Ireland will of course be monitoring this situation very closely given that Joe Schmidt has revealed he will make a decision on his long term future in the next few weeks. The talk of Schmidt joining a Super Rugby side as head coach has also intensified with the Chiefs and the Highlanders being tipped as likely destinations if he decides to leave his role as Ireland Head Coach.

Back to Steve Hansen, he will now have the job of keeping his coaching team together right through to 2019. The next few targets are the Rugby Championship, then the Northern Hemisphere tour in November. The big challenge in 2017 will of course be The Lions tour, 12 years after a Dan Carter inspired All Black team destroyed the Lions in three tests although there were a number of other incidents on that ill-fated tour including the Spear tackle involving Brian O Driscoll , Tana Umaga and Keven Mealamu.

In spite of that The Lions were totally outclassed in the three tests that saw them whitewasked. The only Series win in New Zealand came in 1971 when a John Dawes captained side won down in New Zealand.

Steve Hansen has signed up to continue the work he started and he now has two new targets, beat The Lions next year and claim a third straight World Cup in Japan in 3 years’ time. For now he can plan for this year’s Rugby Championship and continue the wonderful legacy he has already achieved….


Cian Mc Gibney


Smart Phones , Are We Slaves To Them ??

Smart Phones, Are we Slaves to Them??

Smart Phone , be they android or I phone’s or any other type smart phone. We as a nation have become linked to them , if we need to know something , we don’t use our brains anymore , no we just reach straight for the phone to solve all ours troubles.

When was the last time you had a conversation with anybody that didn’t include a phone being at there fingertips. The art of conversing is dying slowly and we need to make sure it doesn’t disappear forever.

Last week , I saw a very interesting  video put together by the Galway Ladies Football team , where there captain Edel Concannon was saying that the younger members of the squad found it very hard to be away from their phones for a sustained period of time. They were also just saying that there is a link between over use of the phone and mental health issues.

To occupy the mind before , you chatted , played cards , read books or in the last 50 years you watched TV. But now if you’re bored you just reach for the phone and look up Facebook , Twitter and other sites to stay in touch with the outside world.

When I saw the video that the Galway ladies put together it immediately set me thinking , how hard would people find it if they couldn’t use their phones for a short period. The Galway girls gave up there Smart Phones for one month and went back to the bog standard phone with just calls and text. They did all of this in the name of Charity.

I am issuing a similar challenge to family , friends and acquaintances , can you do similar or better than the Galway Ladies  and give up the smart phone for a period of two weeks ?? All of us have an old phone at home we can use for the two weeks so we won’t miss out on too much.

Thanks a million to Edel Concannon for taking the time out to talk to me about it and congratulations to all the team for giving up there phones for one month and raising money for charity.


Cian Mc Gibney



Euro 2016 Round Up

Euro 2016 Review

So Wales will face Portugal and France will take on Germany in the European Championship Semi Finals later this week. All fours teams that have made it to this stage deserve to be there and can now plan accordingly. Some sides like Wales are in bonus  territory and will be strong favourites to make it past Cristiano Ronaldo and Renato Sanches and their Portuguese team mates.

Gareth Bale has led his side with help from men like Ashley Williams , Aaron Ramsey and the recently released Hal Robson-Kanu , something tells me that lad will be playing Premier League football next season. They alongside Iceland have added value to the knock out phase of these Championships. Let’s face it bar the two squads concerned who had these two teams down to make the last 16 then the quarter finals.

The teams in the Semi Finals are teams that have been very consistent at recent Championships getting to knock out stages regularly. Germany will of course now be unbackable favourites with host nation France.

 Wales and Portugal will of course have plenty to say about that but given the way Germany have performed so far they will know need to up the ante and kick on during the Semi Final even though they could be missing up to four key men for the Semi Final through injury and suspension but that’s why there are large squads brought to the Tournaments.

France will be so glad to be just a game away from the fInal given the fact they have been under all sorts of pressure and with a lack of competitive football in the last two years since the World Cup in Brazil. They have only played friendlies in that time and Deschamp have left out a number of big players out of his 23 in favour of a number of others.

 The players and coach have been under immense pressure and up to last night they had only conceded two goals both from the penalty spot with Robbie Brady being one of those scorers.  I think will all is said and done the two teams that will contest the Final in Paris this Sunday will be Wales and Germany.

France won’t be able to live with German efficiency even without up to 4 key men for the Semi but let’s remember this side won the World Cup two years ago I realise some of that squad have retired but they know how to win tight games and for Wales I feel that even without Ben Davies and Aaron Ramsey they can keep the feel good factor going and reach a first ever major Final.


Cian Mc Gibney