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18 JULY 2018

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Frampton decisions Garcia in Belfast


Frampton-Warren
Frampton-Warren

By Steven Bateson

 

Carl Frampton is back in the 126lbs mix but he was forced to work harder than any imagined and climb off the canvass to defeat Horacio Garcia, via unanimous decision, in front of a vociferous Belfast crowd on Saturday night.

 

Frampton was last seen losing his undefeated record to Leo Santa Cruz in Las Vegas in January but since then he has changed promotional team and trainer, opting for a fresh start in the next chapter of his career, and although there will be much tougher nights for Frampton ahead this one certainly put him through his paces and he was forced to dig deep against an opponent that just would not stop pouring forward. He and his team have their eyes on the beltholders at Featherweight but he may want another fringe world level competitive bout before engaging in a full blown assault on the titles, his time out of the ring definitely showed as the fight progressed.

 

A left hook from Frampton caught his stationary opponent cold in round one and then he showed some defensive excellence as he avoided a plethora of attacks from the Mexican before firing back with another crisp straight left that snapped Garcia’s head back. The Belfast crowd were roaring in delight at having their hero back inside the squared circle and Frampton rewarded them with a dominant second round also, a crunching right hand the pick of his work in the three minute period.

 

Garcia had the size and reach advantage but Frampton was making him miss as he reached in and then countering off with sharp straight shots. Garcia was trying to go the body when in close but Frampton’s defense and elusiveness was on point, he was very rarely a motionless target for his foe.

 

If there was any fear that Frampton would have ring rust after ten months out it was quickly evaporating, he was looking as sharp and quick as ever, and another solid straight right in round three sent Garcia’s jaw snapping to the side as he leaned in.

 

Garcia was undoubtedly tough and in round four he was able to pin Frampton back on the ropes for brief periods and shoot off body attacks and head assaults, Frampton planting his feet a little too long, but the "Jackal" answered back with flashier, more eye catching shots that made the round hard to call.

 

Both men engaged in a toe to toe slugfest in round five, Frampton abandoning his defense so that he could stand and trade with his Mexican rival. They swapped body shots but the in close fighting caused a cut over Frampton’s eye, the heads coming together several times as they jostled for centre ring dominance. Frampton was still in clear control but Garcia was looking more comfortable, perhaps the ten month layoff finally showing a few signs on the home fighter.

 

Frampton’s willingness to fight Garcia’s fight was starting to suit the Mexican in round six and too often Frampton was pushed back to the ropes and forced to take shots, including a solid hook straight to the jawline.

 

The "knockdown" occurred in round seven but was a very controversial decision from the referee, a left hook did glance Frampton’s chin but he was clearly tripped by his opponent and was never hurt in the slightest. Garcia, however, was gaining heart and spirit by the bucket load at his frequent success and at the end of the seventh stanza he was right back in the fight.

 

Frampton roared back in round eight and had plenty more success to head and body, a lovely uppercut definitely got Garcia’s attention, but he was clearly tiring, his defensive and counter attack tactics now completely out the window as he was fully immersed in a slugfest.

 

Round nine started with Frampton landing well and trying to find his range but quickly he was back on the ropes again, forced to eat leather to body and head as Garcia let his hands go. The Mexican’s tactics to relentlessly walk Frampton down was paying dividends and despite Frampton being 1-100 favourite the fight was now hanging in the balance as they entered the final three minutes.

 

The two men engaged in a full blow firefight in round ten and it was Frampton’s shots that were catching the eye as he went to the well, deep into his gas tank, and produced a grandstand finish. Garcia was trying to answer back, the same way he had all night, but Frampton just about edged it.

 

It was an extremely tough night for Frampton, there may be question marks over whether he can still make Featherweight, but in time this may turn out invaluable as he bids for another world championship reign. Garcia made him work for the entire fight and showed that he was more than just an "opponent". There is work to be done for sure between Carl Frampton and trainer Jamie Moore, his conditioning and tactics will be high up the list, but he’s back to winning ways and in 2018 he will be contesting world titles once again.

 

Scorecards read: 98-93, 97-93, 96-93

 

Ancajas silences Belfast

 

Jerwin Ancajas shattered Jamie Conlan’s dream as he stopped the Irishman in six rounds, retaining his IBF Super Flyweight Championship in front of Conlan’s hometown fans.

 

Conlan was down in round one from a delayed body shot and he never really recovered as his Filipino opponent put on a masterclass to comprehensively dismiss the Irish "Mexican". There was some confusion over what caused the first knockdown, whether a delayed body blow or leg injury, but considering that every body shot thereafter caused Conlan real dismay I think it’s clear to tell what did the damage.

 

Conlan’s night went from bad to worse as he suffered a cut at the beginning of round two but he tried to bite down on his gumshield and go to war the same way we’ve seen him do so many times in the past, however standing in front of him was an opponent unlike any he had seen before. Conlan displayed his usual bravery but he could not settle into any kind of rhythm, the plan was to box at range but he just could not get off, as Ancajas walked him down with frightening patience and then sank a left to the body in round three that doubled Conlan up, Conlan staggered into his corner and Ancajas followed before putting him down again with a second left hand to the body. Conlan rose and somehow withstood an brutal onslaught but the writing was on the wall. The Belfast crowd found their voice and willed their man on but Conlan was being undone by every body attack and he was felled again by a left hook in round four. The referee would have been within his rights to stop the fight at any point but he allowed Conlan to continue but the challenger could not find a single punch to trouble the Manny Pacquiao trained fighter. Ancajas lost a point in round five for three consecutive low blows but it did not turn the tide of the fight and soon enough the end was nigh. Both men clashed in the centre of the ring and a right hand from Ancajas landed around the ear of Conlan, knocking him down once again and this time the referee showed mercy on Conlan to end proceedings right there. It was a great away performance from the buzzsaw that is Ancajas, he has real star potential.

 

Conlan will learn from this and he can come again, there is no shame in this defeat, whilst Ancajas showed he is more than ready to step up and compete with the rest of the names at Super Flyweight. The Super Fly division is making waves in America with their own brand and Ancajas certainly belongs in that bracket.

 

Barnes fires warning shot at Flyweight

 

Paddy Barnes made a statement at Flyweight as he took out Eliecer Quezada in six to win the WBO Intercontinental Championship. The three time Olympian produced his professional career best performance as he worked through the gears and completely outclassed an opponent who had fought at a much better level, dropping him in round two with a right hook before hurting him constantly through the fight. Quezada weighed in over the Flyweight limit but the extra pounds were a hindrance rather than advantage as Barnes pummeled him to the body and forced him to fight at a pace he did not enjoy. The Irishman’s hands were so much quicker, picking sublime combinations to head and body, and then in round two he drew Quezada in and nailed him with a counter right hook whilst the Nicaraguan was loading his own punch, dropping him to the deck. Quezada beat the count and saw out the round but was hurt once again by another hook in round three as he chose to stand and swap shots with Barnes. The Nicaraguan was starting to warm into the contest and he did land his own weaponry but Barnes just walked through anything on offer and his own punches were definitely leaving the more memorable impression. Barnes was warned for low shots in round five but then a left hook to the body in round six completely folded Quezada and left him in a heap on the deck, unable to answer the referee’s count. Barnes was sitting down on his punches a lot more in this bout and demonstrated a more vicious, ruthless streak that will make him a frightening prospect as he moves up in class. Barnes records his first stoppage victory and takes a top ten ranking with the WBO and could be in line for world eliminators in the back end of 2018 despite only 5 pro fights.

 

Carroll takes out Santiago in three

 

Jono Carroll blew away Humberto De Santiago within three rounds to win the vacant IBF Inter-Continental Super Featherweight Championship. Carroll suffered cuts over both eyes in round two but it urged him on to take care of business and hand Santiago his first stoppage defeat. Both men started the first round with caution but within a minute they were trading blows, happy to swap hooks and counter shots as they entertained the Belfast crowd. Head clashes caused two cuts in round two but the sight of blood spurred Carroll on and he began to find Santiago easier and easier to hit, trapping him back on the ropes with barrages to head and body, a low blow from Carroll allowing his opponent a little respite from the relentless attack. Santiago was a willing gladiator and threw leather of his own but in round three he began to feel the weight of the body blows, wincing each time and complaining of more low blows, and then a right hook to the jaw began the unraveling of the Mexican. He staggered back into the ropes and Carroll teed off, unable to miss, before sinking a huge right to the body. Santiago’s right arm was hooked around the top rope as he sagged down and Carroll continued to throw until the referee intervened. It’s a huge statement from Carroll (only one previous stoppage on his now 15-0 record) and you can expect bigger and better fights for him in 2018. There’s plenty of fighters out there to test him and perhaps a norther/southern Ireland encounter with Anthony Cacace could be in line for early next year.

 

Tete breaks world record in Bantamweight defense

 

It took just one punch and around ten seconds for Zolani Tete to knock out fellow South African Siboniso Gonya, retaining his WBO Bantamweight Championship. It was a shocking and startling finish as Tete unloaded a ferocious right hook that put Gonya down and out, the challenger completely and utterly starched from the impact. Both men jockied into position and then Tete just whipped the punch around the guard as Gonya dropped his hands slightly, the crowd stunned in disbelief at what they had witnessed. There were those who criticized Gonya as an opponent but the finish cannot be questioned, Tete certainly made a huge statement and will be looking for bigger and better tests in 2018. It may very well be the quickest finish to a world championship fight in history, I’m sure that will be verified in due course. A unification clash with Belfast’s Ryan Burnett has to be on the cards and needs to happen to prove who the man is at 118lbs. Frank Warren certainly needs Tete to be fighting a better calibre of opposition for what his talent deserves.

 

Undercard round up

 

Liverpool’s Alex Dickinson scored a four round win over Bulgaria’s Milen Paunov in a Heavyweight contest. Dickinson controlled the fight for the most part, perhaps a slight tail off in round three, and registered his third straight professional victory. Referee scored it: 40-36

 

"The Quiet Man" Steven Ward made it six wins from six as he recorded a points victory over Poland’s Przemyslaw Binienda. Ward was always in control of 175lbs the contest and earned a 60-55 scorecard from the referee.

 

Belfast’s Lewis Crocker made it four stoppages from four victories as he demolished Gyula Rozsas in the first round of their scheduled four. Rozsas was nothing more than a punch bag and was stopped on his feet within the first couple of minutes. Crocker has many fans at Welterweight, tipping him to go far, and there will be plenty of explosive nights ahead of him as his opposition gets better.

 

David Oliver Joyce took out Reynaldo Cajina in the third round of a scheduled six, Cajina’s corner retiring him and sparing him anymore punishment. Cajina has mixed in good company so this was good experience for Joyce as he continues his transition from Olympian to pro rank. Joyce moves to 5-0 with 4 early.

 

Hometown fighter, Marco McCullough stopped Josh Baillie in the third round of a scheduled six at Featherweight. McCullough (now 18-4 with 10 KO’s) was unsuccessful last time out as he tried to win the British title from Ryan Walsh but will be hoping a few more victories earn him another chance.

 

Tommy McCarthy continued to rebuild from his loss to Matty Askin by taking a six round decision over the tough Blaise Mendouo. Mendouo usually makes a nuisance of himself but McCarthy dealt with him comfortably as he attempts to push himself back into British Cruiserweight contention. Referee scored the fight: 60-55

 

Gary Cully kicked off the action in Belfast with a four round decision over Kane Baker in a lightweight contest. Cully extends his record to 3-0. Referee scored the bout: 40-35




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