By John Raspanti: In the weeks leading up to his fight with Carl Frampton, IBF featherweight world champion Josh Warrington confidently predicted he’d win. Most so-called experts disagreed, as did the oddsmakers, who favored Frampton by a 2-1 margin.
Warrington proved the naysayers wrong Saturday night by winning a unanimous decision over Frampton at the Manchester Arena in Manchester, England.
The scores were 116-113, and 116-112 (twice)
He did it with clever work on the inside, volume punching, and speed.
Warrington (28-0, 6 KOs) set the tone in the first round. Frampton was boxing smartly from the outside, until Warrington stepped inside and let his hands go. The continuous blows seemed to surprise Frampton (26-2, 15 KOs) who was pushed back and knocked off balance.
Frampton connected with a good left hook in round two, but another furious onslaught from Warrington seemed to hurt him. Frampton returned to his corner with a befuddled look on his face. For one of he few times in his career, the two-division former champion was being out worked.
Frampton did better in round three by slowing the action down. His edge was on the outside—were he could counter the onrushing Warrington.
Warrington’s pressure was intense and a real bother. Frampton landed an overhand right, but Warrington nailed him with shots to the head and body in round four. Frampton worked the body himself, but nothing was slowing down the determined Warrington. The defending champion from Leeds found more success on the onside in round five. His use of angles was impressive.
Frampton tried to counter Warrington in round six. He connected with a classic one-two, but Warring went to the body. Frampton, from Belfast, Ireland, fought back, but Warrington had the edge. Told he was behind on the scorecards by his corner, Frampton rallied a little in rounds seven and eight. An overhand right found Warrington’s chin.
Warrington landed a cracking right to Frampton’s ear in round nine. Frampton landed a few shots downstairs, but Warrington lets his hands go at the bell, winning the round. Frampton dinged Warrington with a crisp uppercut in round 10, but Warrington again fought back with hooks.
With two rounds to go in the contest, Warrington, three years younger than Frampton, looked the fresher fighter. He bounced and punched, strafing Frampton with shots. Frampton dug deep and fought back, making the round, like a few others, close.
In the 12th and final round, Frampton came out punching. He landed a few good shots, but the blows didn’t bother Warrington. The faster Warrington landed a sneaky uppercut, and more shots to the head and body.
The fight was his.
“I’ve always been a fan of Carl, and I’m still a fan now.” said Warrington in the ring.
“I was in incredible shape coming into the fight, “said the crestfallen Frampton. The better man won.”