By Niall Doran
Last Saturday I had the pleasure of been in attendance to watch Carl Frampton become the new European Super Bantamweight Champion in spectacular fashion when he stopped the big punching Kiko Martinez in the 9th round, for the first time in his career.
Before the Frampton fight there was also a tremendous under card. Lee Selby overwhelmed Martin Lindsay in a fight which Selby ran out clear winner on the scorecards. There was also unanimous decision victories for Belfast natives Eamon O’Kane and Martin Rogan. Callum Smith of Liverpool also scored an impressive 1st round TKO victory to continue his climb up the Super Middleweight Ladder. Andy Lee labored to a unanimous points win over the very game Anthony Fitzgerald who gave it everything he had. Lee’s superior clean punches and counters were enough to get him the decision but looked far from impressive. To be fair to Lee this was also his first fight under new trainer Adam Booth and no doubt the pair will improve on this going forward.
In the main event of the evening between Frampton and Kiko the fans were certainly not left disappointed. In the early rounds Carl had to weather a bit of a storm from the aggressive Martinez but in the 4th round Frampton began to take over and started to really showcase his boxing intelligence. As the fight wore on Carl occasionally got tagged with hooks from the champion but showed he certainly had a decent chin by taking the punches and coming back with his own. In the 9th round with only 14 seconds remaining Carl caught Martinez walking onto a beautiful right hand and Martinez went down. He bravely got up to his feet but visibly wobbling the referee rightly waived off the fight. Frampton’s domestic rival Scott Quigg was watching on from ringside and this win will surely add more momentum to the hype train regarding a potential future bout between these two very talented young pugilists.
Iv’e said it before and I’ll say it again, Carl Frampton – the next Irish World Champion.
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