Image courtesy of www.cyclonepromotions.com
By Steve Wellings
If Showtime’s Al Bernstein had set out his keys to victory before the ‘Titanic Showdown’ main event there is a good chance he would’ve picked out the exact strategy employed by Carl Frampton on the night. Side-to-side movement, exchange and move and, most importantly, work behind a hard, accurate jab could all have found a place on Al’s list. Frampton’s use of the jab and domineering sense of ring generalship were indicative of the 27-year-old’s newfound maturity.
“I think I controlled it better this time [than in the first fight] although I’ve got lumps all over my head,” admitted Frampton. “I was clever when winning the rounds and I hurt him a few times and then dropped him. I felt fresh in there, even in the 12th round. I don’t know whether it was the cool air or what but I could’ve done 15 rounds tonight.”
Carl relayed his view of the fight to the assembled press following a bruising world title encounter that saw the Tigers Bay man enter the Titanic Quarter conference room sporting a variety of bashes and bruises across the face. Frampton said that his main responsibility was to listen to the instructions of head cornerman Shane McGuigan and “be smart” especially after knocking Martinez down in the fifth round.
STICKING TO THE GAMEPLAN
“I just kept on with what I had been doing,” ‘The Jackal’ continued,” and I caught him a few more times and had him on the ropes in the 11th and 12th. After I hurt him I thought to myself I’ve only got a couple of rounds to go so don’t be getting stupid. He’s a worthy champion as well but I have a good jab for such a small guy and my jab, when I get it going, is very strong. I think it probably was [my best “jabbing performance”] and I was hitting him on the top of the head and that hurt my hands a bit. It was all working well so I gritted that out and kept doing what I was doing.”
Carl adopted an “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” approach to the remainder of the fight and diligently persisted with a disciplined approach. It was basically a shrewd box-and-move policy devised to nullify Kiko’s ability to land flush and potentially cause an upset similar to the 2007 surprise blitz of Bernard Dunne in Dublin.
“He’s one of the toughest guys around, honestly. A fight like this will benefit my career. Being involved in a war with such a proud man will help me. That was the performance of my life,” concluded Frampton.
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