By Steve Wellings
FRAMPTON KO OF AVALOS
Chris Avalos had plenty to say in the build-up to his world title challenge in Belfast. The brash, crass Californian strutted around press conferences disparaging Carl Frampton’s previous performances and labelling the champion “scared” and a “punk”. When the gloves were eventually pulled on and the opening bell rang Frampton set about beating Avalos around the ring for five rounds before the visitor was stopped. Surely the comprehensive, one-sided nature of the bout had managed to silence Avalos by the fight’s conclusion? Apparently not. In fact, he was even looking for a rematch.
“He called me a bitch or a pussy in the second or third round and at the start of the fight he said ‘there’s only me and you now, boy!’ and he was still talking when he was going,” revealed Frampton. “I don’t know what he was saying, but he was trying to say something. The plan was to box him and frustrate him from the start, but after 30 seconds of the first round I knew he was slow, too slow to hurt me with anything. I’ve marked up my face a bit but he never really hit me that clean.”
In the second round Avalos pulled out of a clinch holding his right arm, looking for sympathy from referee Howard Foster. The Doncaster official was not in a forgiving mood and allowed the fight to continue as Frampton pounced to take advantage.
“He started pulling away and saying his arm was sore,” said Carl. He was a dirty fighter; he hit me with the head a couple of times and he hit me when the referee said ‘break’ a couple of times too.”
FRAMPTON STAYED COOL
At times in the fight Carl’s vicious streak shone through but at no point during the contest did he lose his cool or become frustrated with the antics of his foe.
“I wanted to hurt him and teach him some respect. He didn’t show any respect to me and, to be honest, even after the fight he still didn’t show me any respect; he just got out of the ring demanding rematches. I’d give him respect as a fighter, but as a man I don’t really respect him. There were five rounds and they were good enough with a good finish, so I was happy enough with it.”
Frampton felt there was a slight improvement in his work and there is no doubt the Belfast boxer has significantly improved over the past 18 months as he continues to hunt down Guillermo Rigondeaux. While the Cuban’s grip remains on the 122lb division No.1 spot it appears to getting more tenuous given the rise of ‘The Jackal’ who is really snapping at Guillermo’s heels.
“I feel it was my best performance to date; if you look back over my last five or six fights, they have all been getting gradually better. I felt comfortable in there. I felt comfortable against Kiko but I felt even more comfortable tonight. To give [Avalos] a bit of respect, he was still on his feet, but he was gone. Referees get a bit of ‘stick’ sometimes but I think Howard Foster jumped in at exactly the right moment. He could have got seriously hurt.”
Carl later admitted that he was humbled to have millions of viewers from across Britain and Ireland watching him strut his stuff. If there was any extra pressure then he didn’t let it affect his performance.
“I knew just what I had to do and I focused on doing it. I knew I had to be exciting. I thought my performance against Raul Hirales on Sky was very, very good – I hardly got hit in 12 rounds – but they called it boring. I wanted all my fights after that to be exciting and they have been. Even if there was no-one watching this, it would have been the same result.”
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