Frampton Survives Crisis To Outpoint Gonzalez
Tonight in El Paso, Texas, IBF super bantamweight world champion Carl “The Jackal” Frampton survived an early crisis to retain his IBF super bantamweight title.
In his US debut live across national television in the States, UK and Ireland, the Belfast man took on Alejandro Gonzalez Jr in a fight that had buckets of drama, that saw Frampton experience the biggest crisis of his career and decked for the first time in his professional career, not just once – but twice in the very first round.
He didn’t show as much head and foot movement as usual, perhaps fighting away had a slightly negative impact on the champion tonight. A very competitive and aesthetically pleasing fight for the neutral however, all be it in a fairly foul filled affair courtesy of the challenger.
Here’s what happened, round by round:
Round 1: Frampton often a counter puncher, immediately started out on the front foot for a change in the opening round, and paid for it – getting caught cold and put down for the first time in his career via a looping left hook. A flash knockdown that not many saw coming.
This was astonishingly followed up with another knockdown at the end of the first, this time with a straight right hand. Frampton down twice in the first round and shaken to his boots.
Round 2: Gonzalez’s height and reach advantage was playing a key role behind his long rangy shots and stinging jab, but Frampton responded nicely at times in the second round, who looked to be have recovered from the knockdowns in the first.
Round 3: The third saw Gonzalez warned for persistent low blows and then get deducted a point for constant low blow fouling. An unbelievable flurry from Gonzalez landed again on Frampton, who did well to get through a torrid spell – finishing the round strong. Terrific fight.
Round 4: Frampton came back much better in round 4, using the jab and combinations nicely. A lovely inside left hook hurt Gonzalez near the end of the round. Frampton’s best round thus far.
Round 5: A slightly more patient round from the two fighters, who seemed to be jostling for position. Not as much action as previous rounds, but I just gave the round to Frampton on work rate.
Round 6: It looked like Frampton was starting to figure out Gonzalez Jr and was covering up well from shots thrown from the challenger, while also measuring distance a bit better.
It also seemed Frampton was opting to box a bit more. Frampton lands a beautiful left hook-right uppercut combination, really clever boxing from the Belfast man. Gonzalez responded well however, showing his Mexican toughness.
Round 7: The Gonzalez right hand looked dangerous as ever at the start of the round, a really quality weapon from the Mexican. Frampton came back well and just edged the round for me on slightly higher quality of shots thrown and landed.
Round 8: It looked like Frampton seemed to now be in control with the challenger on the back foot, however his dangerous counter punches were always there to worry about for Frampton.
Both fighters were doing a lot of thinking about their work, punishing each other for even the slightest of mistakes. Again Gonzalez was warned for a low blow (without being deducted this time). Very close round.
Round 9: A big exchange early on saw Frampton caught with big right hands but “The Jackal” responded well with the left hook, which seemed to be his answer to the Gonzalez right hand. I gave the round to Gonzalez.
Round 10: A very hard round to score. Another low blow from Gonzalez that he got away with (again). Both men looked like they were starting to feel the place. Round 10 could have went either way, in truth.
Round 11: Both combatants were doing a bit of holding, in what was now becoming a war of attrition. By far the toughest fight of Frampton’s career, that’s for sure.
Some good boxing and range control from Frampton towards the end of the penultimate round. Gonzalez was deducted a point yet again for low blows, which were becoming ridiculous.
Round 12: Both men stood toe to toe at times in a brilliant final round, that saw Frampton land a very nice left hook in one exchange in particular. Frampton finished the round strong, to close out the show, showing just how much heart and class he really has.
Carl Frampton was announced as the winner of the fight on a wide unanimous decision on the scorecards, perhaps not been totally reflective of the toughness of the test.
Options next are plentiful for the Northern Irishman, with the likes of division kingpin Guillermo Rigondeaux, the UK’s WBA champion Scott Quigg and Leo Santa Cruz (who was ringside in El Paso tonight, if he beats Abner Mares also of course) all the front runners for a potential mega fights with “The Jackal”.
Calls will be loudest for Scott Quigg who amazingly blew away Kiko Martinez sensationally in 2 rounds in Manchester tonight – hopefully setting up a mega match between him and Frampton.
However, after the fight Frampton hinted at the weight struggles before the fight that may now make him move up to featherweight. Time will tell.
After the vulnerability and excitement shown by Frampton in Texas tonight, no doubt American’s will have been quite happy with his US debut.
The same might be true of his fellow world champions and competitors, who will obviously be now chomping at the bit more than ever.
For me though, Carl Frampton showed just how tough and clever he is tonight. What a fight.
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