IBF super-bantamweight champion Carl ‘The Jackal’ Frampton is perhaps one of Ireland’s most explosive and exciting fighters ever, but is the Belfast man finally getting too big for the 122lbs weight category?
Making 122lbs getting tougher
The fight that is on everyone’s mind at the minute and the one that most world boxing fans seem to want, is of course the unification clash between IBF champion Carl Frampton and WBA champion Scott Quigg.
It could very well happen in 2016, but it’s no secret after Frampton’s last fight he made it public in his post-fight TV interview that he struggled to make the weight and either way, could be looking at moving up in weight after a potential Quigg showdown in the future.
This post-fight TV interview followed the champion visiting the canvas for the first time in his unbeaten professional career, not just once, but twice in the very first round – to the massively underrated Alejandro Gonzalez Jr.
Frampton of course came back like all great champions do, to pick himself up off the deck and fight on harder than ever to see him capture a convincing points win over the ultra tough Mexican, in what was a very entertaining 12 rounds overall, it must be said.
That said, the champion’s remarks afterwards regarding the issues with making the weight should be alarm bells not just to his fans, but obviously himself.
Caveman diet approach
Frampton’s diet has always been modeled on the caveman diet, or ‘Paelo diet’ as it is often referred to in nutrition circles. It was something ‘The Jackal’ adopted early on into his professional career:
“Barry McGuigan’s son Shane has me on a caveman diet – steak and eggs for breakfast, then nuts and berries for snacks,” the champion mentioned in an interview a few years back, when he initially hooked up with Shane McGuigan. “Lots of fruit – anything that a caveman would have eaten,” he also noted at the time.
The approach obviously went on to work and pay dividends, culminating in Frampton’s electric world title victory over Kiko Martinez in 2014 at the iconic Titanic Quarters in Belfast (which I had the pleasure to attend).
But like all athletes as they grow and develop, could it be time for a change in 2016 at some point?
I’m no nutritionist (far from it) but after Frampton’s remarks in Texas are anything to go by, perhaps we are not long away over the next 12 months or so from seeing the champion move up in weight.
Options at featherweight
Should the Quigg fight not come to fruition and Frampton opts to defend his belt against someone else and then move up to 126lbs next year (or even earlier than that), options are plentiful for the man from Tigers Bay.
Two ultra tasty match-ups that come to mind straight away are Mexicans Leo Santa Cruz and Abner Mares, who recently shared the ring in a terrific dust up in 2015 – that saw Santa Cruz emerge the victor following an amazing 12 round battle.
There’s no doubt about it, Frampton is a very big man (physically) for the super-bantamweight division, you only have to look at him to realise that.
He might not be the tallest, but he’s certainly got the size to at least go to featherweight and be very effective or arguably even more so than he’s been at super-bantamweight.
He’s packed on massive amounts of muscle since turning pro and although it has been an excellent advantage for him in the punching power department, perhaps now at the age of 28 he’s really starting to struggle to sweat down to the limit.
It’s common knowledge that Carl goes into training camp very early to gradually bring the weight down, and spars a lot more rounds accordingly, to really sweat an enormous amount of weight off before fight time.
Perhaps it could be time to switch things up in the coming months and year, with less sparring rounds and more precise, shorter training camps?
Again, I’m not suggesting for a minute I know better than the professionals who handle this incredible athlete, but if weight struggles persist at 122lbs, you’d have to think the man himself will realise sooner or later that something needs a change – whether it’s moving up in weight or tweaking something in his diet/training regime.
One things for sure, I can’t wait for his next bout. As a fighter, he has to be one of the most exciting in world boxing at the minute.
(Image credit: Twitter)
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