Carl Frampton got the job done last night in winning an exciting and hard-fought ten round decision over tough and game Mexican Horacio Garcia. “The Jackal,” having his first fight in a number of months and his first fight under new trainer, former European, British and Commonwealth champ Jamie Moore, overcame some tough spots; even being knocked down (the call proving with the aid of replay to be a bad one – Frampton having slipped in the seventh-round).
Now looking to become a three-time world champion, the former 122 and 126 pound ruler is, his promoter Frank Warren said post-fight, aiming to fight in the summer. Warren never mentioned a name, but he responded, “a world champion,” when asked who would be coming out of the opposite corner. But can 30 year old Frampton, beaten only by Leo Santa Cruz in a rematch of a great fight the Irish warrior won, become king all over again?
Rust played a big part in last night’s fight no doubt, still it was quite alarming seeing Frampton caught with so mnay punches, caught on the ropes for long periods and suffering from fatigue in the closing rounds – to the point where more than a few boxing pundits (unbeaten contender Josh Warrington amongst them) wondered aloud what might have happened had last night’s fight been a 12 rounder and not a ten round fight.
Has Frampton peaked? Did he leave his best stuff in the ring with those great wins over Santa Cruz, Scott Quigg, Alejandro Gonzalez Junior and Kiko Martinez? At 24-1(14) it could be argued how Frampton has not had that many pro fights, but plenty of them have been tough fights – and long fights. This is in no way suggesting Frampton is finished or anything close to it, but he will certainly need to improve on last night’s showing if he’s to repeat his win over Santa Cruz.
That third, deciding fight with Santa Cruz is of course the fight we all want to see: the rubber-match promising to be a real battle. But this fight will have to wait, as Santa Cruz is busy with a return fight with Abner Mares next. Lee Selby, the IBF featherweight champ, is also busy, set to defend against the aforementioned Warrington next. So which world champion will be coming out of the other corner against Frampton next sumer – might it be reiging WBC king Gary Russell Junior?
That would certainly be an intriguing fight but Frampton would have to be a whole lot sharper than he was last night if he’s to defeat Russell. Chances are very good Frampton will indeed be sharper and more focused in his next fight, and whatever happens and whoever he fights, we all know Frampton will give us action and excitement.
Last night’s bout, far more than a mere tune-up, had moments where FOTY terms were rearing their head. Frampton had to dig deep to come away with his unanimous decision win. He may have to dig even deeper if he’s to rule the world once again.