Carl Frampton certainly likes fighting tough Mexican warriors. The former super-bantamweight and featherweight ruler will face Andres Gutierrez in Belfast on July 29. The fight will be a WBC featherweight eliminator.
Frampton, 23-1(14) was last seen losing a close decision in his rematch with Mexico’s great Leo Santa Cruz, having previously decisioned him in an earlier, more action-packed fight. Now wanting to fight for another world title and become a three-weight king, “The Jackal” has not in any way picked an easy or safe opponent in the 35-1-1(25) 23 year old from Guadalajara.
Beaten only by Cristian Mijares via majority decision back in June of last year, Gutierrez has won one fight since, stopping Wallington Orobio in October. A big puncher, Gutierrez has not yet fought anyone of Frampton’s class (Mijares aside) and, aside from one fight in San Antonio and one in Las Vegas, Gutierrez has never boxed outside of his homeland and it will be interesting to see how fighting so far away from home affects him.
But Gutierrez is talking a great fight, telling his local paper how he is ready to put his “soul” into the upcoming fight. Frampton, a fair bit the older man at age 30, is probably at his peak right now and obviously he cannot afford a second loss. Fight fans want to see that rubber-match with Santa Cruz, a fight Frampton really, really wants, and we can expect a fully focused and determined Frampton next month.
The July fight in Belfast will mark Frampton’s first at home since early 2015 when he beat Chris Avalos at The Odyssey Arena. Another sell-out is likely on July 29. Mexican fighters seem to push Frampton hard and bring out the best in him. The two wars with Santa Cruz were boxing at its best, fight-one especially, while the late Alejandro Gonzalez Jr. nearly caused a big shock back in Frampton’s US debut, when he twice decked the then IBF super-bantam champ in the early going.
There is no need to believe July’s fight will be anything but an exciting encounter.