An unusually timid-looking 35-year-old Hugo Fidel Cazares (40-8-2, 27 KO’s) was blasted out in just two round tonight by a much younger 27-year-old Carl Frampton (18-0, 13 KO’s) in a World Boxing Council 122lb title eliminator at the Odyssey Arena, Belfast, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom. The fight ended suddenly when Frampton hit Cazares with a solid left hook that sent him staggering to one knee.
Cazares then lost track of the count and failed to get up after the referee counted him out. Instead of watching the referee while he was counting, Cazares took his eyes off of him and was grinning at his corner like he was okay. Immediately after the referee Victor Loughlin stopped the fight at 1:38 of the 2nd round, Cazares rose to his feet in disbelief and began to protest, as if he wanted to continue.
It’s difficult to say whether Cazares legitimately lost track of the count or if he simply wasn’t interested in fighting, because he didn’t give a great performance at any time in the fight.
Cazares came out looking timid in the opening round, and spent most of the round trying not to get hit on the ropes. If you contrast Cazares’ performance with that of Kiko Martinez, who really after Frampton in their fight last year, it was like night and day. Cazares had the look of someone who didn’t want to be there, and it’s not surprising that the fight was halted so quickly.
The victory locks Frampton in as the WBC super bantamweight mandatory challenger to champion Leo Santa Cruz. Frampton’s manager Barry McGuigan wants to try and get Santa Cruz to come to Northern Ireland to face Frampton. However, it’s not likely to happen unless Golden Boy Promotions feels confident that Santa Cruz can be given a fair shake there. If not, then Frampton is going to need to come to the United States to face Santa Cruz without his huge Irish crowd supporting him.
Frampton fights well in front of his own fans, but we might see a different fighter if he has to travel to the U.S to fight a young slugger like Santa Cruz. He’s someone that will likely have no problems taking Frampton’s shots, which means that Frampton is going to need to have a strong chin to be able to take Santa Cruz’s punches for 12 rounds. Frampton dishes it out pretty well, but can he take punishment too?