Frampton on song in a mature display
By Paddy Appleton
CARL Frampton produced an assured display of boxing in Nottingham last night as he won the IBF super-bantamweight inter-continental title against Raul Hirales.
Frampton was fighting as main support to Carl Froch’s scintillating IBF super-middleweight world title win over the previously undefeated Lucian Bute.
But the Belfast man failed to get the crowd fired up with a solid if not exciting display in a unanimous 120-108 119-109 119-109 decision victory which allowed him to showcase talents other than his ferocious punching power.
The Jackal owned the ring from the outset and he never allowed Hirales to get his feet set which only served to build the Mexican’s frustration from round two onwards.
Hirales had said much about his toughness and that he would blow Frampton out of the ring, but the brawl he envisaged was never allowed to happen from the mercurial Frampton.
He owned the ring from round one to twelve and Hirales’danger was only seen in minor flashes as the 28 year old got increasingly frustrated at being outfoxed.
Frampton was fighting off the back foot but this allowed him to keep out of range from Hirales’ right hand which was effective when he landed, however it never troubled The Jackal greatly.
On the other hand though Frampton’s clean punches when landing were knocking the Mexican’s head back and although he never looked in any danger of a stoppage it was clear the title would be going to Belfast unless Hirales found a knockout from somewhere.
The knockout never came though as the Irishman continued to aggress from round nine onwards, and as it became apparent this was going the whole way he may even have taken his foot off the gas a little.
Sky Sport’s Jim Watt was criticising the 24 year old Belfast fighter for not pandering to the crowd and producing fireworks, but Frampton’s fans and those interested in his career will be much more pleased with this performance.
It showed that he can mix it up, move back and step out of range, make the other fighter do the work and if he comes in let him have it.
It was an increasingly maturing performance, as each fight has been for Frampton lately and the full effect of having boxed twelve rounds on a huge night in British boxing is experience that money can’t buy.
Last night’s defeat of Hirales was a succinct display of pugilistic skill and Frampton himself said so to Sky’s Adam Smith post-fight.
Frampton said: “I am starting to prove I am the real deal, it was easily the toughest fight I have had. I thought I boxed the best I have ever boxed as a pro.”
Frampton’s manager Barry McGuigan called him a ‘world-class’fighter after the competent display and it is thought that following the win a date with Kiko Martinez is high on the agenda from Frampton and his team.