Carl Frampton was below his brilliant best on Saturday when he defended his IBF super bantamweight title for the second time with a comprehensive points victory over Alejandro González Jr. at the Don Haskins Centre in El Paso, Texas.
Explaining his uncharacteristic performance after the bout, Frampton hinted that he is struggling to make the 122lb super bantamweight limit, and that he may have to move up to featherweight in the very near future.
In an interesting discussion, Irish boxing legend, Dave Boy McAuley, spoke at length to the Belfast Newsletter – analysing the fight and urging Frampton to stay in the super bantamweight division.
McAuley stated that “I think he is perfect for super bantamweight, and he should stay in that division.”
Noting the packed featherweight division, which features such luminaries as Nicholas Walters and Vasyl Lomachenko, McAuley continued: “There are some big guys at featherweight and they would take your head off you shoulders. It’s only four more pounds but it makes a huge difference. Some of the guys Carl would be fighting could be ten stone getting in to the ring. They will be bigger, stronger and they can really punch.”
The 54 year old was perplexed at Frampton’s claims that he is struggling to make super bantamweight, noting that “he is not that tall and he has not got that big a frame.”
McAuley hypothesised that it may be The Jackal’s preparations that have left him excessively heavy, suggesting that “The only reason I can think why he struggles is that he is lifting weights.”
“Weights help you lift things, they don’t make you punch harder and I know guys who are a walking muscle and they couldn’t break an egg. Muscle weighs more than fat, and if he just cut back the weights a bit – I think he would make the weight easier.”
McAuley recalled that “there were seven World champions in Eastwood’s gym when I was there and not one of us lifted weights.”
McAuley acknowledged that “he had a bad day at the office – but that happens to every sportsman.”
The former IBF flyweight champion believes that the 28 year old “laboured to the win – it was not the same Carl Frampton that took apart Chris Avalos in his last fight. Carl did well to recover and then go on to win the fight on points – but is was a disappointing performance and Gonzalez Jr was not that great.”
Analysing the performance, McAuley continued: “He also got caught cold in the first round by a flash knockdown and the shot that puts you down in the first would not trouble you in the third or fourth round. Gonzalez Jr was tall and skinny and Carl should have worked his body more. He needed more variety to his work.”
McAuley admits that Saturday’s performance will leave potential Frampton opponents licking their lips for a shot at the Belfast man, believing that “Scott Quigg and Leo Santa Cruz must fancy their chances now. Santa Cruz was in the crowd in El Paso on Saturday night and he will take the fight now – but that was not the real Carl Frampton in there on Saturday night.”