Carl Frampton: No Fairytale Ending

On Saturday night Carl Frampton was all set to make boxing history by becoming the first boxer from Ireland to be crowned a 3 weight world champion. Unfortunately it wasn’t to be as he was stopped in the 6th round, after the fight he announced his retirement so I thought I’d take this opportunity to look back at his career and the impact he made on the sport.

After an incredible amateur career Carl Frampton made his professional debut on the 12th June 2009 against Sandor Sziavel a fight he won with a 2nd round knockout. He then went on a 10 fight winning streak beating the likes of Robbie Turley, Oscar Chacin and Gavin Reid along the way.

Then in just his 11th fight aged just 24 he got his first shot at a major title when he took on Mark Quon for the then vacant Commonwealth title in front of a home town crowd. This was a fight he dominated from start to finish scoring the knockout in the 4th round.

He would continue to defend his Commonwealth title then on the 26th May 2012 he added the IBF Intercontinental title to his collection when he stepped into the ring with Raul Hirales on the undercard of the Carl Froch Lucian Bute bill. This was another fight he dominated from start to finish as he won a wide unanimous decision 119-109, 119-109 and 120-108 on the judges cards.

At this point in his career it was clear he was heading to a world title shot but before that he added another title to his growing collection, when on the 9th February 2013 he won the European title from Kiko Martinez he scored a stunning 9th round knockout. Little did we know then this would not be the first time the pair would go to war.

A year later on the 6th September 2014 these two warriors would go at it again this time it was for the IBF world title. Despite the fact that Carl Frampton had stopped Martinez the year before and the fight was in Belfast Martinez came into the fight as a slight favourite, I think this had been because this fight was Martinez’s 3rd defence of his IBF title and Frampton had never fought at this level before. Frampton dominated the fight with his jab and he put Martinez on the canvas in the 5th round with a big right hand, and many people thought that would be the end of the fight however Martinez got back up and the fight went the distance despite Martinez hearing the final bell Frampton won a wide unanimous decision 108-119, 108-119 and 111-118 to become the new world champion!

He made one defence of his newly acquired world title against Chris Avalos a fight he won with a 5th round knockout. Then he made the decision to go and fight in America.

On the 18th July 2015 he traveled to Texas to take on Alejandro Gonzalez Jr, this was not only his first fight in America it was his first outside of the UK. At first it looked like this could have been the fight were the wheels came off for Frampton as he was sent to the canvas twice in the opening round. However later in the fight Gonzalez had 2 points deducted for repeated low blows, to be honest I think it is that, that won him the fight as it went the distance. Carl won a unanimous decision 115-109, 116-108 and 115-109. After the fight Frampton’s team made a very surprising admission they did no sparring in the run up to the fight and they underestimated Gonzalez.

Then on 27th February 2016 came the fight the world wanted to see when he took on his long time rival Scott Quigg. This was a unification fight for both Frampton’s IBF title and Quigg’s WBA title. Not only that their undefeated record where on the line, which can mean only one thing somebody’s 0 had to go. The fight itself was a very close fight with both men bringing the best out of one another, it went the distance with Frampton winning a split decision 113-115, 116-112 and 116-112 on the cards. The fact that the fight went the distance is even more impressive when you consider Quigg broke his jaw in the 4th round. Immediately after the fight the public where calling for a rematch but unfortunately it never happened.

After beating Scott Quigg he made the decision to move up in weight to Featherweight at the time this was a surprising move because I thought he would want to become the undisputed champion at Super Bantam weight, but I think at this stage of his career he was struggling to make weight at Super Bantam.

On 30th July 2016 he went back across the pond to New York to take on Leo Santa Cruz for the WBA Featherweight title. This was also a close fight with both men having their success, but Frampton managed to scrape a split decision victory 114-114, 116-112 and 116-112 to become a two weight world champion.

Due to how good and how close their first fight was an immediate rematch was made. So on the 28th January 2017 the pair went at it again. This was another close fight that went the distance and with almost the same scorecards but this time in Santa Cruz’s favour, 114-114, 113-115 and 115-113. This was his first loss in 24 fights. As both men held a win over the other I think most fans wanted to see the trilogy but sadly it never happened.

After the loss to Santa Cruz he went on a 3 fight winning streak which got him back into world title contention. On the 22nd December 2018 he went to war with the Warrior Josh Warrington, and war is definitely the wright word to describe this fight. The fight went back and forth with both men landing good shots, however throughout the fight the better quality punches where coming from Warrington. So at the sound of the final bell Warrington won the fight by unanimous decision, 116-113,116-112 and 116-112 on the cards.

After the loss to Warrington he a two fights at two different weights, he had one fight at Featherweight which he won by unanimous decision. Then he had one fight at lightweight which he won with a 7th round knockout.

So this brings us to Saturday night when he traveled to Dubai to take on Jamel Herring for the WBA Super Featherweight title and make history in the process. However he made a very slow start to the fight and it looked at times like Herring could land at will. Then in the 5th round disaster struck as he hit the canvas but it looked more like a flash knockdown. Then in the 6th he was sent to the canvas again this time it was a much heavier knockdown and he was clearly hurt. To his credit he made it back to his feet, but the referee waved it off and the towel came in from the corner. Straight after the fight he announced his retirement from boxing.

Although Carl Frampton didn’t get his Fairytale ending what will he be remembered for? For me it’s that he was never in a boring fight and win or lose he always left it all in the ring. As always I love to hear what you guys think, what will Carl Frampton be remembered for and was he wright to retire?

How did it go so wrong for Josh Warrington?

On Saturday night the British boxing world was excited for the return of the Leeds warrior Josh Warrington. Unfortunately it was not the return we all expected. So in this post I will be looking at where it all went wrong for Josh Warrington and where does he go from here?

After a night that was packed with both action and controversy Josh Warrington took to the ring for the first time in 16 months against Mexican Mauricio Lara. This fight was seen by many including me and this is meant with no disrespect to Lara as a fight for Josh to shake off the ring rust and to look good against.

How Did It Go Wrong?

As you can see he was out of sorts from the opening bell Josh Warrington is normally a come forward aggressive fighter but it looks like he was concentrating too much on putting on a boxing master class which drew him into Lara’s type of fight.

Was He Just Ring Rusty?

Ring rust can be a big problem for a fighter especially when they’ve had a long layoff like Warrington has had before Saturday he hadn’t thrown a punch in anger in over 16 months, and that was a world title fight against Sofiane Takoucht back in October 2019. I’m sure he trained hard for this fight sparring hundreds of rounds but there is no substitute for a real fight. With COVID we don’t know how good his sparring partners where.

Did having no crowd affect him?

Josh has always been one of those fighters that feed off the energy from the crowd and it seems to drive him on. So for him like every fighter the atmosphere on Saturday was very different, he didn’t have the crowd to push him on when he got into trouble or just jee him up for the fight.

Did he overlook Lara?

Given the fact that this fight was meant to be a keep busy fight for him and his welcome back to Matchroom there is a danger that he could have overlooked Lara, because although Lara had a good record on paper he shouldn’t have been in Warrington’s league so he may have been looking past Lara to the bigger fights in the future.

At this point I want to make it clear that I am not making excuses for his performance at the end of the day he’s a professional fighter and former world champion, these are just a few ideas of what could have gone wrong on Saturday night

Where Does He Go From Here?

One loss shouldn’t define a fighters career it’s all about how they comeback from it, and sometimes losing their undefeated record can do a fighter the world of good because they know now that they are not invincible. In Josh’s case he still has a number of options admittedly it is likely that he is going to need another long layoff if reports about him fracturing his jaw and a shoulder injury are true. He could still probably get straight back into the world title picture because despite the loss he is still highly ranked with all the governing bodies. However I don’t think he will want to do that I think he will want the rematch with Lara. No I haven’t completely lost the plot, I think both men will want the rematch. I think Warrington will want to prove to everyone and himself that Saturday was just a bad night at the office, and I think Lara will want it to prove that yes he is that good and Saturday was no fluke.

As always I love to hear what you guys think how did go wrong for Josh Warrington?

 

 

Boxing schedule 2021 February to April

If you are like me and you are suffering boxing withdraw symptoms then I have some good news for you Matchroom and Sky sports have announced their boxing schedule for the start of 2021.

It’s been a difficult start to 2021 for boxing in Britain with the Bored Of Control suspending all boxing matches until the end of January, but with this announcement is gives all boxing fans something to look forward to and it all starts next month.

February 13th Sky Sports

Josh Warrington V Mauricio Lara

Zelfa Barrett V Kiko Martinez

Leigh Wood V Reece Mould

Also on the bill Hopey Price

What a night of boxing to start the year off with not only is it Josh Warrington’s first fight back with Matchroom but he is also defending his world title. Not only that but we will see Leigh Wood go toe to toe with Reece Mould for the vacant British Flyweight title. The big fights keep coming on this bill as Zelfa Barrett will be defending his IBF Intercontinental title in what could be his biggest test against former world champion Kiko Martinez.

February 20th Sky Sports

David Avanesyan V Josh Kelly

Amy Timlin V Carly Skelly

Florian Marku V Rylan Charlton

Anthony Fowler V Jorge Fortea

Jonny Fisher V Matt Gordon

Just a week later the schedule has given us another packed night of action with Josh Kelly putting his undefeated record on the line as he challenges for the European title. Anthony Fowler will b looking to continue his successful comeback let’s face it, it’s never boring when he’s in the ring. There is also a big rematch on the card as Amy Timlin and Carly Skelly square off again for the Commonwealth title, after their first fight ended in a split decision draw.

March 6th Sky Sports Box Office

Alexander Povetkin V Dillian Whyte

Fabio Wardley V Eric Molina

Campbell Hatton’s professional debut

Youssef Khoumari V Kane Baker

Now it’s time for the big one the rematch we all want to see as Alexander Povetkin and Dillian Whyte get it on again, if is anywhere near as good as their first encounter then we are in for a real treat. Just in case you missed it the first time around or you just want to watch it again here’s what happened when they met in fight camp:

Not only that but there is another highly rated heavyweight on the bill in the form of Fabio Wardly as he steps into the ring with former world champion Eric Molina. It’s also time to see what the next generation can do as Campbell Hatton son of boxing legend Ricky Hatton makes his long awaited professional debut.

March 20th Sky Sports

Lawrence Okolie V Krzysztof Glowacki

Chantelle Cameron V Melissa Hemandez

Chris Billam-Smith V Deion Jumah

Ramla Ali V Vanessa Caballero

Lawrence Okolie gets his first shot at a world title in just his 16th fight. On a night that is packed wall to wall with title fights as we will also see Chantelle Cameron make the first defence of her WBC title.

April 10th Sky Sports

Conor Benn V Samuel Vargas

Rachel Ball V Shannon Courtney

Savannah Marshall

Felix Cash

Kash Farooq

In my opinion this is one of the best nights on the schedule because will see Conor Benn take one step closer to a world title, and if everything goes to plan and Josh Kelly wins on 20th February we are also one step closer to seeing that big domestic fight. Although the fight I’m really excited about on this bill is the rematch between Rachel Ball and Shannon Courtney their first fight was one of the best fights of fight camp, it was also one of the biggest upsets. In case you don’t know what happened here is their first fight:

All those Shannon Courtney got back to winning ways just before Christmas I know she will be hungry for revenge, and Rachel Ball will be desperate to prove that the first fight was not just a fluke.

I think this is a well rounded schedule with something for both the hardcore boxing fans as well as the casual fan out there. As always I love to know what you think let me know which fight you are looking forward to the most?

Sergey Kovalev: Another Drug Scandal Hits Boxing

The former 3 time world champion Sergey Kovalev has put his whole career in doubt after failing a drugs test and forcing his upcoming fight with Bektemir Melikuziev to be cancelled.

The 37 year old Russian has not stepped into a ring since he was knocked out in the 11th round by Canelo Alvarez losing his Light Heavyweight title in the process in their fight in November 2019. He was scheduled to fight Bektemir Melikuziev on the 30th of January but that fight now looks seriously in doubt. I first saw the news on respected boxing journalist Dan Rafeal’s Twitter he posted this:

Sergey Kovalev Is a former 3 time world champion some of his biggest wins have come over the likes of Nathan cleverly and two wins over Jean Pascal. This isn’t the first time he has faced controversy in his career in his first meeting with Andre Ward he won a controversial unanimous decision, however he ended that controversy by scoring an 8th round knockout in the rematch. It was around this time that he was considered one of the world’s pound for pound best fighters.

He’s last win came in August 2019 against Anthony Yarde when he scored an 11th round stoppage but it wasn’t an easy fight for him Yarde gave him all he could handle and then some before the stoppage came in front of his home town crowd. This was Yarde’s first loss as a professional.

In response to Kovalov failing the drug test the man who should have been his opponent in January posted this on social media:

 

So it sounds like Bektemir Melikuziev is happy to fight Kovalov regardless of the drug test result but I can’t see that happening because if they let the fight go ahead regardless surely that would make a mockery of the drug testing system. We may even get people saying what’s the point of testing if you’re going to go ahead whatever the result. That would be a situation no one would want I’m sure everyone involved in boxing wants the sport to be clean. So that we can see the best fighting the best because they are and not because they are pumped full of performance enhancing drugs.

So I guess where does this news leave Kovalov quite simply he’s put not only his in ring career in jeopardy but he has done irreparable damage to his boxing Legacy. With 34 wins from 39 fights and a 3 time world champion there is no doubt he’d go down as one of the best of all time, but now all that is in doubt.

As always let me know what you guys think will Sergey Covelo go down as one of boxing’s greats or just another drugs cheat?

Boxing pays Tribute To Nicky Booth

The boxing world continues to mourn the loss of former British champion Nicky Booth, after he passed away on Wednesday after losing his battle with cancer, aged just 40. I thought I would take this opportunity to pay my own tribute.

Nicky was the brother of Jason Booth, they both enjoyed success in the ring winning titles. Nicky would go on to win both the British and Commonwealth titles.

Despite his in ring success some of his biggest battles would come outside the ring with drug addiction, it is not known for certain but the these problems may have contributed to him cutting his boxing career short as he had his final fight in 2003 aged just 23.

Although his boxing career was relatively short consisting of just 23 fights, the impact he had on the boxing community with never be forgotten. When news of his passing broke a number of people from the British boxing community took to social media to express their sadness.

Although he is no longer with us he will be remembered as one of British boxing’s real characters, rest in peace champ gone but never forgotten.