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?