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 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.

Fight Camp:Boxing Back!

Good news for boxing fans this week as it was announced, that the sport would be returning but not as we know it. Matchroom boxing announced this week Fight Camp but what is it? In this post I will be giving you everything you need to know before the first Fight Camp on the 1st August.

How Will it Work?

Fight Camp could fast become the new normal as we look to get life back to normal. It is the brainchild of Eddie Hearn. Now I know that for some strange reason Eddie seems to get a lot of abuse from boxing fans but this is great and really the only way to restart our sport. Basically the venue will be Matchroom headquarters in the garden, yes you did read that right in the garden. However what you have to bear in mind is that Matchroom HQ is a mansion set in acres of gardens it includes a gym and a swimming pool.

fight camp

Credit: https://www.instagram.com/eddiehearn/

As you can see from the picture above it will be well spaced out keeping social distancing were it is possible.

Is it safe?

The short answer is yes there is a hotel near to Matchroom HQ that everyone involved with the weekends fights will have to stay at this will include the fighter and their corner team and the TV production teams. When someone arrives at the hotel they must use the side door and take a test for COVID-19 only then will they get their room key, and they must stay in their room until the test results are back. Once the test results are back and they are negative only then will anyone be allowed onsite. Once on site nobody can leave for any reason or make physical contact with anyone outside of the Fight Camp until the event is over.

Who will be Fighting?

For all boxing fans this is probably the most important question, on Friday afternoon Matchroom announced 4 Fight Camps starting on the 1st August and here’s how they breakdown:

Week 1 1st August:

Sam Eggington V Ted Cheeseman: IBF International Super Welterweight Title

James Tennyson V Gavin Gwynne: British Lightweight Title

Jordan Gill V Reece Bellotti

Fablo Wardley V Simon Vallily: English Heavyweight Title

Dalton Smith V Nathan Bennett

Week 2 7th August

Chris Billam-Smith V Nathan Thorley: Commonwealth Cruiserweight Title

Terri Harper V Natasha Jonas: WBC and IBO Super Featherweight Title

Anthony Fowler V Adam Harper

Week 3 14th August:

Felix Cash V Jason Welborn: Commonwealth Middleweight Title

Zelfa Barrett V Eric Donovan

Kieron Conway V Navid Mansouri

Shannon Courtenay V Rachel Ball

John Docherty against an opponent yet to be announced.

Week 4 22nd August:

Dillian Whyte V Alexander Provetkin: Interim WBC Heavyweight Title

Martin Bakole V Sergey Kuzmin

Luther Clay V Chris Kongo

Katie Taylor will defend her world titles against an opponent yet to be announced

Where can you Watch the Fights?

Now we know where and who now we need to know how you can watch these fights. All the fights will be live on Sky Sports.

All except the Whyte Provetkin fight which will be live on Sky Box Office. Now I don’t know about you but I’m not the biggest fan of pay per view at the best of times, but especially at the moment when fans can’t get to the fights I think it is totally wrong. Normally when a fight is on box office they are pack with world title fights but this one isn’t. I understand that boxing is a business and you need to make money, and this will be a good night of boxing but not enough for it to be on Box Office.

As always I love to hear what you guys think how excited are you about boxing been back? Is Fight Camp a good idea? What fight are you looking forward to the most? Please comment below and let me know your thoughts.

RuizJoshua2: Repeat or Revenge?

We are now less than 3 days away from the rematch that the world wants to see RuizJoshua2. However the question on everyone’s lips is will it be repeat or revenge?

Before we can try and answer that we must first look at their first fight, Joshua came into the fight as a massive favourite as Ruiz took the fight at 5 weeks’ notice, after Jarrell Miller was force to pull out after failing a drugs test. In the build up to the fight both men were very respectful while of course saying all the wright things, as both men were predicting a win however the bookies had Joshua as a big favourite. Then at the final press conference Joshua did something very unusual he gave his belts to Ruiz to hold and pose with them.

On fight night in front of a packed out Madison Square Garden both men made their ring walks Ruiz walked to the ring full of confidence, and he seemed to be loving the atmosphere. However when Joshua made his ring walk he just didn’t look wright he looked a bit like a rabbit in the headlights. Even during the introductions Ruiz looked like a man ready to fight and Joshua looked disinterested and like he didn’t want to be there.

At the start of the fight Joshua came out looking to work off his jab but unusually Joshua was boxing off the back foot it was all most like he couldn’t figure Ruiz out. These tactics continued in the second round, although Joshua won the first two rounds he just wasn’t busy enough. At the start of the third round Joshua landed a lovely combination which put Ruiz on the canvas, and everyone in the arena fought that was it the beginning of the end. Ruiz beat the count and Joshua went looking for the finish but as he moved in and started to land bigger shots Ruiz caught him with a shot on the head, which seemed to scramble his brain then a couple of shots later Joshua was on the canvas it was a much heavier knock down then Ruiz’s Joshua beat the count but his legs had gone. All he had to do to make it through the round would have been to tie Ruiz up but he tried to fight back and he was sent to the canvas again at the end of the round, he beat the count again and staggered back to his corner. From that point on Ruiz was in charge of the fight as he knew he could hurt Joshua and he knew he could take Joshua’s power. In the corner in between rounds although Rob McCraken was giving him good advice he didn’t seem to be listening. Then in between rounds 6 and 7 Joshua said “Why do I feel like this?” He’s never explained what he meant by the comment I think he knew he was losing the fight and he was feeling the pace. Then in the 7th round Joshua was put down twice more and the referee had decided that he’d seen enough and waved the fight off. Making Andy Ruiz Jr the first ever Mexican world heavyweight champion.

What went wrong for Anthony Joshua?

Many people have an opinion on what went wrong but here’s mine:

  • Did he over train?

He had a very long camp leading up to this fight and most of that was spent preparing for Jarrell Miller and when he had to pull out AJ would have still been in the gym ticking over then when Ruiz was announced he would have had to completely change the way he was training and get different sparring partners in. I know people will say that’s the life of a boxer, and it’s not the first time in his career he’s had to deal with a late change of opponent.

  • Did he overlook Andy Ruiz?

At the time of the first fight everyone was talking about a potential fight with Deontay Wilder for the undisputed world title, or an all British fight with Tyson Fury. So it is possible that he was looking past Ruiz. It is also possible that he started to believe he’s own hype because everyone thought he would just walk through Ruiz maybe he started to think the same thing.

  • He wasn’t up for the fight?

Some times when a fighter is a late replacement who everyone is saying he’s not in your league the fight can just become something you have to get through and you can treat it a bit like a sparring session, but when your opponent hasn’t read the scrip that’s when the fight can get difficult. AJ has said himself in interviews that he wasn’t up for the fight because he felt like he was fighting for nothing, which make sense when you think about it because he really had nothing to win and everything to lose.

I’m sure there are more things that went wrong that we will never know about I know it might sound like I’m trying to make excuses for Anthony Joshua’s performance, I’m not I’m just giving some possible reasons for his performance.

  • Repeat or Revenge?

So what’s going to happen on Saturday to be honest I don’t think anyone knows one thing’s for sure it should be a completely different fight.

If Joshua wants to win this fight he needs to put in a much better performance than he did in the first fight. He needs to be the Joshua of the last five years, on the front foot keeping Ruiz at range with his jab then the big combinations. If he does that I can’t see the fight going into the second half, if he doesn’t and he just looks for that one big shot he could be in trouble.

I think in this rematch we are going to see a completely different AJ because he’s going to want to prove that the first fight was just a bad night at the office. He’s also fighting for something not only the world title, but his boxing future because if he loses this fight it’s difficult to see where he goes from here.

Andy Ruiz is coming into this fight full of confidence because he knows he can hurt Joshua as his done it once and that was on only five weeks notice. I can see him using similar tactics as the first fight, I think he might look to keep low making himself a smaller target to hit. I think he could also look to use his movement to get on the inside and negate Joshua’s jab and try and lands shots to the body.

Although he’s champion all the pressure is still on Joshua but I can see him coming out trying to end the fight quicker than last time to prove to the world that the first fight wasn’t just a fluke.

Whatever happens one thing’s for sure this has all the ingredients to be a great fight because we’ve got a former champion looking to win his titles back, and avenge the only loss on his record, and a champion who wants to prove that he belongs at this level.

As always I love to hear what you guys think RuizJoshua2 will it be repeat or revenge? Please comment below and let me know your thoughts.