Carl 'The Jackal’ Frampton brought the good times back to boxing in Belfast this past Saturday by claiming the IBF Super-bantamweight title in convincing fashion.
Frampton, 27, went up against a former opponent in the 28-year-old Spaniard Kiko Martinez. The two men fought last year, with Frampton coming away with a 9th round TKO victory in a tough fight.
Path to glory
Martinez had since gone on to become champion despite the defeat whilst Frampton tried to plot his route to success. This must have been an extremely frustrating time for Frampton, but he stayed dedicated and it has paid off for him.
The rematch took place in a purpose built 16,000 capacity arena in the Titanic District in which the fans, as expected, created an incredible atmosphere. To be able to fight with such support must be incredibly humbling and surely provides huge motivation for Frampton.
He was outstanding on the night and for the vast majority of the fight completely outclassed his opponent. Frampton was too quick and slick for Martinez, who only had bursts of success in the fight.
5th round knockdown
Frampton floored Martinez in the fifth but the Spaniard was able to recover and fight back in later rounds with his typically gritty style.
Frampton’s circling foot movement was a joy to behold and he landed well with his right hand throughout the contest. For most of the fight he looked a class above the champion.
Martinez came into the fight more in the later rounds as he kept on piling forward trying to put Frampton under pressure. He had periods of success to Frampton’s body but in general it was a masterful performance from the Ulsterman.
The judges scored the fight 119-108, 119-108 and 118-111, all in favour of Frampton. His manager and promoter, the legendary Barry McGuigan, jumped up and down in pure excitement at seeing his protégée’s finest moment to date.
Huge credit has to go to trainer Shane McGuigan, who aged just 25 is proving a calm and collected influence on his fighter. They seem to have a brilliant relationship which will hopefully continue to flourish.
The night was reminiscent of Barry McGuigan’s great fights nearly 30 years ago and there is a real sense of unity when Frampton fights. The issues in Ireland and Northern Ireland are well documented, but Frampton is helping to break down the barriers.
Calling out Quigg
Following the fight Frampton spoke about Martinez and said: "He's a tough man and I have never respected a man as much,"
Frampton also spoke about future fights and mentioned the big fight that all British fight fans want to see.
"I want to fight one man – Scott Quigg – but his promoter Eddie Hearn needs to understand that I am the man with the belt now."
There is a good rivalry between the two men and boxing fans have been praying for this fight to take place for a while now. It does however seem that such a fight will have to wait as the IBF seem set to make Frampton face his mandatory challenger Chris Avalos.
In a surprising tale of events it was announced that Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Sport will be working together with Top Rank to pursue opportunities for Avalos.
Hearn, who represents Quigg, must be hoping that Frampton wins, as he knows the commercial value of another all-British encounter similar to the meeting between Carl Froch and George Groves.
Now is the time to celebrate though as Britain has another world champion - and what a performance we have to celebrate. Frampton produced the performance of his life in the biggest fight of his career to-date.