Irish eyes smiled for its favourite son on Saturday night as former two-division world champion Carl Frampton (24-1, 14 KOs) overcome the stubborn challenge of Mexican, Horacio Garcia (33-4-1, 24 KOs) in Belfast’s The SSE Arena.
Cause for jubilation replaced the look of concern that was etched on many a Frampton fan previous to the result.
Garcia had arrived with Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez in tow, never been stopped in his professional career, leaving in the same manner with the respect earned from a hard nights work.
Frampton had apparently asked for the tough assignment but wouldn’t have expected the type of onslaught he received en route to recording wider scores on the official scorecards than I had personally.
The two Scores of 98-93, 97-93 I felt were a little harsh to the Mexican efforts who I had losing by two on my scorecard, the saving grace was that the fight was void of controversy as most will agree the right mans hand was raised on this occasion.
The focus now turns to the domestic affairs of Josh Warrington, Lee Selby or the more attractive possibility for Frampton of facing the winner of Leo Santa Cruz Vs. Abner Mares.
He will need to be a great deal better than he was on Saturday night if he is to mount another title challenge.
ANCAJAS DESTROYS CONLAN’S TITLE CHALLENGE….
Elsewhere on the card, Jamie Conlan was met with an Asian typhoon in the shape of Filipino’s IBF Super Flyweight champion Jerwin Ancajas who swept away his title ambition in six rounds of a gutsy performance from the Irishman.
Ancajas added his name to an already overfilling of talent in the division when he beat McJoe Arroyo to capture the title in 2016, on Saturday he announced himself to a British audience, leaving the teak-tough Conlan on the canvas four times before the contest was rightly stopped to save Conlan from himself.
Maybe it was the Filipino element or perhaps the way in which he feinted his way in before unleashing eye-catching combinations, whatever it was had me reminiscent of a young Manny Pacquiao as I marvelled at the way in which he dissected a good/solid opponent.
In a division with ** takes a deep breath ** Juan Francisco Estrada, Roman Gonzalez, Naoya Inoue, Kal Yafai, Carlos Cuadras and of course Srisaket Sor Rungvisai, there are exciting times to follow from the Super Flyweights.
TOO FAST, TOO FURIOUS…
WBO Bantamweight Champion Zolani Zete fought like he had left something in the oven, knocking out Siboniso Gonya in just ELEVEN SECONDS setting a new world record in the process.
It served as the fastest knockout in a world title contest with the previous record standing firm since 1994 when Daniel Jiminez needed just seventeen seconds to knockout Harald Geier.
WILLIAMS PUTS HIMSELF BACK IN THE MIX…
Julian Williams gained some much-needed momentum in his pursuit of a world title with a tougher than expected decision win over former world champion Ishe Smith. I won’t go into detail on the contest as we already have it covered but the win ensures Williams stays on the path to a world title, which looking daunting following his knockout loss to Jermall Charlo.
SANTILLAN READIES FOR TITLE PUSH IN 2018…
TopClassBoxing’s Featured fighter, Giovani Santillan closed out 2017 with three wins, beating Dodzi Kemeh via stoppage after the fourth round. NABO Welterweight champion Santillan is poised to follow up his impressive year with another in 2018 which he hopes he will emerge from as a top challenger for a major title.
PRAYERS FOR RUIZ….
Before I go into hibernation for another week, I would like to take this moment to spare a thought for Salvadoran welterweight Francisco “Pantera” Ruiz who remains in critical condition following his knockout loss to compatriot Ricardo Cortes. Ruiz was rushed from the arena on a stretcher, we await better news in the hope he continues his fight to pull through this one.
You’ve got the whole boxing community rooting for you Francisco.