Carl ‘The Jackal’ Frampton entered the Odyssey Arena carrying the hopes and dreams of a nation on his shoulders tonight. Just as his manager and mentor, former WBA featherweight champion Barry McGuigan had done many moons ago. The stakes had never been higher for the Northern Irishman.
A spotless professional record that had seen Frampton dispatch Steve Molitor, current titlist Kiko Martinez and most recently Jeremy Parodi in 17 impressive career outings. On the cusp of a showdown with WBA super bantamweight champion Leo Santa Cruz, ‘The Jackal’ had one final obstacle to remove in his hunt for a world title.
Former WBO flyweight and WBA super flyweight champion Hugo Fidel Cazares insisted he would not be another victim of prey at the hands of Frampton. The 36 year old seasoned veteran would be Frampton’s biggest test to date, on paper at least. An opportunity to rejuvenate his career in his twilight years would surely provide enough fuel to make for an enticing encounter.
Frampton answered the opening bell with clear intent, immediately taking to the front foot, stalking Cazares and touching his opponent with the jab whilst looking for the right hook. Cazares landed a couple nice counter shots, but nothing to discourage Frampton. Carl landed a clean right to the body and brought the left hand upstairs.
The second round began where they left off, both men willing to exchange, Frampton landing a solid right straight – left hook combination. In the midst of an exchange Frampton hit Cazares low causing the referee to break the action momentarily. Shaking off the effects of the low blow, Cazares went back to work.
Frampton slipped a Cazares right hand and came over the top with a heavy lead left hook, sending Cazares crumbling onto the ropes. Cazares wisely opted to take a knee. After seemingly nodding to his corner to assure them he was okay, Cazares’ eyes fixed back on the referee, watched as the referee counted to ten and waved off the bout. In a bizarre sequence of events, Cazares rose to his feet and protested. Too little too late.
Heading into tonight’s bout, Cazares had previously been stopped twice in 49 fights, the last of which was almost 15 years ago. The manner in which Frampton handled Cazares was impressive. Pressing the action from the onset, Frampton clearly did not have 36 minutes of action in mind. McGuigan’s confidence in Frampton’s ability has seen Carl move through the levels at the correct pace.
Guillermo Rigondeaux’s manager, Gary Hyde, took to social media an hour before Frampton secured a showdown with Santa Cruz and offered a clash with the gifted Cuban. An option that is not likely to materialize. Improving his career record to 18-0, Frampton now leaves potential in his rear view mirror as he sets his sights clearly on becoming Northern Ireland’s next world champion.