GUEST ARTICLE: Weekend Boxing – What We Learned

By Paul Mason (@PaulMason1986)

It was again a good card of Boxing on BT Sport and Boxnation on Saturday night, with a big bill in Belfast including two World Title fights and a come backing Carl Frampton. Here I review the weekends action.


Frampton Has A Tough Rebirth

The card was billed as “Frampton Reborn” – a nod to recent changes made by Carl Frampton to both his management and training teams. The fight itself was a hell of a lot tougher than many expected. Yes Carl didn’t look at his best, but Horacio Garcia certainly came to fight and Frampton did well to come through in the end, shaking off ring rust, and a year of frustration in the process. Frampton survived a questionable seventh round knockdown to win on all three cards.  In fairness, Frampton’s 2017 has almost been a write off. A first career loss in the rematch with Leo Santa Cruz in January was followed by a disaster of a scheduled comeback fight in July. Firstly Frampton failed to make weight, and then his opponent slipped in the shower after the weigh in, cancelling the whole show. Add this to his acrimonious split from his training and promotional team in Cyclone and Shane McGuigan, and it’s been a year to forget for the Northern Irishman.


He will surely look to target the big guns at Featherweight in 2018. This could take some time though, unless his new promoter, Frank Warren can pull a rabbit form the hat and get some big names over to fight Frampton. The aim is for the venue to be the National football stadium, Windsor Park. Abner Mares and Santa Cruz will rematch for the WBA Title early next year, while IBF Champion, Lee Selby is obliged to fight Leeds’ Josh Warrington for his belt next. Which leaves financially the toughest to bring to the UK in WBC Champion, Gary Russell Junior and WBO boss, Oscar Valdez. Both are dangerous options and may have to be options that will take a bit of financial clout in order to entice them to the UK.


Another option is Kid Galahad. The Sheffield man was quick to call out Frampton on Twitter on Sunday. He was met with a swift response relating to Galahad’s drugs ban that has recently been lifted. It would remain to be seen whether Frampton would entertain this match given Galahad’s past misdemeanours. Scott Quigg was ringside in Belfast, and there could be a rematch in the offing if Frampton was prepared to wait for the Selby v Warrington winner. It will be interesting to see “The Jackal’s” next move.


Conlan Brave In Defeat

It would prove to be a step up too much for Jamie Conlan, as his foray into World Class company ended in heartbreak. Jerwin Ancajas exploited a weakness to the body that Conlan just could not find the antidote for. IBF Super Flyweight Champion Ancajas was every bit as classy as his countryman and promoter Manny Pacquiao in dismantling the too brave Conlan inside six rounds. Conlan was dropped in the first, third and fourth rounds before a halt was called during the sixth.


Ancajas looks special, and he could move through the weights and excel, just like Pacquiao. Every shot he threw seemed to hurt Conlan, who could have been stopped a lot earlier, but his tenacity and grit kept him in the contest.


I would assume that a move up in weight is required for Conlan. Weakness to the body usually signals a struggle in making weight, and this would make sense given Conlan’s previous knockdowns thus far in his career. Super Flyweight is notoriously a tough division, and a move to Bantamweight would be beneficial for Conlan’s career.


Tete Time In Belfast As Zolani Breaks Record

Zolani Tete was most definitely not being paid for overtime on Saturdays bill. He chillingly laid out Siboniso Gonya in eleven seconds with a short right hand to spectacularly defend his WBO Bantamweight Title. This is the fastest known World Title fight knockout, as the referee wisely dispensed with the count. Gonya was worryingly out for a number of minutes, but thankfully came round.


Tete is fast becoming a highly ranked member of the “Who needs him” club, and is now actively seeking a match with WBA and IBF Champion, Ryan Burnett. Hopefully, promotional differences can be put aside and both Frank Warren, Tete’s promoter, and Eddie Hearn, representing Burnett, can work together to get this on. This would be a great matchup and both are in great form. A three Title bout is a must for the fans.

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