Frampton stops Jackson to set up world title shot against Warrington
Belfast fighter stops Australian in ninth at Windsor Park to defend WBO interim title
Luke Jackson is knocked down by Carl Frampton in their WBO interim featherweight title fight at Windsor Park in Belfast on Saturday night. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire
Having successfully defended the interim WBO title, he will be confirmed as mandatory challenger to full champion Oscar Valdez but will next fight IBF titlist Josh Warrington, who travelled to be ringside.
Against Australia’s Jackson, the 31-year-old had long been a significant favourite in a fight that essentially served as a celebration of his popularity in his home city, where he may even have fought for the final time.
He regardless performed to the impressive level expected, which in his third fight under new trainer Jamie Moore again demonstrated that he is in his prime and not in decline, as had been suggested after his only defeat, by Leo Santa Cruz in 2017.
With Jackson increasingly struggling to defend himself and remain on his feet having already been knocked down in the eighth, his corner rightly threw in the towel for referee Terry O’Connor to wave the action over after one minute and 21 seconds of the ninth.
The stoppage was Frampton’s first since that of Chris Avalos in 2015, and showed why he will remain favourite against Warrington in the fight they will have later this year.
A noticeable size advantage contributed to Frampton’s aggression as much as the occasion, and from the point of him landing two powerful right hands in the second round, the task Jackson faced had become clear.
He landed a left hook with Jackson off-balance as the Australian’s face began to swell, and then as his opponent started to focus on survival, shrugged off a cut by his right eye.
It was in the fifth when the 33-year-old showed significant signs of being broken down, and while struggling to remain on his feet after a right to the body, his impressive resilience and pride gradually became his greatest strength.
The classy Frampton consistently succeeded with his powerful jab, creating the opening for the vicious right uppercut he landed in the sixth, the point at which Jackson further slowed down and, with his left eye almost swollen shut, stopped moving his head.
Frampton sensed the stoppage and ruthlessly pursued it with the freedom that comes with so little to defend himself from – contributing to him landing the powerful left to the body that finally sent Jackson down.
The Australian returned to his feet but was barely able to stay there and amid further punishment in the ninth, with his defence gone and his head rocking from hurtful left and right hands, the towel came in and Frampton’s victory was confirmed.
Leeds’ Warrington, 27, joined Frampton in the ring at the fight’s conclusion at which point – similarly to the earlier confirmation that Tyson Fury will challenge Deontay Wilder – their promoter Frank Warren confirmed they will fight for the IBF title before the end of the year.
“We’re now going to make the dream fight,” he said. “It will happen, definitely this year. It’s on.”
Frampton said: “I’m not a world champion, Josh is a world champion. I’d love to be a world champion again.”
Warrington, 27, responded: “He performed well, but listen I’m looking to get the fight, I beat [Lee] Selby and I’m still ranked behind Carl.”