Warrington beats Carl Frampton in bruising 12-round battle

Warrington upset the odds and retains his IBF featherweight title at Manchester Arena

Josh Warrington and Carl Frampton after their IBF World Featherweight Championship title fight. Photograph: Nathan Stirk/Getty Images

Josh Warrington and Carl Frampton after their IBF World Featherweight Championship title fight. Photograph: Nathan Stirk/Getty Images

 

Josh Warrington upset the odds once again as he retained his IBF featherweight title after getting the better of Carl Frampton in a bruising 12-round battle.

The pair engaged in one of the contenders for fight of the year but Warrington, an underdog with the bookmakers having been so impressive against Lee Selby in May, largely came out on top in the exchanges at the Manchester Arena.

Warrington was therefore awarded a unanimous decision by two scores of 116-112 and one of 116-113 in the first defence of his world title as he extended his unbeaten professional record to 27-0.

Former two-weight world champion Frampton, meanwhile, slipped to 26-2, the Northern Irishman simply overwhelmed by Warrington’s speed and sheer volume of punches throughout.

Josh Warrington punches Carl Frampton during their IBF World Featherweight Championship title fight at Manchester Arena. Photograph: Nathan Stirk/Getty Images
Josh Warrington punches Carl Frampton during their IBF World Featherweight Championship title fight at Manchester Arena. Photograph: Nathan Stirk/Getty Images

Leeds-born Warrington is not renowned for his power, with only six of his wins coming inside the distance, but Frampton was stunned at several stages of the contest.

Victory completes a superb year for Warrington, who walked to the ring alongside Leeds United captain Liam Cooper, as he followed up his surprise win over Selby at his beloved Elland Road with another incredible display here to thrill the crowd.

Frampton perhaps shaded the support when the fighters walked to the ring but it was Warrington’s fans who were singing loudest by the end of the clash.

A subdued opening minute gave no indication of the fireworks to follow, Warrington lighting the touch paper for a staggering firefight in which Frampton teetered backwards after a left hook.

He recovered well but was reeling once again as Warrington barrelled forward and this time a right hook seemed to unsteady his opponent, who covered up as the Yorkshireman swung lefts and rights with abandon.

Once again, though, Frampton soaked up the pressure — although the sustained assault left him with a small cut under his left eye.

Frampton, though, showed all his ringcraft, landing a punishing right hook before spending most of the next two rounds boxing beautifully on the back foot, using his jab well to keep Warrington off balance.

Warrington, though, came on strong at the end of the fourth and then enjoyed the better of another toe-to-toe exchange in the fifth before Frampton soaked up another barrage in the next round after being caught on the ropes.

Frampton was boxing well at a distance but was being overpowered at close quarters and looked to be wobbled in the seventh before the pair engaged in another frenetic slugfest in the eighth — both fighters landing stinging blows.

The crowd was enraptured by the pulsating drama unfolding as an excellent one-two and uppercut from Warrington seemed to give him the edge in the ninth.

Several combinations in the 10th found their way through the tight guard of Frampton, who had been targeting the body, before both fighters swung wildly once more to end another absorbing round.

Warrington seemed the fresher of the two as the fight entered the final two rounds — and his fans were the more vocal as a deafening chant of ‘Marching on Together’ rang around the venue midway through the 11th.

Warrington closed the 11th with several furious one-twos and the fighters embraced before the start of the final round, the respect for each other palpable.

An accidental head clash in the final round gave Frampton a sizeable bump on his forehead and he was the more marked up at the end of the 12 rounds, leaving little doubt to who was the winner at the final bell.

On the undercard Billy Joe Saunders won in his first bout since vacating the WBO middleweight title, with late replacement Charles Adamu retiring on his stool at the halfway point of a scheduled eight-round contest.

Tommy Fury, the younger brother of former world heavyweight champion Tyson, made a winning start to his professional career with a 40-36 points victory over veteran Latvian Jevgenijs Andrejevs after four rounds.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.