Relentless Warrington beats Frampton to retain IBF featherweight title

Relentless Warrington beats Frampton to retain IBF featherweight title

Frampton, thought to be the bigger puncher, could not keep Warrington at bay nor put a real dent in the relentless defending champion at the Manchester Arena.

Warrington's defeat of Selby at Elland Road, dethorning a champion who had retained the IBF title through four defences, was so seminal and perfectly-constructed in Warrington's home city that it threatened to leave the 28-year-old with no higher peak to find but in years to come it is Saturday's defence against Frampton which will define him, capturing the brilliant ferocity which ended the era of Belfast's finest.

Warrington - who prevailed by two scores of 116-112 and one of 116-113 - therefore made a successful first defence of the IBF featherweight title he wrenched from Lee Selby in May and took his flawless professional record to 28-0.

Warrington has never boxed in the USA but experienced the fight capital, Las Vegas, when he went to see Frampton lose the WBA belt to Santa Cruz there in January 2017.

The last three rounds were the same and both fighters looked exhausted, but Warrington held on to win.

"There's absolutely no excuses for me", said Frampton.

"There were times throughout [Saturday] where it's been an emotional roller coaster, thinking "am I at this level?' But then I think 'don't be daft".

Three weeks ago, when he and his father-trainer Sean O'Hagan carried out an interview with the YEP at the gym they use in Batley, there were minor worries about Warrington's timing.

"I will look back when I retire and appreciate it but at this moment in time I want to add more to it, go as far as I can".

The eighth was the more of the same with both fighters digging in and there was little between the two - but Frampton may have done just enough.

"Carl's still got my full respect. He's a tough man". Why did we go straight in there with Carl?'

"I hope he goes on to great things and unifies the division". "Just bring them on". He has to ask himself that question because the desire to fight is like elastic in your socks, once you've lost it, you can't get it back. He was being bullied in close by the bigger man and as the fight entered the second half, the Jackal had a mountain to climb.

"Naysayers, doubters, and people that I would like to stick my fingers up to, and that's what I want to do by winning this title". "It's the momentum that keeps us going".

The ring walk for Frampton Warrington is expected to start at 10pm.

The undefeated Yorkshire man says he has no preference who he fights next but promoter Frank Warren appears to be eyeing up a showdown with Mexican Valdez. I'm sure he'll have a nice Christmas with his family and I don't think this is the day to decide anything. "I have to sit down with my team and figure out the next move".

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