Josh Warrington has pulled off another stunning upset.
‘The Warrior’ has beaten Carl Frampton by unanimous decision to retain his IBF world featherweight title after a thrilling fight at Manchester Arena.
A deflated Frampton nodded in resignation as the scorecards were read aloud, pointing at his English opponent just before the decision – 116-113 / 116-113 / 116-112 – was confirmed.
Warrington made a superb start, wobbling Frampton back on his heels after a furious flurry of punches in the first.
The Leeds fighter piled on further pressure in the second, landing 26 punches as ‘The Jackal’ struggled to find his range.
Frampton landed a crisp right at the start of the third, but Warrington responded in kind with a big right hand.
The 31-year-old Belfast boxer enjoyed more success in the fourth, and there was little between them in the fifth.
Warrrington put together another flurry of punches at the end of the sixth, before Frampton looked sharp in the seventh.
The eighth was thrilling, with both fighters digging deep and unleashing some big shots.
‘The Warrior’s’ work rate was staggering throughout, and he looked the fresher of the two as the fight entered the home straight.
Both fighters produced a huge effort in the closing rounds, but Frampton failed to really trouble Warrington, and the English fighter deservedly finished out the fight to retain his belt.
Warrington entered the fight as the underdog – despite having beaten Lee Selby in his last fight – and has now cemented his status as one of the division’s best boxers.
“The better man won, simple as that,” a typically gracious Frampton said afterwards.
“I didn’t underestimate him but he’s even better than I thought. He has it all.”
The former world champion also revealed he is unsure of his next move, and says he will have to sit down with his team to discuss his future.
“I’ll have to sit down with my team. I’ve a young family at home and I’ve been in this game a long time. I’ll have to sit down with my team, I’ll not make any decisions right now.”