A video of the ending of the recent bout between Northern Irish prospect/contender Carl Frampton and Spainish slugger (and European Champion) Kiko Martinez (obvious spoilers if you look at the records).
This was a great result for Frampton, not just to get the win but the manner of it. Despite a pretty record of 15 win with 10 stoppages there wasn’t a vast amount of depth there with many of Frampton’s opponents being of the weak variety. Even when he did face his best previous opponents (a past his best Steve Molitor and the fairly handy Raul Hirales) he basically had everything his own way. On one hand it’s clearly a good thing that he can beat competent opponents with ease but in terms of development you want to see prospects tested, to see if they have the heart, the guts and the fortitude to come back when things aren’t coming so easy.
Martinez provided that.
As I said in the opening, Martinez is a slugger, a man who comes in to bully, beat up and then blast out his opponents. His most famous win is likely his one round destruction of future world champion Bernard Dunne which you can see here and he was unlikely to lose a decision in his first bout with British contender Rendall Munroe. His aggresive style leaves him open and also means he tends to fade in the later rounds but often the damage he inflicts before then means that even if and opponent survives he’s too beaten up to take advantage.
The bout itself was a fun contest. Frampton looked to play matador, making Kiko miss and then making him pay, while Martinez was more than content to take on the role of the bull, charging forward looking to gore Frampton on his fists. It wasn’t easy for Frampton and by the eighth and ninth round it actually looked like it was he who was wilting under the pressure and starting to tire. And then he landed the sequence shown above.
The Junior-Featherweight/Super-Bantemweight division is a pretty exciting one right now with Donaire, Abner Mares and Guillermo Rigondeaux making the headlines but there is a lot of talent behind them that would be both interesting and winnable bouts for Frampton (who’s currently ranked 5 by RING). The obvious one in some ways is with fellow British prospect Scott Quigg, who just picked up the interim version of the WBA’s world title by flattening the previously mentioned Rendall Munroe. That said, my understanding is that both sides have tried to put together that match a few times without success in the past so I’m not optimistic… although with both near the top of the rankings and a world title at stake it might be easier to do.
It’s also worth noting that Frampton’s win here gave him the IBF Inter-Continental title. Now, the title itself is basically a trinket, but it’s a trinket that gets him highly ranked by the sanctioning body, especially when you consider that following the usual sanctioning body shenanigans the IBF World title is currently vacant. Prior to this bout Frampton was ranked nine with Martinez six… when they’re updated I expect Frampton to be in the top five if not higher. Looking at the rest of the current top five there’s some decent boxers but few that Frampton should be scared of… and he’s well positioned to be involved in any bout for the vacant title.