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Dublin: -1°C Saturday 17 April 2021
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Dominant Frampton defeats Avalos with fifth-round TKO to retain world title

The win represents the 20th consecutive victory of the Belfast native’s career.

Carl Frampton was largely dominant against Chris Avalos.
Carl Frampton was largely dominant against Chris Avalos.
Image: ©William Cherry/Presseye

– Niall Kelly reports from the Odyssey Arena, Belfast

CARL FRAMPTON’S FIRST title defence was billed under the slogan “The World Is Not Enough.” With a scintillating fifth-round stoppage in an electric Odyssey Arena, The Jackal proved that it was no empty rhetoric.

The gold securely retained, he’s ready to scale new heights.

His challenger Chris Avalos arrived in Belfast with a big reputation and a bigger mouth, his camp proudly trumpeting the fact that while he had been beaten twice, he had never been knocked down.

That remains the case. Avalos stayed on his feet and refused to crumble in the face of Frampton’s relentless pressure until referee Howard Foster saw no alternative but to step in and wave off the contest.

The American offered up a cursory protest but it fell on deaf ears. He came ready to tough it out with the champion but the fight had clearly slipped away from him by the time the end came.

It had, briefly, threatened to turn into a war. Avalos’s come-forward style found the champion reluctant to budge and so a lot of the fighting was done at close quarters.

Still, Frampton had a clear edge at the end of every round. When he teed off with a right hook early in the fifth, it signalled the beginning of the end.
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Barry McGuigan bounded into the ring with a litheness that suggested that he might still  fancy his own chances between the ropes. On his 54th birthday, to see his protegé win in front of a terrestrial TV audience estimated at two million was the perfect present.

On nights like this, with ruthless performances like this, superstars are made.

A meeting with Scott Quigg, who was in the audience, now seems more inevitable than ever provided the wrinkles can be ironed out; Leo Santa Cruz and Guillermo Rigondeaux might well come after that.

Unification of the super-bantamweight division, a step up to featherweight, and a bid for a place in the Hall of Fame all now seem like very realistic ambitions.

This was ITV’s first world title fight in almost seven years and so every detail needed to be precise. Michael Buffer was flown in especially for the occasion but the Odyssey crowd was so amped up, the voice of boxing was almost drowned out.

Barry McGuigan celebrates Source: Presseye/William Cherry/INPHO

Even before tonight Frampton had cemented his place as Belfast’s pride and joy, the lad from Tiger’s Bay uniting a people in the same way that his mentor once had.

When he beat Kiko Martinez for a second time to claim the IBF super-bantamweight crown last September, 16,000 fans braved the chill to be a part of his crowning glory.

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The specially-constructed outdoor arena in the shadow of the old Harland and Wolff cranes was dubbed “The Jackal’s Den”, but that title rightfully belongs to the Odyssey Arena a stone’s throw from the old Titanic Shipyard.

Smaller — but significantly warmer — it was the perfect place for the champion to make his terrestrial TV debut. It bristles with electricity every time Frampton makes his way to the ring and on that front, at least, this was no different.

Earlier this week, Avalos showed that he was here to win this title by means fair or foul. If he needed to get under Frampton’s skin to give himself an advantage, he would do that. The pantomime element of the fight-week formalities was replaced with a nasty edge, not least when Friday’s weigh-in threatened to spill over into a brawl.

Avalos carried the swagger all the way into the ring where the home crowd gave him a sharp reminder that he was on enemy territory.

Carl Frampton knocks down Chris Avalos in the fifth round to win Source: Presseye/William Cherry/INPHO

If there was any fear that Frampton would take the bait, it was unfounded. He marked Avalos’s left eye with the first big punch of the night, a right hook.

The Californian’s determination to spoil and frustrate wherever possible earned him a warning inside the opening three minutes, and he seemed to lose sight of his gameplan. In the second, he protested that Frampton had wrenched his shoulder in a clinch. Referee Foster wasn’t interested and Frampton pounced on the distraction to unload a powerful volley.

The final punches were delivered with cold calculation which backed up Frampton’s promise to put “manners” on a disrespectful opponent.

“I give him respect as a fighter,” he said afterwards, “but as a man I don’t really respect him.”

He doesn’t need to concern himself with Avalos now, despite the calls for a rematch. He’s playing in the elite leagues now with big nights — and big paydays — in both Britain and America beckoning.

Carl Frampton celebrates winning with Shane McGuigan Source: Presseye/William Cherry/INPHO

Frampton’s win capped another brilliant night for Belfast boxing. Marc McCullough marked his return from hand surgery with an emphatic stoppage of Georgia’s Malkhaz Tatrishvili in just 69 seconds.

Anthony Cacace added another win to his unbeaten pro record as he knocked down Santiago Bustos on his way to a points decision in their super-featherweight eight-rounder.

Paddy Gallagher beat Miguel Aguilar, while Coalisland’s Conrad Cummings took his record to 6-0 with a comfortable points win against the previously undefeated Roberto Palenzeula.

Results

  • Carl Frampton beat Chris Avalos KO5 (1:33)
  • Dillian Whyte beat Beka Lobjanidze KO4 (1:10)
  • Viktor Plotnikov beat Denton Vassell PTS (118-108, 118-108, 115-111)
  • Anthony Cacace beat Santiago Bustos PTS (80-71)
  • Conrad Cummings beat Roberto Palenzuela (PTS 60-54)
  • Marc McCullough beat Malkhaz Tatrishvili KO1 (1:09)
  • Josh Pritchard beat Aron Szilagyi PTS (40-36)
  • Paddy Gallagher beat Miguel Aguilar PTS (40-35)

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About the author:

Niall Kelly

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