Frampton Made to Work Hard for Comeback Win over Garcia
Carl Frampton made a winning return to the ring at the weekend, but it wasn’t the barnstorming, tubthumping victory that many had predicted.
Heading into his bout with Horacio Garcia at the SSE Arena in Belfast, Frampton was chalked up at 1.01 to get the job done. Such prices are generally reserved for something akin to a walkover. It was anything but, as Garcia proved a durable foe and Belfast native Frampton required the judges to confirm him the winner.
It was Frampton’s first fight since he lost his unbeaten record to Leo Santa Cruz in January, and he suggested afterwards that the win over Garcia was the ideal tune-up contest to propel him back into the big time.
“I thought it was a good fight and everyone would have enjoyed that more than me,” Frampton said, per Sky Sports. “I was boxing lovely at the start then I let him drag me into a fight.
“I wanted it to be a hard fight, that has got the rust off, the cobwebs have gone and I want one of the big boys. I will let the team decide who I fight next.”
Frampton did make a good start to the 10-round contest, controlling the action from the centre of the ring and picking his shots well.
The 30-year-old built up a big lead, and it’s just as well he did as his Mexican opponent grew in confidence as the fight progressed and turned it into a real bruising contest.
Frampton ran into trouble in the seventh and despite suggesting a slip, he was given a standing count by the referee after being trapped on the ropes by his emboldened opponent.
The contest descended into a real battle in the final three rounds and Garcia finished strongly, but the lead Frampton built up in the early part of the contest enabled him to secure a unanimous decision on the judges’ scorecards.
Frampton will point to a win as being the most important thing, but he did look rusty and the jury remains out on whether his decision to split with Shane McGuigan and team up with trainer Jamie Moore was the correct move.
He has his eye on a third meeting with Santa Cruz, with the score currently standing at one apiece, but his performance at the weekend will not have struck fear into the Mexican WBA featherweight champion.
There will certainly be improvement to come and with the pair serving up two great contests previously, there is likely to be an appetite in both camps to get a deal done.