Lots of boxing this Saturday. Lots. And probably the best on the day is a Featherweight title fight as Carl Frampton (26-1; 15 KOs) faces Josh Warrington (27-0; 6 KOs). The fight is for Warrington’s IBF title at 126 lbs. Ring Magazine has Frampton at #3 in the division with Warrington at #6. The fight takes place this Saturday, December 22 in the UK with a fight time of 3:00 p.m. ET on ESPN+.
How do these two stack up?
Frampton: 31 years old | 5’5” | 62” reach | orthodox stance
Warrington: 28 years old | 5’7” | 67” reach | orthodox stance
What have these two done recently?
Frampton: W – Luke Jackson (TKO) | W – Nonito Donaire (UD) | W – Horacio Garcia (UD)
Warrington: W – Lee Selby (SD) | W – Dennis Ceylan (TKO) | W – Kiko Martinez (MD)
How did these two get here?
Carl Frampton has been fighting near the top of his division for a long time, but it was in 2016 that he really hit the sport’s very upper echelon. That year, he defeated both Scott Quigg and Leo Santa Cruz, winning titles in two weight classes and getting on the short list for Fighter of the Year honors. He then rematched Santa Cruz and lost a close decision, and is 3-0 since, all at Featherweight. In his last fight he scored his first stoppage win in over 3 years, and looked every bit like a top pound for pound fighter.
Any discussion of Josh Warrington has to start with his last fight – a huge win over the highly ranked Lee Selby. That fight earned him his first major world title and was big for Warrington, but Selby is far from the only good win on his resume. Warrington has fought exclusively in Europe, and has not quite yet had the international breakout that Frampton has, but this is obviously his opportunity to do so. This is a huge crossroads fight for him – he either drops his undefeated record, or he makes an even bigger splash than he did last time.
What can fans expect?
If you like good boxing, this is Saturday’s fight for you. The two should match up very well, with both bringing a lot of tools to the table. Warrington is the bigger fighter, which is nothing new for Frampton at Featherweight, and it’s possible he uses his jab and size to outpoint Frampton. But I don’t think that is likely, as Frampton is just too smart of a fighter. Look for Frampton to mix it up, showing different styles to Warrington throughout in order to score points. This is going to be a close fight, won by inches, but those inches should consistently go to Frampton.
Prediction: Carl Frampton, UD
What else is on the card?
This is a card worth tuning in early for. You’ve got former champion Billy Joe Saunders back in the ring for the first time in a year taking on late-replacement fighter Charles Adamu in a tune-up. Hot rising fighter Michael Conlan (known to MMA fans for a sometimes association with Conor McGregor) faces Jason Cunningham in a solid test for Conlan. Both of those are worth watching for different reasons. Beyond that, Liam Williams vs. Mark Heffron is a solid fight, veteran Martin Murray meets Hassan N’dam in another good one, and there’s Heavyweight action with good potential for a big KO with the undefeated Nathan Gorman vs. Razvan Cojanu.
Should you watch?
Yes. This is a good card overall and a very good, close main event. Great way to wind down 2018.