Josh Warrington (28-0, 6 KOs) entered Saturday’s IBF featherweight title defense as the betting underdog against former world champion Carl Frampton (26-2, 15 KOs), but Warrington capped off a brilliant 2018 with a thrilling performance and well-deserved unanimous decision victory over “The Jackal.”
The native of Leeds, England used a relentless pace, high-volume attacks, and blinding speed to largely overwhelm the Northern Irish star throughout the thrilling contest. While Warrington isn’t much of a power puncher, he seemingly had Frampton stunned on multiple occasions, but Warrington was more than willing to exchange bombs with him.
Warrington got off to a phenomenal start with his early aggression in the first couple of rounds, but towards the midway point and into the second-half of the contest, Frampton fought back through effective counterpunching, vicious body shots, and an ability to win those close quarters exchanges that he’d lost earlier in the contest. However, those adjustments were too little, too late, as Warrington had more in the gas tank, and he had the more consistent offensive success down the stretch to pull away on the scorecards.
Official result: Josh Warrington def. Carl Frampton by unanimous decision (116-113, 116-112, 116-112) to retain the IBF featherweight title
Having won the title from Lee Selby in May, this win over Frampton validates Warrington as an elite featherweight and someone to watch more intently in 2019, particularly if he lands a unification bout vs. WBO champion Oscar Valdez. As for Frampton, his three-fight winning streak comes to a halt, and he was simply outgunned by the better fighter.