By Geoff Poundes
Ulsterman Carl Frampton, now 12-0, 8 KO’s, despatched his Scottish challenger Kris Hughes this evening after seven rounds of one-sided action in which the self-styled “Jackal” confirmed his early promise as Irish boxing’s next big thing.
Frampton’s Commonwealth super-bantamweight crown remains firmly on the 24-year-old’s head, but will surely be supplanted by heavier and more lucrative baubles as the Belfast boy develops further under the watchful eye of manager and chief cheerleader Barry McGuigan. McGuigan raised a few eyebrows before this encounter by claiming that his charge is the best British prospect he’s seen in thirty years, but on this form Frampton appears capable of living up to that lofty billing.
In the event, Frampton made easy work of Hughes, generally breaking his man down with right hooks to the ribs, and then, as the fight wore on, switching the attack to the head. The taller Hughes stayed competitive behind his jab, but clearly lacked the power to offset the Irishman, and early in the seventh he was felled by a sharp Frampton right which draped him over the bottom rope in his own corner. To his credit he got to his feet but his legs wouldn’t hold him and referee Mark Green correctly called it off at 0:48.
Frampton is now looking to box on Matthew Macklin’s undercard in New York in March, and later in the year his backers are trying to tempt British Champion Scott Quigg and former champ Rendall Munroe into a scrap. At times in the Hughes fight, Frampton appeared capable of holding his own against the real big guns of the division-pound for pound claimant Nonito Donaire, WBC titleist Toshiaki Nishioka and new WBA champion Guillermo Rigondeaux. Time will tell.
Pick of the undercard featured a bruising encounter between Erick Ochieng, now 9-1, 3 KO’s, who beat Nick Quigley, 10-2, 0 KO’s, by ninth round retirement for the English light-middleweight title. 23-year-old Quigley set a hot pace from the start, and bullied the smaller Ochieng to the ropes where the two fighters swapped punches pretty much for the rest of the fight. By the third round it was evident that Ochieng was getting the better of the close-in exchanges and was better suited to the frantic pace. By the beginning of the ninth the two fighters had shared an astonishing 1100 punches, but Quigley had shipped the quality shots and was pulled out by his father and cornerman Tony. The younger Quigley sensibly understood his Dad’s point of view: “My Dad’s looking after my safety. He knows best,” He said.
Earlier in the evening former world champion Robin Reid, now 42-7, 29 KO’s, showed that at 40 years old he still carries a whack when he blasted out Daniel Cadman with one devastating right hand in the fifth round. Up to that point the fight had been evenly contested and Reid still showed a degree of rust, but he retains the physique of a 25-year-old and will win a few domestic skirmishes like this one.
From Hamburg, Germany – Jurgen Braehmer (TKO4) Jose Maria Guerrero; Rakhim Chakhkiev (UD10) Alexander Kotlobay; Denis Boytsov (KO4) Darnell Wilson; Ruslan Chagaev (UD8) Kertson Manswell