Carl Frampton eyes a belt after McCreary win as Andres 'Gut' Gutierrez tries to buckle his up
CARL Frampton’s catchweight comeback fight against Tyler ‘The Golden Child’ McCreary – no relation to Norn Iron World Cup icon Davy McCreery – in The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas had a slightly jittery feel to it in the build-up despite a clear gulf in levels.
At 1-20 odds to get back on track, the bookies were clearly convinced that only a “stupid bit of whatever the f**k it is” dropping from the rafters could derail a safe leap back into the world title mix for ‘the Jackal’.
The key questions, though, were whether Frampton, at 32, could bounce back in style from his loss to Josh Warrington last December, and whether the left paw smashed up by a marble ornament falling out of an unorthodox stance in Philadelphia just three months ago would hold
The gig took an ominous twist on Friday when bill-topper Andres Gutierrez’s title eliminator with fellow Mexican Oscar Valdez hit
the [Michael] buffers/buffet after ‘Gut’, as his mates call him, weighed in 11 pounds, not ounces, over the super-feather limit – only the two and a bit weight classes.
Gutierrez famously slipped in the Europa Hotel shower a couple of years ago to scupper his scrap with Frampton. This time round he had presumably slipped on his way out of Greggs on the Strip as the high stakes quickly turned to steak bakes, far be it from this empathiser with the fullest of respect.
With scundered promoter Bob Arum very quickly [surf and] turfing Gutierrez (below) out of the hotel, probably before he could eat the Jackal between two taco shells and a shovel of guac, full focus in Sin City was now on the man from T-Bay’s latest step in the bid to be a three-weight world champ.
McCreary, arms slightly longer than Gutierrez’s longest restaurant bill, would be an awkward enough test agreed BT Sport’s lacquered anchor Paul Dempsey, knockout expert of sorts Enzo Mac and Tyson Fury’s suave trainer, Ben Davison.
Ronald Mackintosh’s adenoids were already giddy on commentary alongside dulcet antidote Andy Lee as McCreary made his way to the ring in glitzy green, white and gold garb with a furry white hood oddly resembling Rod Stewart’s head.
Erasure number A Little Respect, a favourite ditty of Frampton’s favourite football team Crusaders, rang out as the Jackal – safely – entered the ring to face a guy not much shorter than Crues barge-pole Jordan Owens.
MC Jimmy Lennon Jr’s coiffured preamble out of the way, it was time for the first [Andy] bell. A slick Frampton soon set the tone, quick feet and sharp timing keeping McCreary at arm’s length.
McCreary didn’t seem to fancy rising from his stool for the sixth and it was obvious why after just 11 seconds. A wicked hook forced a count of nine from ref Kenny Bayless and the writing was on the wall.
By the end of the sixth, McCreary’s measured corner were in no doubt what their man had to do, apart from not get punched repeatedly.
“You gotta knock this bitch out, now, you hear me,” reasoned Lamar Wright.
“You gotta give everything you got man, you ain’t being here for no f*****g reason, you hear me... go give it to him boy!”
Disgusted Ronald apologised profusely “as per the regulations” for the “forceful language”, which was nice of him at 3am with every child in the world fast asleep and dreaming of being the new Lamar Wright.
McCreary rallied briefly, but Frampton was soon sailing towards a 10-round shutout.
After some “muscular hooks to the right ribcage while tattooing the torso of the taller fighter”, as Ronald noted with alliterative aplomb, a lethal left to the kidney had McCreary taking a knee with a minute left of the ninth.
The win was soon in the bag. Frampton climbed into his new GAWA shirt and the warbled strains of Sweet Caroline greeted a unanimous decision.
The Jackal had apparently refractured his hand on McCreary’s ornamental head in the early rounds and he revealed he had decided then to coast to victory.
He was joined in the ring by a relieved Bob Arum and world champ Jamel Herring – taller and heftier looking than Jordan Owens - and, now rust-free, voiced his desire to fight the New Yorker for his big belt.
The usual celebratory pavlova presumably beckoned – provided oul’ mucker ‘Gut’ hadn’t already beaten him to the hotel buffet’s dessert table.