Boxing

Josh Warrington next for in-form Carl Frampton and coach Jamie Moore says 'there is better to come'

Andy Watters

AN IBF featherweight title rumble with Josh Warrington, probably at Manchester’s MEN Arena and definitely before the end of this year is up next for Carl Frampton after he demolished Australian hopeful Luke Jackson at Windsor Park on Saturday night.

Frampton hit all his targets – and not just Jackson – with an intriguing display of power and panache that sent his fans home delighted in the driving rain.

The conditions were awful for a stadium fight but they had no impact on the atmosphere and it was the manner of Frampton’s win, against a good opponent albeit short of absolute world class, which was most impressive.

Frampton needed to win with style and he did that with tight defence and the precise footwork and punch selection to go along with the spiteful power that saw him record a first stoppage win since he finished off Chris Avalos in February 2015.

Jackson, who travelled to Belfast unbeaten and determined is as tough as they come but he was out of his depth against Frampton who matched him for heart and was far superior in boxing ability. Jackson was never allowed to settle and ‘The Jackal’ broke him down and finished him off midway through the ninth round when Jackson’s corner wisely threw in the towel with their man shipping unnecessary punishment.

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“I still think I can punch a bit,” said a contented Frampton afterwards.

“It was good to get it done, I felt like my performance was good. I listened to the corner and the advice was to try and break him down round by round and try to take him out and I think I did that. I was able to try different things in there, different shots and I’m happy with my performance.

“He wanted to believe that I was overlooking him but I didn’t for a second. I trained very hard and I was flying at the end, I was fresh I could have done another nine.

“My jab was landing a lot – short jabs, long jabs… My distance control was very, very good and I was trying things out. Luke is a tough guy, he stayed in there and if the corner hadn’t thrown the towel in he’d still have been in there. Credit to them.”

Frampton got the job done but his satisfaction was tempered by the fact that he knows more will be required against the improving Warrington. The Leeds native – who was at ringside on Saturday night - went in as underdog against reigning champion Lee Selby and ripped the IBF belt out of the Welshman’s hands with a superb display at Elland Road. He has no intention of allowing Frampton take it off him.

“Warrington is going to be a different story,” said Frampton.

“Josh Warrington is a different task altogether. He’s right on the crest of a wave at the minute, he had the biggest win of his career against Selby and it’s a good fight.

“It’s a big fight, not an easy fight.

“I think it will be the best atmosphere in world boxing.”

Promoter Frank Warren confirmed that Frampton-Warrington will take place “before the end of the year”. Frampton fans will have good memories of the MEN Arena (London’s O2 is also a more remote possibility) after around 15,000 travelled there to see him beat Scott Quigg back in February 2016.

“It’s a huge fight,” said Warren.

“Carl and Josh Warrington is a dream fight. They both have great sets of fans and the atmosphere will be electric. The styles, the will to win… They’re both on top of their game, it’s not an old guy fighting a young guy – they’re both in their prime and you’re going to see something special.

“It is going to be one of the best domestic fights for many, many years.”

A year ago Frampton had lost his world title, split with Cyclone Promotions and was at a crossroads. But he has found fresh momentum under new coach Jamie Moore and the next couple of years could well be the best of his career.

“I think he’s got better performances in him which is a scary thought,” said Moore.

“He showed improvements tonight in certain aspects. He’s getting better and I think you’ll see the better performances and against the better opponents.

“Even though that was a massive occasion tonight, Luke Jackson wasn’t a dangerman in that sense even though he was a very good, solid fighter. When Carl is fighting on adrenalin, when he knows he’s up against it he’ll be a different animal.”

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