Friday 23 August 2019

Carl Frampton survives scare to prevail in Belfast homecoming

Horacio Garcia (left) and Carl Frampton during the International Featherweight Contest at the SSE Arena Belfast. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday November 18, 2017. See PA story BOXING Belfast. Photo credit should read: Liam McBurney/PA Wire
Horacio Garcia (left) and Carl Frampton during the International Featherweight Contest at the SSE Arena Belfast. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday November 18, 2017. See PA story BOXING Belfast. Photo credit should read: Liam McBurney/PA Wire

Stephen Looney

Carl Frampton made a lacklustre return to the ring thanks to a ponderous unanimous points win over Mexican Horacio Garcia in Belfast's SSE Arena tonight.

The former two-weight World Champion beat Mexican opponent Garcia in an international featherweight challenge fight to get his career back on track, but lacked the sparkle his adoring supporters craved.

The Tiger's Bay man began brightly, proving sharp, focused and dangerous in the opening three rounds of this ten-round contest.

But he faced a stern examination from Garcia in the fourth and struggled to regain total control of the fight thereafter.

His plight was not helped by a couple of slips on the canvas, the first of which in the seventh was harshly deemed a knockdown.

But under intense scrutiny, Frampton dug deep into his reserves to come back at a very resilient and strong Mexican opponent.

This was not the return to the ring Frampton would have liked, but he will be better for the experience.

Frampton has admitted he has endured a disastrous 2017, losing his world crown to Leo Santa Cruz in January and parting company from Barry and Shane McGuigan in the summer.

Now, his promoter Frank Warren will consider his next move as he attempts to return Frampton to world domination, with Josh Warrington or Lee Selby possibly on the cards ahead of the final part of the Frampton-Santa Cruz trilogy, ideally at Windsor Park next summer.

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