Josh Warrington outworks Carl Frampton to retain IBF featherweight crown

Anthony Cocks

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IBF featherweight champion Josh Warrington 28-0 (6) has praised his opponent Carl ‘The Jackal’ Frampton 26-2 (15) who he defeated by 12-round unanimous decision to retain his world title in his first defence of the belt at Manchester Arena in Manchester, England on Saturday night.

The ‘Leeds Lion’ made it back-to-back upset wins after previously defeating highly-fancied Lee Selby 26-2 (9) to annex the world championship at Elland Road Football Ground in Yorkshire back in May.

The 31-year-old Welshman Selby, who was attempting to make his fifth defence of the IBF 126-pound belt, was cut over both eyes from accidental head-clashes in the first half of the contest. But it was Warrington’s relentless, high-octane attack that caused him most problems, eventually going down by split decision with scores of 112-116, 113-115 and 115-113.

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Warrington proved that result was no fluke when he upset the bookmakers again this past weekend, outhustling Frampton over 12 fast-paced rounds to win by scores of 116-113, 116-112 and 116-112.

“It takes two to make a fight like that and hats off to Carl Frampton,” said the 28-year-old Warrington during his post-fight interview with BT Sport.

“The fans made it a fantastic atmosphere. Carl Frampton will go down as a great featherweight and it was an honour to share the ring with him.

“I’ve always been a fan of Carl, and I’m still a fan now.”

The 31-year-old Frampton from Belfast in Northern Ireland was deflated by the loss and even admitted that Warrington had him hurt on a few occasions.

“I was in incredible shape. I was fit and strong but Josh was fitter and stronger,” said Frampton after the fight.

“I was hurt a number of times and whoever said Josh can’t punch don’t know what they’re talking about.

“I’ll sit down with my team and figure out the next move.”

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