SAN DIEGO, July 19, 2015 – Irish super bantamweight sensation Carl Frampton hoped to make a statement in his American debut in El Paso, Texas against Alejandro Gonzalez Jr. of Mexico.
Frampton’s first impression wasn’t what he expected, as Gonzalez put him down on the canvas twice in the first round. To Frampton’s credit, he shook off the butterflies, kept his composure, and came back with a solid performance to win a unanimous decision, remaining undefeated. CompuBox numbers showed Frampton threw and landed 100 more punches than Gonzalez, including half of his power punches.
Give Gonzalez (25-2-2, 15 KOs) tremendous credit for ignoring the talk about a blowout and coming at Frampton (21-0-0, 14KOs) hard from the opening bell. Frampton’s superior skills eventually overcame Gonzalez, but it’s a lesson for every boxer about motivation and belief in yourself. Gonzalez didn’t win but he proved he belong among the top competitors in the 122 pound division.
Frampton seemed disappointed by his effort, perhaps because he expected so much of himself. “If you look at him (Gonzalez), he doesn’t look like a big puncher, but he can punch. It wasn’t the performance that I wanted, I don’t want to make excuses,” said Frampton. “We need to make a decision where we go from here.” Frampton did say the ring canvas was spongy under his feet, not allowing him to fight off his toes as he usually does.
Fans want to see Frampton take on his English rival Scott Quigg. While Frampton was struggling in the first round, Quigg (31-0-2 23 KOs), was making short work of Spain’s Kiko Martinez (32-5-0) with a spectacular second round stoppage at home in Manchester, England. Quigg’s post-fight demeanor was quietly assured. It was a defining fight for Quigg and earned him the respect he hasn’t always received. Right now, Quigg is ready for anybody. You have to give Quigg the edge over Frampton at this moment, but their paths may not cross just yet.
In the opening bout in El Paso, American heavyweight Chris Arreola didn’t make the statement he wanted, either. He fought to a messy majority draw against journeyman Fred Kassi.
For all the road work he said he did, Arreola (36-4-1, 31 KOs) seemed plain sluggish. Kassi Kassi (18-3-1, 10 KOs), an awkward southpaw, found success firing jobs as Arreola tried to come in. Arreola works better with someone willing to tango with him, and that wasn’t Kassi’s game plan. It worked. Although Arreola started figuring Kassi out, he simply didn’t get busy enough soon enough to get a clear victory.
Arreola was uncharacteristically subdued after the fight. His heart no longer seems in it. “It was a good decision, man it was just a tough fight. He’s a survivor, I couldn’t find him inside,” said Arreola. Asked if he thought he should have won, he said “Personally I don’t think so, no I don’t think so. But if I was to get Deontay Wilder, I would be in much better shape and much more well prepared.”
Arreola may still get his meeting with American heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder. Even if he gets the call, watching Wilder take Arreola apart isn’t my idea of fun. Arreola needs to think long and hard about his motivations in the weeks to come.
Back across the pond, it seemed Manchester’s hometown hero Anthony Crolla pulled off the upset of his career against WBA world lightweight champion Darleys Perez of Colombia, especially since Perez had two points deducted for low blows during their 12 round bout. Crolla kept coming, looked sharp and easily handled everything Perez sent his way. But the judges scored it a split draw, to the enormous disappointment of both the British fans and boxing media. Crolla took the high road, saying he would come back stronger than ever. Fellow British fighter Amir Khan wrote on Twitter, “What a joke! @ant_crolla won that for me, absolutely gutted! Amazing performance nevertheless, hope he gets another shot soon well deserved.” Khan isn’t alone.The drumbeat for a rematch betweem Crolla (29-4-3, 11 KOs) and Perez (32-1-1, 20 KOs) has only gotten started.
Capping the big day of boxing in Europe, WBO super middleweight champion Arthur Abraham of Germany had surprisingly little trouble in his fourth fight with rival Robert Stieglitz, scoring a sixth round knockout in Halle, Germany. Abraham (43-4, 29 KOs) pummeled Stieglitz (47-4-1, 27 KOs) and sealed the victory with a powerful right hand blow. Abraham has a three to one edge in their long running series. Their names will inevitably be said together, just like Gatti and Ward.
Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. She is also a serious boxing fan covering the Sweet Science for Communities. Read more Ringside Seat in Communities Digital News. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego. Gayle can be reached via Google +
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