Manchester Arena, Manchester – IBF featherweight champion Josh Warrington (28-0, 6 KOs) retained his title with a twelve round unanimous decision over former two division champion Carl Frampton (26-2, 15 KOs). The scores were 116-113, 116-112, 116-112.
Warrington captured title back in May, when he upset the odds with a twelve round split decision win over Lee Selby.
Coming in, Frampton was riding a three fight win streak since suffering a twelve round majority decision loss to Leo Santa Cruz in January 2017.
At the start of the first, Warrington went right after Frampton and they were trading big punches in a war. The punches were flying at a very rapid pace, as Warrington wanted to bully Frampton around the ring.
As Frampton tried to find his range in the second, Warrington really began to batter the challenger with punches from all angles and it almost appeared that Frampton was going to go down.
Warrington was still throwing heavy in the third, looking to overwhelm Frampton with hand speed and power. The fourth saw Frampton slow down the pace, as he was boxing and looking to set up big shots. Warrington eventually pressed Frampton against the ropes and let his hands go to take back control.
There was better work from Frampton in the fifth, with his boxing ability finding some openings.
The next few rounds were give and take between the two, Frampton was more calculated with his arsenal – but Warrington continued his tactic of trying to overwhelm Frampton with a high volume of punches to the head and body, and some of those punches were landing and doing damage. Frampton was forced to cover up most of the time and that left him unable to answer back with punches of his own.
They were both trading away in the eight, taking turns with big punch exchanges on the inside. The high paced drama continued in the ninth and tenth, as each boxer was throwing combinations with bad intentions. And the exact scenario played out in the eleventh, with a war of wills between the two fighters.
Frampton was pressing in the twelfth and final round, coming after Warrington, who was more than willing to trade a high volume of punches on the inside. Frampton was having trouble keeping up with the fast rally of Warrington’s punches and that was the theme for most of the contest.