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American audience eager to see much more of Carl Frampton

Carl Frampton may have been disappointed with his performance at the weekend, but the American public and boxing experts alike in the States are eager to see much more of the Jackal on their side of the Pond, writes David Kelly.

Not only were the American fans tweeting their admiration of the 28-year-old Belfast man after his unanimous points victory over Alejandro Gonzalez at the Don Haskins Centre in El Paso, Texas, but it was noteworthy that a photograph of Frampton was on the front of the EL Paso Times and not Mexican star Julio Cesar Chavez jnr 24 hours after their respective bouts in the same venue.

Frampton's true grit - coming back from two knockdowns in the first round - and his classy boxing skill, which ultimately gave him victory over the Mexican Gonzalez live on American terrestrial television, left many Americans looking forward to him returning to face such super-bantamweight and featherweight stars as Leo Santa Cruz, Abner Mares and Gary Russell jnr. Santa Cruz and Mares face each other on August 29.

Top American commentator Al Bernstein was one of those quick to hail the IBF super-bantamweight champion, believing that he can become a major star in the States in the years ahead.

Speaking exclusively to the Belfast Telegraph, having been ringside for Frampton's victory, Bernstein said: "I think it took Carl a little time to settle down and once he did I thought he fought very well.

"I think the American public will have enjoyed him. He boxed well, but he was also aggressive and you heard in the arena at the end of the fight they were chanting his name 'Frampton, Frampton'.

"He wasn't as explosive with his punches as he normally is, but I think part of that was down to Gonzalez's height and reach advantage.

"I thought Alejandro Gonzalez fought the best fight of his career. I had watched him on video and that is the best he has ever fought so that allowed him to go the distance.

"When they matched him with Gonzalez they thought he could crumple him with the body shots and the power shots and when he couldn't do that then Carl got going with his boxing and he has great boxing skill as well as very good power.

"There's a lot of good fights out there for Carl and of course everyone would want to see him face the winner of Leo Santa Cruz and Abner Mares.

"I thought it was a good performance, I know he's probably saying to himself this isn't exactly what I wanted because he would have liked the knockout, but he didn't fight badly at all and the American public will want to see a lot more of him."

American coach Virgil Hunter, who was also in the Don Haskins Centre on Saturday, was equally happy with what he witnessed from the Belfast man, even though he knows Frampton can produce more fireworks when he does return to the States.

Hunter, the coach of Amir Khan among many other world class fighters, said: "I thought Carl fought a great fight.

"Look, when you come to the United States and you fight tough Hispanic fighters it's never easy.

"This guy's dad was a world champion, he's a pedigree kid Gonzalez, an up and coming kid and this kid will come again if he stays focused.

"The first knockdown wasn't a real knockdown, it was more of a shove and the second he got caught square, but got up quickly.

"He might have underestimated the guy's punching ability at the start, but after that he dominated the fight so what more do you want?"

Belfast Telegraph


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