On Saturday December 22, 2018 in Manchester, Carl “The Jackal” Frampton (26-1 18 KOs) will take on IBF Featherweight Champion Josh Warrington (27-0 6 KOs). In the USA, the fight will be shown on ESPN+, otherwise you can catch the fight on BT Sport Box Office. It should be interesting to see if Warrington can pull off another upset like he did in his last fight against Lee Selby.
If Warrington is to have a chance to win, he will have to come forward early and really put pressure on the much stronger Frampton. Against Selby, that tactic worked for him. He fought at a voracious pace, letting his hands go early, using his length and keeping the pressure on all fight, giving Selby little room to breathe. Warrington won by split decision (116-112, 115-113 for Warrington, and 115-113 for Selby). He definitely had the hometown crowd with him and it most likely added to his fuel and determination. I personally scored the fight 116-112 for Warrington. If he uses his 5 inch reach advantage, stays active from the opening bell, and boxes Frampton similar to how Leo Santa Cruz (35-1-1 19 KOs) fought against Frampton in their 2nd bout, it will make for a very competitive fight. The question is “Is Warrington as good as Santa Cruz? We will find out on Saturday night.
Carl Frampton has more championship experience going into the fight. Warrington has only been in one title fight, while Frampton’s been in six. Despite being the shorter fighter – giving up 5 inches in reach – Frampton has significantly more power. The fight will most likely be an all out slug fest. However, Frampton’s power will be too much and he will eventually wear down Warrington enough to possibly score the KO/TKO. I think this has the potential to be a fight of the year candidate.
Keys for Warrington to win:
- Stay busy early and try to force Frampton to box off of his back foot. He will have to be clever with his angles of attack because he doesn’t have the natural power to back Frampton up.
- Establish the jab in the first round. Frampton likes to fight off his front foot so Warrington must use his 5 inch reach advantage to make Frampton uncomfortable early.
- Use his superior conditioning to his advantage. Carl Frampton has tired early in some of his past fights, while Warrington has excellent conditioning. He is constantly active and likes to apply pressure all fight. This could be a way to nullify Frampton’s power.
Keys for Frampton to win
- Lure Warrington in, counter with the uppercut and straight rights. Use “sneaky punches” to throw Warrington’s timing off and don’t allow him to get comfortable or in a rhythm.
- DO NOT sleep on Warrington. Don’t underestimate him coming in. Frampton needs to be on his toes and come in ready to go to war.
- Use experience to adapt to the pressure. Switch up his fight styles throughout the bout and pick his spots to come forward after he potentially wears down Warrington.
Logic says to pick Frampton, but my gut tells me that the gritty Warrington is feels that he has a lot to prove and is ready for war. He’s not going to allow himself to give up, even if he gets behind in the fight. Warrington is poised to shock us again and he has made me a believer. If Warrington uses pressure and is able to fight Frampton like he did against Selby, it will likely turn into a brawl.
Fight Prediction: Frampton wins on points. However, I’m quietly rooting for Warrington. It’d be nice to see him pull off two upsets in a row.