By Trevor McIntyre: IBF World featherweight champion Josh Warrington (27-0, 6 KOs) weighed in at 125 1/2 pounds on Friday for his title defense against former two division world champion Carl Frampton (26-1, 15 KOs) this Saturday night at the Manchester Arena in Manchester, England. Warrington vs. Frampton will be streamed in the United States on ESPN+ at 1:00 p.m. ET.
(Photo Credit: Queensberry Promotions)
Frampton, 31, weighed in at 125 3/4 lbs. The weights are less important than the punching power, experience and talent level of the two fighters.
Frampton looks like he’s got all the advantages in this fight except for age. Warrington, 27, is a little younger than Frampton, and that might be his only chance of winning. If Warrington can wear Frampton down with his pressure in the second half of the fight the way Scott Quigg, Horacio Garcia and Leo Santa Cruz did, he might win.
“I have trained hard for 12 weeks, and I know Carl is ready for 12 hard rounds as well,” Warrington said to Sky Sports News. “So, we will give the fans what they want, they want an exciting fight. Everything is on the line – but I have just got a little bit more, and I am ready.”
Warrington’s best bet is to take the fight into the deeper rounds, and hope that he can win enough of them to win a decision. The fight is taking place in England, so that puts Frampton at a disadvantage as the visiting fighter. Warrington needs to try and take it to the final bell to win a decision, being that he lacks the punching power to knock him out.
Frampton used to be a pretty good puncher, but his power has abandoned him in the last three years of his career. He’s only knocked out two of the last eight opponents he’s faced. Frampton did stop his last opponent though in Luke Jackson by a 7th round knockout last August, but he’s not one of the more talented fighters in the featherweight division.
Management for Frampton and Warrington picked a terrible date for the Warrington-Frampton fight, as it’s on the same date as the Dillian Whyte vs. Dereck Chisora II rematch, and the huge card in the United States with the Charlo brothers defending their titles. Those two fight cards have taken all the oxygen from the Warrington vs. Frampton promotion. There’s not much talk about that fight. It’s as if the fight isn’t even happening.
“I give him credit for a good win against Lee Selby,” Frampton said about Warrington. “But I think this is a completely different fight now. I am a different fighter than anyone he has ever faced before and, whatever it takes, I am going to do it to win this fight.”
Warrington surprised a lot of people in his last fight in defeating International Boxing Federation featherweight champion Lee Selby by a 12 round split decision. Warrington caught the 31-year-old Selby at the right time in his career with him being a little older, and struggling with the weight. Selby at his peak would have likely beaten Warrington. We’ll never know for sure though. Warrington fought Selby at the right time, and was able to beat him.
Warrington vs. Frampton should be a fun fight for as long as it lasts. It’ll give the boxing fans a chance to see whether Frampton has enough youth left to withstand the pressure from the younger Warrington. This could be another case of Warrington catching a fighter at the right time with Frampton being on the slide slightly. Frampton did look good in his last 2 fights in beating Luke Jackson and Nonito Donaire, but those guys aren’t fight at the same level as Warrington right now. Donaire just recently moved down to bantamweight and stopped WBA champion Ryan Burnett, but he wasn’t able to handle Frampton. That version of Frampton will give Warrington a lot of problems on Saturday night.
Josh Warrington 125.5 lbs vs. Carl Frampton 125.75 lbs
(Warrington’s IBF Featherweight world title – 12 Rounds)
• Michael Conlan 125.75 lbs vs. Jason Cunningham 124.5 lbs
(Vacant WBO Intercontinental Featherweight title – 10 Rounds)
• Mark Heffron 158 lbs vs. Liam Williams 159.75 lbs
(Vacant British Middleweight title – 12 Rounds)
•Martin Murray 159.75 lbs vs. Hassan N’Dam 157.5 lbs
(Murray’s WBC Silver Middleweight title – 12 Rounds)
Nathan Gorman 248 lbs vs. Razvan Cojanu 273 lbs
(Gorman’s WBC International Silver Heavyweight title – 12 Rounds)
Billy Joe Saunders 178.5 lbs vs. Charles Adamu 173.25 lbs
(178-pound catchweight – 8 Rounds)
Tommy Fury 179.5 lbs vs. Jevgenijs Andrejevs TBA
(Light Heavyweight – 4 Rounds)