TYSON FURY & CARL FRAMPTON WIN IN BELFAST
BELFAST, Northern Ireland (August 19th, 2018) — Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder yelled vicious intentions at each other Saturday as their world heavyweight title fight was confirmed after Fury’s second comeback win.
Fury won every round of a 10-round points decision over Francesco Pianeta before it was announced he will challenge WBC world heavyweight champion Wilder, who climbed into the ring for some trash-talking.
Their face-to-face confrontation in the ring was more entertaining than Fury’s predictable, 100-90 points win over Pianeta in front of 25,000 at Belfast’s Windsor Park.
Fury’s second fight in as many months lacked drama, and some fans jeered at the end — but the former champion was happy to shed some more ring rust.
It was then the perfect time and place to get the hype machine rolling.
“They called and I answered, I said yes, and now he gets the chance to fight the lineal world heavyweight champion of the world,” Fury said. “One thing I do promise you, when I go to Las Vegas, I’m knocking you the f— out.”
“I’m going to knock you out, this I promise you; you are going to experience being hit by the Bronze Bomber,” Wilder replied.
“Now this fight is official, this fight is on, baby. This is what we have been waiting for, the best fighting the best.”
The pair also clashed at a city-center hotel on Friday, and it is a scene we will get used to before the pair finally meet again in a ring.
Fury’s promoter, Frank Warren, said about the date and venue: “All will be revealed next week — but the fight is on.”
Two unbeaten records will be on the line when American Wilder makes an eighth defense of his WBC belt against Englishman Fury, who won the other three world titles (WBA, IBF and WBO) with a shock points win over Wladimir Klitschko in November 2015 but then did not fight again for a variety of reasons until two months ago.
It still seems a fight too soon for Fury to be facing Wilder (40-0, 39 KOs) after so much inactivity and after losing eight stones (112 pounds) for his comeback.
This was an improvement from his ring return 10 weeks ago, but Fury (26-0, 19 KOs) is still short of the sharpness, fluency and movement of his win over Klitschko.
But it is on and is owed in part to the breakdown in talks between Wilder and Fury’s English rival Anthony Joshua, the WBA-IBF-WBO champion.
It is perhaps boxing’s biggest bout of the year other than the middleweight rematch between Gennady Golovkin and Canelo Alvarez next month.
A lot was on the line for Fury — he expects to make £10 million ($12.76 million) from facing Wilder, possibly in Las Vegas on Nov. 10 or 17 — and he came through his audition without much discomfort.
The 6-foot-9 giant from Manchester had promised to make “Italian sausage” out of Pianeta, who was born in Italy but has lived in Germany since childhood. He had to settle for something less spectacular, but Fury was happy.
“I think it was a calculated boxing performance,” Fury said.
“I got 10 rounds with a very tough man under my belt. I was working on my jab, slipping his punches. I thought that was a step up with the opponent and display. I needed the rounds, and I had plenty left in the tank.”
Fury, 30, got into the ring to the sounds of “Sweet Home Alabama” by Lynyrd Skynyrd while Wilder, from Alabama, looked on from the front row.
Klitschko stopped Pianeta, 33, in six rounds five years ago, but Fury was unable to seriously trouble Pianeta.
Fury weighed in 18 pounds lighter than his comeback fight against Sefer Seferi in June after 2½ years in exile due to problems with alcohol, drugs and depression, during which time he also served a backdated doping ban.
He showed better movement in the first round than he did against Seferi, nimbly swiveling out of a corner while peppering Pianeta with shots to the head.
Fury whose mother, Amber, is from Belfast, employed his jab to good use in a sharp second round full of feints and nice moves.
Pianeta rocked Fury back onto his heels momentarily with a left hook at the start of the third round before the former champion resumed his jab and feints.
It was steady, rather than explosive, as Fury continued to rely on his jab rather than go hunting for a knockout.
The English boxer ended the ninth with some of his best punches of the fight, but Pianeta was unmoved.
Fury, who switched to southpaw for the last two rounds, did not get the grandstand finish he or his promoter Warren wanted, but he did answer questions about his fitness, as he looked sharp until the end.
Carl Frampton left his home fans singing in the rain as he halted Luke Jackson in nine rounds at a wet Windsor Park on Saturday.
The two-weight world champion delivered the performance his home-city fans had turned up to see in Belfast, and the weather did not stop dampen the spirits of the crowd of 25,000 at the outdoor soccer stadium.
Jackson is not a leading light in the featherweight division, but a first defense of the fringe WBO interim belt was still a significant step toward fighting the elite in the 126-pound division for Frampton.
The Northern Ireland boxer dominated Australia’s Jackson, who was put on increasing pressure from the fifth round and was floored in the eighth round before the finish in the ninth.
Frampton (26-1, 15 KOs), a former junior featherweight and featherweight world titleholder, made a patient start, and Jackson (16-1, 7 KOs) bravely absorbed a lot of punishment before his corner threw in the towel as he was being driven across the ring by hard shots that landed flush.
Frampton’s most likely next move will be an all-British clash with IBF world featherweight champion Josh Warrington, of England, perhaps at the Manchester Arena in December.
The pair have the same promoter, Frank Warren, and the fight would offer Frampton the chance to become a three-time world champion. Warrington, who was ringside, outpointed Wales’ Lee Selby for the belt in May and has not fought since.
Fighting at Windsor Park fulfilled a lifetime ambition for Frampton, but he also craves a third fight with Mexico’s Leo Santa Cruz, the WBA champion, and winning a world title will give him some leverage if that fight is ever going to be made.
Frampton, who beat Santa Cruz for the WBA title before losing a rematch in January last year, said: “Me and Josh Warrington are both with Frank Warren, so hopefully we can make a fight. I would love to be world champion again.
“Josh Warrington is top of the list, that fight is the easiest to make and I’m as keen as mustard, so let’s do it.
“These are my prime years, I feel good. I have never felt better than I have with the team around me at the moment. I felt so relaxed against Jackson, I was able to try things out. Luke would have stood in there as long as possible, he’s very tough.”
Frampton, 31, comfortably beat former champion Nonito Donaire in April that proved more of a test than Jackson could muster.
But fighting at the national stadium was something Frampton was desperate to do, and he ensured there was no anti-climax by breaking Jackson’s stubborn resistance.
“I was having a meal beforehand with my wife Christine and I was so nervous, the chicken was shaking in my hand,” Frampton said.
Jackson, 33, from Tasmania, had never fought outside Australia or against an elite boxer like Frampton before but showed plenty of ambition.
Frampton made a patient start but looked a bit frustrated at the end of the second round after being unable to fluently land the combinations he wanted.
The Northern Irishman did land a decent left hook in the second and regularly caught Jackson on the counter in the third round.
Frampton’s corner dealt with a cut over the right eye in the third round before the home hero came alive in the fifth round. The Belfast boxer began landing vicious shots, especially with the right to the body, and Jackson did well to survive the storm with just a bloody nose.
Frampton kept up the same level of intent in the sixth round, landing a sweet right uppercut and boxing immaculately behind his jab.
Those who had seats on the pitch, without cover, did not seem to mind the heavy rain as Frampton rained down blows on Jackson who did not look so keen in the seventh round.
Frampton landed plenty of good shots in the eighth, and the Australian’s resistance finally broke when he sunk to his knees from a left hook to the body.
There was less than a minute left and Jackson survived but in the ninth Frampton resumed the beating. Jackson’s head was snapped back by a left hand after a series of unanswered punches and the Australian’s corner sensibly threw in the towel to stop the fight.
In the undercard, Frampton’s lifelong friend Paddy Barnes was chopped down by a wicked shot to the solar plexus by WBC world flyweight champion Cristofer Rosales in the fourth round.
Barnes (5-1 1 KO), 31, from Belfast, was well in the fight with Rosales but was left pole-axed by the right to the body with less than 10 seconds remaining in the fourth.
Rosales (28-3, 19 KOs), 23, once again silenced the home crowd after he won the title by traveling to Japan to beat Daigo Higa in April.
The Nicaraguan triumphed at the third attempt on British soil after two previous trips to the UK ended in defeat to Andrew Selby and Kal Yafai, now the WBA world junior bantamweight champion.
Rosales made a good start to his first defense and unloaded fast combinations a few times when Barnes retreated to the ropes.
Barnes, who calls himself “The Leprechaun,” was challenging for a world title in only his sixth professional fight but had a distinguished amateur career.
And Barnes, a two-time Olympic bronze medalist, was better in the second round, when he planted his feet to land some big right hooks.
Both were happy to trade in toe-to-toe exchanges from the second round, and the entertaining fight seemed evenly poised when Rosales unloaded a body shot that left the Northern Irishman in agony on his back.
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