England’s Josh Warrington upset the odds to retain his IBF featherweight title after getting the better of Carl Frampton in a bruising 12-round battle in Manchester on Saturday.
Warrington won a unanimous decision by two scores of 116-112 and one of 116-113 in the first defence of his world title as he extended his unbeaten professional record to 27-0.
Former two-weight world champion Frampton, meanwhile, slipped to 26-2, the Northern Irishman simply overwhelmed by Warrington’s speed and sheer volume of punches throughout.
“Carl Frampton will go down as one of the best champions in history and it was an honour to share the ring with him,” said a delighted Warrington.
“He’s a two-weight world champion and you’ve got to be clever with a thinking fighter like Carl.
“I kept coming at him and I hit him with some corker shots and he took them well. He’s a tough man.”
A former world featherweight and super-bantamweight world champion, Frampton hinted that he could retire after just the second defeat of his career.
“I will have to sit down with my team,” he said. “I’ve got a young family at home and I’ve been in this game a long time. I have to sit down with my team and figure out the next move.”
However, Frampton had no complaints over the outcome.
“He won the fight fair and square. I came here, had trained hard and was sharp but the better man won and I hope he goes on to unify the division,” he added.
“It was just not my night, I was fit and strong but Josh was fitter and stronger. I was hurt a number of times.
“When people say Josh cannot punch, I don’t know what they are talking about. I didn’t estimate but he was even better than I thought — he can punch hard.”
Earlier, France’s Hassan N’Dam beat Martin Murray on points by a majority decision to set up a potential showdown with Mexican superstar Saul “Canelo” Alvarez for the WBC middleweight world title.
© Agence France-Presse (Additional Edits By Oisin McQueirns)