Former two-weight world champion boxer Carl Frampton said his fractured left hand felt good before his fight Saturday against super featherweight Tyler McCreary.
Not that it mattered.
Frampton won every round en route to a 10-round unanimous decision over McCreary at the Chelsea inside The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. He’s now in line to fight Jamel Herring, who attended the card, for the WBO super featherweight title.
“It wasn’t the most exciting fight in the world, but I had to do what I had to do just to get the win,” said Frampton, who would become a three-division champion with a win over Herring. “(My hands don’t feel) great, but it is what it is.”
An ornamental pillar fell on and fractured Frampton’s left hand in August, and he revealed that he refractured it twice during training camp in preparation for McCreary. The 32-year-old Irishman (27-2, 15 knockouts) also said that he might have fractured it again early in the fight against the 26-year-old McCreary (16-1-1, seven KOs).
But Frampton still controlled the bout by brutalizing McCreary’s body and knocking him down with body shots in the sixth and ninth rounds.
“It’s always easier hitting the body than the head. That’s why I targeted the body,” Frampton said. “I feel like my distance control is good, really good. I feel like my reactions and stuff are good. I would say it will be a much tougher fight against Herring, but I’ll be ready for him.”
Oscar Valdez followed Frampton’s win with a seventh-round technical knockout over Adam Lopez in their WBC super featherweight title eliminator fight. Valdez (27-0, 21 KOs) originally was to fight Andres Gutierrez, but he was 11 pounds overweight Friday and pulled from the card.
Lopez (13-2, six KOs) came up from the undercard to challenge Valdez and knocked him down with a left hand in the second round. But he was ultimately no match for Valdez, who knocked down Lopez midway through the seventh round and followed with a flurry to force a stoppage at the 2:53 mark.
Valdez, who was leading on two of the three scorecards, said he was impressed with Lopez’s effort on short notice.
“I was very surprised. I take my hat off to Adam Lopez. He’s a great fighter, great warrior,” said Valdez, a former world champion in the featherweight division. “I just got hit. This is boxing. I prepared myself for two, three months for Gutierrez, but that’s no excuse.”
Valdez is in line to fight WBC super featherweight champion Miguel Berchelt, who also attended the card and posed for a photo with Herring.
Top Rank CEO Bob Arum promoted the card and said Frampton and Herring could fight in the first four months of 2020. Valdez and Berchelt could fight on Father’s Day, Arum added.
“I’ve never had a situation like this where we have two fights tonight, and there’s opponents here, and all four guys want to go at it,” Arum said.
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