By: Sean Crose
“What’s impressive about (Carl) Frampton,” I wrote way back in late 2013, “isn’t so much his punching power – though it’s impressive – as it is his ability to change styles. One minute he’s fighting like a small version of Roberto Duran, the next he’s fighting like a really small version of Gene Tunney. I’ve seen the guy destroy one opponent with body blows, but I’ve also seen him knock out another while fighting in retreat.” Needless to say, I was impressed with what I saw in the young Irishman at the time. I ended the article, however, with a rather odd single sentence paragraph:
“Time will tell the tale on this one.”
Now that Frampton has announced his retirement after being bested by Jamel Herring for Herring’s WBO lightweight title, it appears that the tale has indeed been told. Fortunately, it wasn’t a disappointing one, for Frampton can walk away with a 31-3 record. Throughout the course of his career the man won WBA and IBF super-bantamweight titles. He also won a WBA featherweight strap. What’s more, Frampton’s loses all came to top names. He split a pair of fights with Leo Santa Cruz, and was decisioned by Josh Warrington in a bid to win the IBF Featherweight title.
And then, of course, there was Saturday’s loss to the American, Herring. If these were indeed Frampton’s final moments in the ring, then they were conversely Herring greatest moments in the ring. For the former Marine outboxed, then dropped Frampton in the sixth. Height advantage aside, there was no denying who the better fighter was this weekend. If Frampton fans can take comfort in one thing, it’s that their man lost to a class act. Like the fighter he stopped on Saturday, Herring is a gentleman, a guy confident enough not to have to constantly bask in the media spotlight.
It’s good to see Herring have his moment in the sun, though. It will be even better to see him have more moments in the sun. The man is a consummate professional. He’s also very good at his job. Herring may be no kid, and he may have two losses on his resume, but he’s also got 23 rings and a reputation for gutsiness in the ring. Herring’s now unquestionably one of the big names in a very interesting junior lightweight division.
Once again, time will tell the tale with this one.