Carl Frampton knocks out Kris Hughes: Boxing weekend review

We look back at the best of the weekend's boxing action, including Carl Frampton's convincing defeat of Kris Hughes

By Mike Pope

Boxer of the weekend

Carl Frampton. The much discussed and celebrated Northern Irishman justified some of the hype as he headlined on Saturday night in Bethnal Green. Defending his Commonwealth super-bantamweight title for the first time against once-beaten Scot Kris Hughes, Frampton looked a class above as he knocked his opponent out in the seventh round. Frampton was the firm favourite going into the bout but he still had to get past his opponent’s awkward southpaw stance, six-inch height advantage and vastly superior reach. In the end, none of that mattered as Frampton was able evade Hughes’ punches whilst dashing in and out of range landing his own blows, especially the lead right hand and left hooks to the body which Hughes was unable to defend against. As the rounds went, Frampton’s dominance was clear and the only remaining question was whether or not he could please the fans by stopping the fight early. By the end of the sixth Frampton was landing heavier, more telling blows and the stoppage seemed imminent. And the seventh round was the end; Hughes was backed into a corner and was unable to defend himself again from a huge right lead. Dropping to the canvas, Hughes got back to his feet but the referee immediately called of the bout as the Scot was in no condition to continue. Frampton successfully defended his title and improved his perfect record to 12 wins, eight by the way of knockout.

Fight of the weekend

Erick Ochieng v Nick Quigley. This scheduled 10-round bout may have only been for the English light-middleweight title but these men threw over 1100 punches in an enthralling fight on Saturday night. As the main undercard of Frampton’s title defence against Hughes, it was Nick Quigley who started the fight at a ferocious pace and pinned Erick Ochieng against the ropes for the full three minutes. However, Ochieng seemed to thrive from being forced onto the defensive, ducking and weaving past most of his opponent’s punches and landing the more telling blows. This was the pattern adopted for the rest of the bout, Quigley the aggressor, Ochieng the counter puncher on the ropes. Ochieng occasionally tried to fight from the centre of the ring but Quigley was always quick to reassert his positional dominance. In the middle rounds, Quigley’s tactics appeared to paying off as his constant pressure looked to be wearing Ochieng down but the man from Stoke Newington was just catching his breath. By the end of the eighth round Ochieng was dominating Quigley, landing the harder, cleaner punches and dictating the pace. In between the round, both fighters were given encouragement from their corners but after taking three big left hooks without responding at the start of the ninth, Quigley’s corner threw in the towel after just ten seconds, handing Ochieng a technical knockout victory.

Knockout of the weekend

Lorenzo Villanueva. The undefeated Filipino fighter known as the “Thunderbolt” knocked out another victim on Saturday night in Cebu, The Phillipines. Lorenzo Villanueva, a southpaw, knocked out Diego Ledesma in the first round with a vicious left hook having already floored the man from Mexico earlier in the round with a similar punch. The victory improved Villanueva’s perfect record to 22 wins, 21 coming by the way of knockout – an amazing 91 per cent KO ratio. Villanueva has yet to fight any top class opposition but his power is legitimate. Hopefully he will take on some of the contenders in the featherweight division to prove himself. At 5ft7 and 27 years of age, ‘Thunderbolt’ has the raw elements and potential to entertain fans and make a big name for himself in the sport if he fights the best out there.

Decision of the weekend

James DeGale and Frank Warren. This week much maligned and somewhat forgotten Olympic gold medallist James DeGale declared that he splitting from his promoter Frank Warren, saying: “I think it is time for both of us to move on.” Frank Warren immediately denied the claims: “This is not true; James DeGale is in fact under contract until 14 April 2013.” Despite nothing being clarified what is clear is that DeGale is unhappy with his current situation under Warren’s promotional banner. It is easy to speculate why but it does no good, only DeGale can really know why he feels he should leave. What is obvious, however, is that the talented boxer must get back into the ring and continue his progression. DeGale is 26 next month yet he has only fought 12 times as a professional. It is essential for him to gain more experience in the ring if he is to fulfil his undoubted potential. He should be looking to fight at least five times this year and promotional issues will only decrease his ring activity, just ask Timothy Bradley, Nonito Donaire and Sergio Martinez. Hopefully he can put this dispute behind him and get back to his profession.

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