This weekend’s triple-header of events spans across the pond in the United Kingdom all the way back to Brooklyn, New York. A pair of U.K. pay-per-views competes for buys featuring Carl Frampton vs. Josh Warrington on ESPN+ and the Dillian Whyte vs. Dereck Chisora rematch surprisingly landing on Showtime. Stateside the Charlo brothers Jermall and Jermell return to the scene of the crime for many of their highlight-reel knockouts, facing contenders on Fox. The slate of fights should be considered an early Christmas gift to us avid followers of the sport.
Normally the boxing schedule comes to a complete halt during holidays in America–shutting down for around month is usually expected. However, with all of the new network entities in boxing even a Saturday a few days before Christmas is jammed-packed.
Let’s begin are preview and prediction journey with the most important fight as far as relevance within a division. That of course brings us to a very intriguing matchup between the 2016 Fighter of the Year Carl Frampton and current IBF featherweight titleholder Josh Warrington. This fight will take place at the Manchester Arena, broadcasted by BT Sports Box Office/ESPN+.
Carl Frampton took the first loss of his career in early 2017 against a man he’d beaten the summer before in Leo Santa Cruz. Since that defeat, Frampton has won three times. His last victory came on August 18th in Belfast. Although he handled his business in the ring, finishing in the winner’s circle, the former unified 122-pounder hasn’t looked the same, especially versus Horacio Garcia. Frampton was gassed late in a 10-rounder versus Garcia, leaving many to wonder if the best Carl Frampton has passed us by. Carl spoke of overtraining and claims to have made the necessary adjustments to his training camp for this Saturday’s title fight. His opponent is a primed-fighter looking to make a jump to the tippy-top of the division.
Josh Warrington brings an intense come-forward style to the ring blended with improved skill. It took a while for Warrington to make his mark on the world level after turning professional in 2009. Not a big puncher with just six knockouts on his record, Warrington remained under the radar. When he did step up ladder to a fringe-level against Kiko Martinez, Josh struggled to impress. Warrington’s popularity grew as did his rankings in recent times, which enabled him to get an IBF title shot.
In Warrington’s last outing against Lee Selby, he put it all together, scoring a split-decision victory that most fans felt the Leeds native clearly won. Warrington became the first ever world champion to hail from Leeds, but now an even bigger challenge stands in the way of full-fledged U.K. stardom. Warrington’s bread is buttered using an aggressive offensive attack, which was very successful in his bout with a defense-first boxer in Lee Selby. In that fight Josh controlled the ring and pace, beating Selby to the punch.
With Frampton, Josh will need to be on his best behavior offensively as well as defensively. It’s important for Warrington to take the lead early by setting the pace. If he allows Carl to slow the action down it will be difficult for Warrington to score effectively. Constant pressure, head movement, and a potent body assault will me a must for Warrington to find consistent success.
Look for shades of Carl Frampton’s performance when facing Leo Santa Cruz the first time or the second go round with Kiko Martinez. Frampton has great hand speed and a good feel for distance, far enough away to evade but still in range to strike.
Frampton’s jab and foot movement will take a few rounds for Warrington to catch up to. As the fight enters the midway point it will be crucial for Warrington to have closed the gap and crowd Frampton, keeping ‘The Jackal’ in a shell defense, not able to get off as many punches will be the best path to victory for Warrington.
The outcome to this featherweight contest will likely be decided on we’re Carl Frampton truly is in his career at this stage. Not to take any credit away from Warrington, but a Frampton on top of his game is too crafty and slick for such an offensive-minded boxer. This podcaster/blogger believes Carl Frampton is still near his prime condition to stay a step ahead of the man from Leeds. Frampton fights to the level of the moment and opponent, when he’s tuned all the way in, he’s a nightmare of a trap-setter.
Frampton’s timing, footwork, and counter abilities will overload the IBF champion but it’s surely won’t come easy. Warrington will make it a dogfight on the inside as he rages ahead to engage. Clean punching and crafty inside fighting in spots will be the keys to victory for Carl Frampton.
My Official Prediction is Carl Frampton by Majority-Decision.
Next on the docket is a rematch from a heavyweight brawl between Dillian Whyte and Dereck Chisora in 2016. Their first meeting was a crazy back and forth scrap that ended in a split-decision favoring Whyte that could’ve easily been a draw. One can only assume the rematch will live up to the hype, at least to an extent anyway. The good thing for us fans is the type of shape these heavies are in for Saturday’s event taking place at the O2 Arena in London on Sky Sports Box Office/Showtime. Both pugilists seem to be in peak form both physically and mentally.
Look for Whyte to get out of the gates early behind a somewhat active jab followed by right hands to the head and body. Don’t be fooled if Chisora spends a fair amount of time on the ropes as he looks to wear down Whyte. If Chisora can withstand in what could be an improved, more measured attack from Dillian, Dereck will be hell to deal with down the stretch.
Chisora will land flush counters off the ropes possibly hurting Whyte similar to what Joseph Parker did in the closing frames to Dillian. At the end of the day Whyte is the fresher and more enhanced version of a fighter than Chisora, two years removed from their war.
My Official Prediction is Dillian Whyte by Unanimous Decision.
After the U.K. matinee tune into the return of the Charlo Twins. The 154-pound WBC belt-wearer Jermell Charlo takes on a potential dangerous style matchup versus contender Tony Harrison. Harrison is a skilled outside fighter whom many compare to John Jackson as far as opponent game plan against Charlo. Charlo needed a stoppage in the fight he was losing to Jackson some two and a half years ago. Harrison was seemingly well ahead on the scorecards in his defeats to the unified junior middleweight champ Jarrett Hurd and tough-as-nails Willie Nelson.
My Official Prediction is Jermell Charlo by a closer than expected decision.
In the main event at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn on Fox, Jermall Charlo faces late replacement Matt Korobov. Luckily Korobov was already scheduled to fight on the undercard at a 162-pound catch-weight. In Korobov’s only loss he was beating Andy Lee until he got caught with a knockout shot. Let’s us not forget about Korobov’s victory that’s aged well over Jose Uzcategui.
My Official Prediction is Jermall Charlo by mid-late stoppage
Written by Chris Carlson Host/Producer of The Rope A Dope Radio Podcast Available at www.blogtalkradio.com/ropeadoperadio & TheGruelingTruth.Net. Follow on Twitter @RopeADopeRadio