The city of Belfast had waited for more than two and a half years for Carl Frampton to box in front of his hometown faithful, they expected fireworks and got them in droves. Carl Frampton won his highly anticipated homecoming against Horacio Garcia, but it was a much more testing encounter than most had ever expected.
An attritional encounter saw the ten round fight go the distance with Carl winning an unanimous points verdict with scores of 98-93, 97-93 and 96-93 all in favour of the Belfast man.
A strong three rounds saw Carl box sharp and at range, showing his explosiveness upon the Mexican Garcia. Strong movement and footwork from Frampton made the Mexican miss regularly and seemingly on first glance make him look lost upon the cauldron of the SSE Arena. However from the fourth onwards it’s was a much more testing and grueling affair.
Garcia came to life in fourth who came forward at will and letting his hands go, knowing that Carl’s punches were having not the desired affect. Carl was still letting punches go and landing shots but it was on the terms of the Mexican, who wanted to make the fight into a brawl.
The fifth round saw Frampton win the exchanges up-close, landing some crisp and powerful shots. Garcia was still more then willing to fight fire with fire, who’s chin had had passed the proverbial test. Frampton also sustained a cut in the round from the up-close encounters with Garcia, which was ruled by official in charge Victor Laughlin came from a clash of heads.
The sixth saw Garcia beat Frampton to the punch regularly, often letting his attacks go on the ropes cornering the Northern-Irishman.
The seventh round saw Frampton take a tumble to the canvas via a tangle of feet/legs, but referee Laughlin ruled the fall as a knockdown which should have been ruled as a slip. Garcia and Frampton were still trading a plenty within the round.
The eighth frame saw Frampton win the exchanges in close quarter’ s, winning back some what of the initiative in the round. Garcia was still closing down Frampton who was looking more fatigued as the bout went on.
The penultimate round (9) saw Garcia sensing the whiff of an upset, who went hell for leather throwing punches targeting the body of Frampton who was looking exhausted from the pace. Garcia was regularly attempting to pin Carl against the ropes and caught him with solid uppercuts through the guard.
The final round saw a second wind from Frampton, who boxed like he did in the opening frames. Boxing at range and landing with the Mexican over eager to close the distance as he was falling into pocket. Carl used his footwork to navigate around the ring slowing down the tempo to his liking, seeing out the final bell despite some clinching between the pair.
Carl who hadn’t boxed since January of this year when he faced Leo Santa Cruz ( loosing a majority decision), with a new training team behind him in the form of Jamie Moore. Frampton will know that he will need to sharpen up but shaking off the ring rust in a hard fight fight such as Garcia, could potentially do him the world of good.