By Mark Whalley
Carl “The Jackal” Frampton has turned his attention to a world title following his capture of the European super-bantamweight title last Saturday.
Frampton won the strap in a hard-fought battle with crude slugger Kiko Martinez, becoming the first man to knock out the Spaniard in the process.
Martinez had promised to have too much for Frampton in a fiery build-up, and whilst this did not turn out to be the case, he undoubtedly provided The Jackal with his toughest fight to-date.
Indeed, in the first four rounds he repeatedly enjoyed success with hooks to both the head and body, forcing Frampton to box mainly on the back foot and look to capitalise on mistakes.
After the fight Frampton indicated that a world title was on his radar, though at present the more intriguing prospect is an all-British super-fight with Bolton’s Scott Quigg.
Frampton and Quigg have been on a collision course for years, with both commenting after the fight that a domestic dust-up was inevitable.
However Frampton’s promoter Eddie Hearn has suggested that a fight was still some way from being made, remarking that Frampton’s significant drawing power in Northern Ireland showed that “Scott Quigg needs Carl Frampton.”
Negotiations between the top two fighters at the weight in Britain may therefore prove tricky, with both sides believing they should have contractual superiority.
Tricky or not, Quigg/Frampton is undoubtedly one of the domestic bouts that UK fight fans most want to see.
Before Saturday the general consensus was that Quigg’s development is somewhat ahead of the Northern Irishman’s, but Frampton’s latest performance suggests that if he has not surpassed his rival, he has at least narrowed the gap.
Given how frequently the game-but-limited Martinez’s punches found their target, world title aspirations would appear to be somewhat premature.
Furthermore, super-bantamweight king Nonito Donaire is regarded as one of the best pound-for-pound boxers in the world and arguably the best boxer from the Philippines following Manny Pacquiao’s decline.
Frampton would do well to avoid the likes of Donaire for now, but if he continues to improve and deals with Quigg then a genuine push for world glory in 2014 looks realistic.