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Frampton stops Avalos in round five
01 Mar 2015 12:12
By Ed Leahy at the Odyssey Arena
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Carl Frampton has sent out a warning shot to the super-bantamweight division with a comprehensive fifth-round victory over Chris Avalos at the Odyssey Arena in Belfast.
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In Frampton’s first defence of his IBF world title, mandatory challenger Avalos proved a tough test for the Belfast fighter in the early exchanges, but eventually fell to the power of the Belfast man.
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The damage was done in the fifth round as a relentless spell of Frampton pressure proved too much for the American as the referee stepped in and called time.
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Again the Belfast crowd turned out in huge numbers to support the Tiger’s Bay champion, returning indoors to the white-hot atmosphere of the Odyssey Arena.
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And the decibels were doubled compared to the outdoor venue last Autumn when Frampton secured the title in front of 16,000 fans at the adjacent Titanic Slipways when he beat Kiko Martinez for the IBF belt.
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There was a tentative start from both boxers, despite the challenger Avalos, nicknamed The Hitman, vowing to attack from the opening bell. Yet it was Frampton who landed the first noteworthy blow as he crashed a left hook high into the body of the American.
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But Avalos looked classy, leading with a fine left jab, looking to use his impressive reach and was certainly not shirking the tough task at hand.
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Frampton landed a big right early on before unleashing the first combination of the contest, and while little landed, it showed great intent and surely convinced the judges that he had taken the first round.
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A lively start to the second round allowed Avalos to display his speed and, at times, sent Frampton onto the back foot without ever causing any real problems.
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Then Frampton managed to upset Avalos. Their arms locked and the American didn’t look happy. But the referee said "box on" as Avalos dithered in the corner and Frampton took the opportunity to catch him off guard, landing a blow before he could get his defence back up.
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‘Protect yourself at all times’ is the boxer’s mantra and a cleaner punch could have led to a Floyd Mayweather-esque knock-down - but Avalos survived.
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The challenger was slow to come out for the third but once the bell sounded, the fight moved into top gear, and got faster. There was some awesome strength and courage shown by both boxers as they traded blows, neither backing away.
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Frampton appeared to get a slight nick under the right eye and Avalos tried to capitalise, targeting the area.
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But it proved ineffective as Frampton’s combination mid-round showed that he maintained the upper hand before a huge left hook out of nowhere rocked Avalos and his grimace showed that he was hurt. Frampton tried to finish it but could not inflict any more damage.
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The break in rounds did little to stop either boxer coming forward in the fourth and Avalos must have been buoyed by Frampton’s willingness to go blow for blow, being renowned for having a knock-out blow in his armoury.
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But Frampton remained for a reason, as he obviously felt he had his opponent’s number and despite getting caught with an uppercut that was close to landing flush on the chin, the more powerful combinations were coming from the champion, who looked to be edging the round.
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If the judges were in any doubt, a clean left hook from Frampton sealed it. Avalos was hit with a late blow just as the bell sounded, but it would have been impossible to penalise as the punch had already been thrown.
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And then came the stoppage.
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The Tiger’s Bay fighter’s pace and power put Avalos in trouble on the ropes early on and the challenger took several bouts of punishing Frampton flurries.
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The champion worked him all the way around the ring and Frampton threw punch after punch against a defence that was quickly crumbling.
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The referee was left with no option but to step in and call time on Avalos’ credible but ultimately unsuccessful challenge.
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Frampton’s unbeaten record now stands at 20 straight victories.
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