CARL FRAMPTON’S bid to become a three-weight world champion was thwarted by WBO super-featherweight titlist Jamel Herring, who forced the Northern Irishman into retirement with a sixth-round stoppage at Caesars Palace Bluewaters Dubai.
Making the third defence of his world title, southpaw Herring put his height and reach advantages to good use from the outset by landing long left hands to the head and body in the opener.
Aiming to get inside Herring’s lengthy levers, Frampton bobbed and weaved in round two. The session was a close one but Herring finished strongly by catching Frampton with lefts and rights both upstairs and down as the Belfast boxer was coming in.
In the third, both men were knocked off balance slightly after each swallowing stiff lefts. Yet once again, Herring ended the frame in the ascendancy after scoring with a right-left combination and a check left hook.
Frampton was in need of a productive round and he enjoyed one in the fourth. The Ulsterman managed to work his way up close more frequently, which allowed him to connect with a looping overhand left. When a cut appeared on Herring’s right eyelid, the sight of blood buoyed Frampton, who targeted the wound with stabbing lefts.
Continuing to apply pressure in the fifth, Frampton struck Herring with a left hook up top and the same shot to the midsection. Yet suddenly, out of nowhere, the challenger walked onto a jolting, perfectly placed left hand that deposited him onto the canvas. Upon the resumption, Frampton defiantly took the fight to Herring again, but was hit with jabs and uppercuts by the smart-boxing American, who displayed effective lateral movement.
After a spearing left nestled into Frampton’s solar plexus in round six, a shuddering left uppercut soon put him down. With blood trickling from his nose, an unsteady Frampton rose to his feet and bravely attempted to fight fire with fire. However, another left uppercut buzzed him again, before Herring let loose with a further barrage of blows, leading Frampton’s trainer, Jamie Moore, to throw in the towel at 1-40.
Having promised before the bout that he would hang up his gloves if he came out second best, an emotional Frampton, 34, stayed true to his word by announcing his retirement after the contest.
“I’m deeply upset,” the former WBA/IBF super-bantamweight and WBA featherweight belt-holder declared. “I said before the fight that I’d retire if I lost, and that’s exactly what I’m going to do. I want to dedicate my life to my family now. I want to go home to my beautiful wife and kids. I just got beaten by the better man tonight – no excuses.”
While Frampton’s fantastic career has come to an end, the ever-improving Herring, 35, can now look ahead towards a potential unification clash.
“I have plans to move up in weight [at some point], but I want to get another title,” stated the Coram, New York native. “I’d love to fight [WBC super-feather champ] Oscar Valdez.”