Day of The Jackal

By Mohummad Humza Elahi on September 5, 2014
Day of The Jackal
The key for La Sensación this weekend is to not let Frampton dictate the pace and action.

The fight game is about survival and casual fans will soon forget it over a pint of Guinness should the little dynamo be triumphant…

Although Guillermo Rigondeaux is more popularly known as El Chacal, it is arguable that the brawny super-bantam from Belfast that enjoys the more support; managed by Northern Ireland’s famed son Barry McGuigan, Carl Frampton (18-0) fights Kiko Martinez (31-4) in a rematch of their 2013 bout, a fight that Frampton bossed and scored a ninth round TKO. Kiko insists that was a bad night for him and it may prove to be so; after the Frampton loss, he went on to win the IBF version of the super-bantamweight strap from Jonatan Romero, stopping him in the sixth despite a gutsy effort from the taller Columbian. 

If getting past Martinez the first time should have led to bigger fights for Frampton, his camp may be forgiven for being miffed that they have to go through him again. Frampton signalled his intentions by letting go of the IBF Intercontinental and making short work of Hugo Cázares in a WBC eliminator back in April. Leo Santa Cruz may be more tempted by a Frampton fight should he get past Martinez and will be watching intently as Saturday night’s action unfolds in the Titanic Quarter in Belfast.

With all the swings and roundabouts happening at the class (we haven’t even got into the much anticipated match-up between Frampton and British rival Scott Quigg), I wouldn’t rule either fighter’s career over should they take a loss; Kiko has proved that a comeback is possible and some of the champions above at featherweight may take an interest in Frampton’s vociferous fanbase and supposed vulnerability should he sacrifice his “0”.

But as Carl Frampton and Kiko Martinez prepare to kick off the autumn/winter schedule for 2014; will familiarity make for a lackluster affair? Or will both sides go into this with a ‘win at all costs’ mentality?

Casting off the past

The psychological edge clearly lies with The Jackal, but it is interesting that being the champion, Martinez not only agreed to face Frampton again, but to do it on Belfast soil. It’s clear that Frampton is the A-side, bringing in the revenue for both of them and if reports are to be believed, Martinez was paid a tidy sum to bring the belt to Northern Ireland. So what is motivating Martinez more? The chance to avenge a loss or to make sure he gets the most money, whatever the eventuality?

It’s an important question, as a champion, one would expect that you grind out the negotiations to make sure that the deck is stacked in your favor as much as possible. But Kiko doesn’t have the star power of Frampton and so a bumper payday was the only hand he could play. So although Kiko’s motivations for this fight may be called into question, it’s only on fight night that we will see if he has the hunger to take the fight by the scruff of the neck and tries to boss the action from the first bell.

Carl, for his part, knows he has a shot at Leo Santa Cruz in the bag but the decision to fight Martinez again may be a ploy to wrestle some of the leverage back if and when he sits opposite the table to the WBC champ to thrash out a deal for a unification fight. 

So both have a lot to gain and a lot to lose, making this a crucial fight to see how the super-bantam division plays out over the next 12 months; the other crucial one being the WBO-ordered fight between Rigondeaux and Chris Avalos, where Avalos is also in line to face the winner of Frampton-Martinez. If this is all too much, don’t worry; I think the chaos in the class at the moment is nothing short of a golden opportunity to get some big matches made, especially for Rigo, whose talent deserves a much bigger stage.

Permutations aside, both Frampton and Martinez have to ignore the form book and go into Saturday night more prepared than ever, regardless of what is motivating the other to step into the ring, surrounded by a partisan Irish crowd. 

Lessons learned?

To use a very corporate term, Kiko Martinez should have done a thorough evaluation of his performance last time out and corrected any mistakes he believe cost him the win. But are those mistakes rectifiable? Or is the talent gap a chasm that no amount of work will close?

I’m inclined to go with the former, I certainly think that Martinez has the ability to cause Frampton some major problems, especially if he can crank up the punch output and add some length to his punches; they line up almost identically in physical attributes but Frampton seems much more able to use those attributes to his advantage. Also in the first fight, Kiko seemed content on letting The Jackal have all the space in the world and attempting to blast him out of there instead of steadily administering damage and picking him off later in the later rounds. His hand speed is comparable, he possesses enough power to put Frampton down if he lands cleanly and he’s technically just as sharp.

The key here for La Sensación is to not let Frampton dictate the pace and action; if he gets out of the blocks quickly and settles, sticking to the gameplan, he has a great chance of walking out of Belfast with a massive scalp and the prospect of an even bigger payday.

Jackal and Hyde

On paper this fight looks routine, another show for the hometown fans to come and cheer its newest son. In the Frampton camp, I’m sure they’re viewing this as his biggest potential banana skin to date; there were moments in the first fight that threatened disaster. Moments when Carl jumped on his bike and pedalled back with his hands down, inviting Martinez to throw wildly and shut him inside corners. Indeed, before the Carl’s short right hand put Kiko down and unable to convince the ref he was good to carry on, he got caught with a snapping left that forced him to stumble and hold on for dear life. 

That glimmer of success was promptly cancelled out and that is where The Jackal has to cement his superiority; lateral movement that frustrates his opponent whilst creating space to fire in combinations from all angles. The accumulated damage paid dividends and with a tighter defense, Frampton should do enough to get past on points and looking forward to bigger and better things.

This might make it for a less exciting night than the first time out, but I don’t think he’ll lose sleep over the occasional boo; the fight game is about survival and casual fans will soon forget it over a pint of Guinness should the little dynamo be triumphant. 

Prediction

This is a really tough call, a genuine pick ‘em that has important ramifications for the whole division. Frampton’s insistence that Martinez is unable to adapt or change could be premature, stating “I think this is his 35th or 36th fight and every single one of his fights he has boxed the same way. He comes forward, he’s aggressive and has an exciting style that the crowds like.” Martinez on the other hand told The Guardian, “I’m not intimidated by anyone and I simply go out to do my job. And after two and a half months of incredibly hard preparation, I’m completely sure I am going to win and the last thing I am thinking about is the crowd. Plus, in the ring it is just him and me.”

Everything points to this going the distance, a more disciplined Martinez will be harder to hit, so I’m not expecting a quick night’s work the Belfast native. Both have improved since their last fight and both will be leaving everything in the ring. And so…

Carl “The Jackal” Frampton winning his first world title by SD/MD

I was very tempted to back Martinez, especially if Frampton had showed little improvement in the interim but as both have gotten better, the gap still exists although it’s possibly now a bit smaller than before. Hoping for a good, old-fashioned tear up!

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Kiko Martinez vs. Carl Frampton II - Promo



Kiko Martinez vs Carl Frampton II Is On



Carl Frampton vs Kiko Martinez Full Fight



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  1. RayRay 01:16am, 07/28/2016

    Frampton is going from strength to strength, especially in the US. Looking forward to seeing him in action against Leo Santa Cruz in Brooklyn on July 30 - two great fighters at their best.
    Some good background on Frampton including recent fight highlights at http://www.premierboxingchampions.com/carl-frampton

  2. Mohummad Humza Elahi 03:11pm, 09/05/2014

    I definitely think that’s possible, CG.  Martinez can’t hold back and Frampton has the easiest shot at a world title he’ll ever get, a Santa Cruz, Quigg and Rigo gauntlet? No thanks.

  3. Clarence George 10:01am, 09/05/2014

    My own prediction, MHE, if I may be so bold, is a Frampton win by late-round stoppage (probably in the 10th).  I’d much prefer a win for Martinez, who’s one of my favorites.  Anyway, I think this has the potential to be a Fight of the Year candidate.

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