Carl Frampton is Champion of the World.
It was supposed to be harder against Kiko Martinez this round. The Spaniard came to Belfast on the back of stoppage wins over three World class fighters , with a World title around his waist and claiming he he had made improvements in every department since his last Frampton bash.
However, Frampton produced a masterclass and out fought, out thought and out boxed a World champion to claim the title in style in front of 16,000 fight fans.
He didn’t stop the Spaniard this time round, but was nigh on flawless in the biggest fight of his career to register a 119-108, 119-108, 118-111 points win.
Indeed such was Frampton’s dominance and class that the only compliment you could bestow on the World Champ was that he was tough and brave throughout. ‘The Jackal’ secured legendary Irish boxing status in the most fitting of fashions via a boxing masterclass in front of his home crowd.
Frampton asserted dominance from the off and held the centre of the ring for the first few rounds, landing stinging right hands.
He managed the distances superbly and when Martinez did get close he stood his ground and even won the rare inside battles.
In the fourth round Frampton started to punish his foe anytime he rushed in and in the fifth he sent him to the canvas with a right cross as the then champion tried to up the pressure.
Credit to Martinez he recovered and remained game, but Frampton picked him off brilliantly over the next few rounds.
By round eight Frampton looked like a master craftsman really enjoying his work, making a world champion look limited in everything but heart.
When the championship rounds arrived Martinez knowing he needed a Knock out to keep his belt did become that bit more aggressive, but the home favourite punished him further.
The crowd rose to their feet as Frampton let fly with a volley of punches. Martinez was in trouble on the ropes and knowing defeat was just over three minutes a lesser man would have accepted defeat and quit, but Martinez held on and made it to the last.
Frampton could and probably should have gone on his bike in the final stanza considering he was so far ahead and Martinez ability to produce knockouts, but ‘The Jackal’s’ desire to entertain remained and he remained the aggressive right to the final bell.
The final bell was drowned out by 16,000 celebrating fans and the obvious was soon confirmed when the judges scorecards we’re read out.
Carl Frampton is IBF super bantamweight champion of the world and claimed the title with as impressive as an Irish world champion has ever produced. An Irish boxing legend was born!