Josh Warrington wonders if weight will effect Carl Frampton


Josh Warrington thinks the nine-stone featherweight limit may take too much out of Carl Frampton and that their showdown on Saturday could be one fight too far for the 31-year-old

The IBF featherweight champion doesn’t necessarily believe that Frampton will miss the weight – although he does bring up the Andres Gutierrez debacle – more so that the strain of slimming down to 126lbs will leave ‘The Jackal’ lacking bite on fight night.

While it was not a point of discussion beforehand, many people would afterwards note that Warrington’s title win over Lee Selby in May was, in part, due to the Welshman’s struggles making weight.

Selby, who is set to jump up two divisions to lightweight, certainly did not seem himself that night at Elland Road and this, combined with a career-best performance from Warrington, led to an upset result.

The new champion can see something similar happening in his first defence on Saturday night at the Manchester Arena.

Speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live, Warrington outlined how “there’s a little factor that I think people are forgetting about – There’s been an occasion where Carl’s not made weight.”

“Even though he’s not the tallest of featherweights, he’s thick-set.”

“That’s one factor that people talked about with Selby, that he’d not made the weight [well].”

Explaining his rationale, Warrington described how “when you get older, your metabolism slows down so, maybe, when you’re three or four days off the weight, you think ‘oh, I’ll get this off just before the weigh-in’ but that becomes harder and harder – and, if you’re trying so hard on the day of the weigh-in, it’ll effect you in the fight.”

“I think that could catch up with him in the second half of the fight when it really, really gets tough and you really, really have to find something inside you and bit down on your gumshield. You might find that you used to have it and it’s not there anymore”

“I wonder, I just wonder… It’s a question that’s certainly in my mind and that I’m playing on.”

Frampton, who moved up from super bantamweight in 2016 following well-documented struggles making the 122lbs class, did indeed miss weight for his cancelled clash with Gutierrez last year, coming in a full pound over the limit.

frampton overweight

This fight came during a bad time in the Ulsterman’s career as his split with the McGuigan family loomed.

Frampton’s comeback fight from this ordeal was set at 127lbs while his subsequent WBO interim title fights with Nonito Donaire and Luke Jackson saw him make the weight and fight well into the latter rounds – although he did have to strip naked for the Jackson weigh-in.

Warrington has mentioned multiple times that he feels he is getting Frampton at the perfect time.

The bookies underdog, who is over three-and-a-half years Frampton’s junior, believes both age and Frampton’s other commitments will work in his favour.

Warrington noted how “he’s had a lot going on outside of boxing, I don’t know how much that takes out of you. He’s had some bad fights as well.”

“He’s not getting any younger and, at featherweight, you don’t have a long fight span.”

“At 31, he thinks he’s in his peak, I like to hear that because I know that he feels like it’s his best he’s going to bring.”

“But I don’t think it’s still the same Carl Frampton and I think I’m going to exploit that.”

A noted pressure fighter, when Warrington was asked if the pace he hopes to set will be a factor he responded: “I think so.”

“Everyone knows that I’ve got good energy, that I’ve got a good engine.”

“But let’s not forgot, Carl boxed Santa Cruz twice and Santa Cruz fights at a high pace as well so he’s certainly been able to mix with that.”

Listen to Josh Warrington’s interview on Costello and Bunce in full here.

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Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: [email protected]