By Alexey Sukachev & Phil D. Jay
Capital FM Arena in Nottingham - In a battle of undefeated prospects, Carl Frampton (14-0, 9KOs) won a lopsided twelve round decision over Raul Hirales (16-1-1, 8KOs) to win the vacant IBF Inter-Continental super bantamweight title. The scores were 120-108, 119-109 and 119-109.
Hirales, a lofty fighter with a relatively strong punch and somewhat sound skills looked to bring the war to Frampton. However, the shorter Brit, who delivered his best professional performance, was at his defensive peak. After an aggressive start, he became more cautious and made a decision to avoid any unnecessary punishment. With his speed and reflexes it wasn't particularly difficult. He tricked the Mexican fighter into being offensive and then punished him with quick right and left hooks. Hirales tried to ignite a war but Frampton was better in almost every exchange throughout a very tactical contest.
IBF #14 light welterweight Pier Olivier Cote (19-0, 13 KOs) soundly proved his talent with a fifth-round TKO of overmatched Bit Mark Lloyd (15-6, 3 KOs). Lloyd was never in the game, trying more to survive than to compete on the even terms with an extraordinary fast and sharp opponent. He stayed in the fight for the first four rounds relying more on his defense than on his offense and thus helping Cote, a very skillful fighter from Canada to show his best skills and his best technique.
In the fifth round, already poised Cote engaged more into the fight and soon found his range and his soft spot in Lloyd's defense. The Brit was first dropped with a hard left hook to the head. Soon he went down for again - this time after a heavy overhand right to the jaw. Cote was forced to jump over his fallen opponent and accidentally kicked him to the back. Lloyd bravely continued to fight on but it took a couple of hard series by Cote to ensure referee Terry O'Connor that Lloyd was in no position to continue. The official time of stoppage was 2:45 of the fifth round.
Erick "The Eagle" Ochieng (10-1, 3KOs), a Britain-based Kenyan light middleweight, continued his professional education with a hard-fought but deserved ten-round unanimous decision over game and spirited but ultimately limited opponent in A.A Lowe (10-7-1, 2 KOs). Scores were: 100-90, 99-91 and 98-92 - for Ochieng, who made the first successful defense of his English light middleweight crown. He is 25.
Middleweight prospect John Ryder improved to 11-0 with an entertaining eight-round win over Yorkshireman Luke Robinson.
The 23 year-old, who has looked impressive since joining the Matchroom stable, willingly exchanged blows with Robinson for the duration of the bout and just had that extra skill to take control of the fight and gain another victory.
After an exciting contest, the referee gave the bout to Ryder 79-74 as ‘The Gorilla’ inches closer to the top of the domestic scene, but still has some way to go before he stands alongside the likes of Martin Murray, Darren Barker and Matthew Macklin.
Also on the bill in Nottingham, Scott Cardle made it three out of three since turning professional earlier this year with a comprehensive victory over London-based Nigerian Ideh Ockuko.
Cardle, 22, was sporting a knee brace at the opening bell, although it didn’t seem to hamper him at all as he cruised the first three rounds. A clash of heads in the fourth opened up a cut on Cardle's forehead but he came back to floor Ockuko and rubberstamp his authority in the bout.
The St.Annes fighter fought the remainder of the contest with blood pouring from the cut, but took every round and with the knockdown, the referee gave it to the undefeated man 60-53.