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Frank Warren on Frampton, Price, Lomachenko, More

By Frank Warren

Few fight fans are collectively more passionate or knowledgeable than the good folk of Northern Ireland so the buzz being generated by Belfast's reigning European super-bantam king Carl Frampton warrants serious attention.

This evening the 26 year old 'Jackal' locks horns with French rival Jeremy Parodi (beaten just once in 37) in what is effectively a final eliminator for the IBF title held by Spain's Kiko Martinez – a man Frampton has already knocked out. BoxNation televise.

Belfast's 8,000 capacity Odyssey Arena has been completely sold out for weeks. Expect those assembled to replicate the chaotic atmosphere synonymous with when Frampton's manager Barry McGuigan – the former WBA featherweight champion – 'owned' the city's King's Hall during his prime in the 1980s. Nobody gets behind their fighters quite like the Irish.

Frampton, unbeaten in 16, has a similar fan friendly ring manner and carries sleeping pills in his gloves, as 11 stoppage victories testify. Now we need to see how he reacts when the opposition sticks it on him. I'm optimistic he will cope.

Despite eight months on the sidelines, courtesy of an ear injury, Frampton should certainly have the skills and power to see off Parodi.

A comprehensive win would pave the way for a world title challenge with either old foe Martinez or Bury rival Scott Quigg, who holds a version of the WBA title. I'd back Frampton strongly to dethrone either.

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I welcome British heavyweight champion David Price's announcement that previous trainer Franny Smith will be working alongside Price's current coach Adam Booth as he attempts to resurrect his career following back-to-back losses to US veteran Tony Thompson.

The Scouser, 30, should profit from mutually beneficial sparring with David Haye, who Booth also trains and manages.

A former Olympic bronze medallist, Price ticks all the boxes technically. He possesses a terrific jab and chilling power in his right glove. However, his shortcomings have always been psychological. Some say he's a little too delicate when opponents place him under pressure.

It'll be interesting to see if Booth and Smith can fleece the 6ft 8in giant of his demons and inject the confidence required for Price to fulfil his potential on the world stage.

'Big Pricey' needs just one more successful defence of his title to retain his Lonsdale Belt outright and the Boxing Board has instructed that he meet European champion Dereck Chisora next.

It's potentially a huge fight with three belts on the line for the fans and a big payday for the principals.

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My best wishes go to all those youngsters from the home nations who are presently toiling for medals at the world amateur championships in Almaty, Kazakhstan.

Leading the British assault shall be reigning European flyweight champion Andrew Selby and 2012 Olympic silver medallist Fred Evans, both from Wales.

Two lads from opposite ends of the weight spectrum, super-heavyweight Joe Joyce and light-fly Jake Bateson (both medallists at this year's European seniors) represent England's best bet of making the podium.

After reverting to three-three minute rounds, from the unpopular four-twos a few years back, governing body AIBA have introduced a further two changes that will steer amateur boxing ever closer to the pro game.

For the first tournament in 29 years, competitors are forbidden to wear head guards and it's a decision I welcome.

While there is an added risk of boxers suffering cuts, recent evidence suggests the helmets actually heighten the possibility of concussion. They also obscure the fighter's peripheral vision, increase the size of the target area and de-personalise the participants.

AIBA have also dispensed with the maligned computer scoring system which threatened to reduce amateur boxing to a glorified form of tag, where flighty types would nick a point with an innocuous jab then scarper.

The reversion to the 10 point system used in pro boxing makes greater allowance for power shots and body punching, which can only improve the sport as a spectacle.

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Could Ukrainian featherweight Vasyl Lomachenko make history by collecting a professional world title in just his second fight?

The 25 year old southpaw – a two time world amateur champion and two time Olympic Games gold medallist, beaten just once in 396 unpaid fights – made a sensational pro debut in Las Vegas last weekend, wiping out a world class Mexican in just four rounds of a scheduled 10 rounder.

The grapevine is now ripe with rumours that he will next challenge WBO king Orlando Salido of Mexico at Madison Square Garden in late January. If triumphant, and he'll be favoured, 'Hi Tech' will smash the record of Thailand's Saensak Muangsurin who back in 1975 snared the WBC light-welter title in only his third start.

Lomachenko is a special, special talent. It seems veteran US promoter Bob Arum, having previously expanded the Hispanic and Chinese audiences, has identified another new market to develop.

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Fight fans who like their action rough and raw are advised to tune into this evening's WBO light-welter clash between Mike Alvarado and Ruslan Provodnikov from the former's home city of Denver, Colorado.

Last March both principals were involved in leading nominations for Fight of the Year. Alvarado edged past Brandon Rios to collect his belt while the Russian copped the rough end of a tight decision after a violent slug out with WBO welter king Tim Bradley.

Neither has a reverse gear and their whirlwind work rates and boundless courage should guarantee another X rated tear-up. Not recommended for the squeamish. Sky Sports televise live.

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Liverpool star Derry Mathews, who recently re-signed with me, is known for his power in the ring, but is currently showing-off his pedal power for charity as he returns from a 300 mile bike ride from Glasgow to his home city.

Mathews is in the saddle to raise money for the Royal Liverpool University Hospital's R Charity and Fazakerly 9 - a charity set up by James McVey whose son was killed after being punched in October 2010 - which will pay help pay for new equipment to improve social wellbeing.

The lightweight ace, who loves getting involved in wars, challenges rock hard Irishman Stephen Ormond for his WBO European title on December 7th at the Echo Arena which should be a thriller.

Tags: Frank Warren image  
User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by knockoutkid on 10-19-2013

im not sure anything can be done with price, he cant box long cause he plants his feet and his back is oddly very hunched over, he cant fight inside cause he's too lacsidasical and slow i think he should…

Comment by vxrandall on 10-19-2013

[QUOTE=taansend;13855353]OK, a whole Frank Warren column without him slagging off any boxers or promoters! What's next, the US Government finally gets it's act together & puts the interest of the people first? Naah...[/QUOTE] thats EXACTLY what i thought before i…

Comment by taansend on 10-19-2013

OK, a whole Frank Warren column without him slagging off any boxers or promoters! What's next, the US Government finally gets it's act together & puts the interest of the people first? Naah...

Post a Comment/View More User Comments (3)
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