(Jeremy Parodi, left, Carl Frampton, right; via)
In a sport that may have courted the prefix “professional” in a bid to ward off repeated suspicions to the contrary, there can be few boxers as meticulous as Carl Frampton. That the Belfast junior featherweight manages to be as diligent as he is, while simultaneously electrifying an entire city – dare we say country? — is as revealing as the youthful exuberance he engenders in the typically statesmanlike Barry McGuigan.
European champion Frampton dismantled Frenchman Jeremy Parodi at the Odyssey Arena on Saturday while remaining both measured and explosive – a compelling mix. The little wizard was simply irrepressible before an audience that was bouncing off the walls in appreciation — stalking Parodi early before breaking down and then silencing the visitor’s impressive defiance with a deadening left hook to the midsection at 2:59 of round six.
Not so much a bear pit as a festival crowd, the home faithful had been whipped into near delirium as Parodi — looking impossibly lonely — awaited Frampton in his corner. Dark haired, handsome and decked out in black, he appeared the very cliché of an existentialist pin-up — all that was missing was a cigarette. Sadly for him, though, the only knees trembling in his vicinity would be his own.
Parodi, Toulon, France — normally a boxer who aims to press forward – began boxing in retreat. His flimsy jab, though, resembled a man fending off a Rottweiller with a rolled up copy of Le Monde. The Ulsterman, who has incredible balance and threads his punches home like a man spearing fish, unloaded in round three — missing with a right before stabbing home a left that rocked Parodi back onto his heels. “The Jackal” proceeded to turn up the dial on his fellow 26-year-old, who flaunted impressive whiskers in the face of unrelenting hooks and uppercuts.
Parodi’s left eye was blackened and bleeding from thereon in, yet he remained fairly impassive under fire until Frampton switched his attack downstairs. As the challenger opened up his guard in order to throw a right hand, Frampton ripped the finisher across his stomach, sinking his foe to one knee where he remained immobilised and was counted out (in doing so, the better-than-advertised import fell to 35-2-1, 9 KO).
The plan for Frampton, 17-0, 12 KO, is to procure a rematch with previous conquest Kiko Martinez in order to secure the Spaniard’s recently acquired alphabet belt. Only then will manager McGuigan — who at times jigged, whooped and hollered like he’d wandered into the ring from the cheap seats — let him loose on arch-rival Scott Quigg and the best man in the division – the Cuban maestro Guillermo Rigondeaux.