Carl Frampton made light work of Californian Chris Avalos before an adoring Belfast crowd, Saturday. Hometown hero Frampton (20-0, 14 KO), dominated Avalos (25-3, 19 KO) throughout their junior featherweight showdown, before referee Howard Foster rescued the woozy visitor at 1:33 of round 5, when Avalos listed after absorbing a succession of flush right hands.
Avalos swaggered into the ring before 10, 000 baying fans, who once again whipped the Odyssey Arena into a cacophony of noise and emotion. Intent on crowding Frampton — swarming him behind a game plan consisting of left hooks and brass neck — Avalos proved too one-paced for a world titlist whose blend of balance, speed and power looks almost unmanageable at 122 lbs.
Avalos, 25, was warned for hitting on the break in the opener, a circumspect round during which he pawed with his jab. Frampton, 28, utilised those opening shots to measure the Lancaster man with a succession of feints and right hand range-finders.
Avalos’s chutzpah didn’t sustain him for very long. After the pair clinched in round 2, Frampton gripped the American’s arm to prevent Avalos from swinging on him as they parted. Avalos grimaced, held his shoulder and wheeled away. With his man at sixes and sevens, Frampton pounced mercilessly, raking Avalos with both hands against the ropes.
Clearly unconcerned with Avalos’s firepower, Frampton moved inside in the 3rd. Compact, strong and infinitely quicker, he began taking Avalos apart at his own game. Looking somewhat hang-dog in round 4 despite landing a neat uppercut, the fight began to drain out of the self-styled “Hitman” and Frampton closed in for the finish in the 5th.
After hurting Avalos with a stabbing right cross, Frampton unleashed a volley of hooks that he lashed home with both hands. Avalos, on unsteady legs, was bundled over amid the resulting tumult. After rising gamely, Frampton set about him again and, as gutsy as Avalos was, he had few complaints when referee Foster interjected. Both men weighed 122 lbs.
Frampton, who was impeccable once again, claimed it was “very easy” but acknowledged that Avalos was a “tough guy.”Longtime rival Scott Quigg joined in the postfight interview to issue Frampton and his manager, Barry McGuigan, a challenge of sorts. That fight, the most mouth-watering in British boxing currently, is one whose time has come.