Carl Frampton wins decision over Tyler McCreary, but suffers another hand injury
Oscar Valdez was not the only fighter making his debut at 130 pounds Saturday night.
Former two-division world titleholder Carl Frampton was successful in his junior lightweight debut, defeating previously-unbeaten Tyler McCreary by unanimous decision inside the Chelsea Ballroom at The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas.
All three judges scored the bout 100-88 in favor of With the victory, Frampton improves to 26-2 (15 knockouts).
Frampton, who resides in Belfast, Northern Ireland, was making his debut under the Top Rank banner, which signed him to a co-promotional deal earlier this year. The 32-year-old had not fought since Dec. 22, when he lost by unanimous decision to IBF featherweight titleholder Josh Warrington.
He was scheduled to return to the ring on Aug. 10 in Philadelphia, but had to withdraw from the fight on the Monday of fight week when he was injured in a freak accident from a falling ‘ornament’ in a hotel lobby, fracturing his left hand.
McCreary, who was taking a major step-up in opposition, last fought on July 19, defeating Jessie Cris Rosales of the Philippines by split-decision.
From the opening bell, Frampton was the aggressor and landed the more-effective punches. He worked behind a steady jab, putting the taller McCreary on the defensive.
Moments into the sixth round, Frampton landed a right-left combination to the body, dropping McCreary to the canvas. McCreary remained on one knee until he stood up at the count of nine.
McCreary had his moments, connecting to the head of Frampton when he initiated exchanges, but backed away when he was countered with thudding punches to the body. Two left hooks to the body from Frampton in round nine forced McCreary to again take a knee, eventually beating the count of referee Kenny Bayless.
“I was happy,” said Frampton after the fight. “That was the plan, to target the body. Tyler is pretty tall. We’ve seen that he left gaps. My hand wasn’t great coming into the camp as well. It’s always a bit softer hitting the body than the head. I (felt) like I hurt it again in the second round, so that’s why it wasn’t the most exciting fight in the world, but I just cruised to a points win. I just wanted to be safe with my hands.”
“I re-fractured the hand twice in camp, but I knew a lot of people were coming to support me. There was absolutely no way I wasn’t fighting.”
Frampton’s next fight could be against WBO junior lightweight titleholder Jamel Herring, who was sitting at ringside. Frampton stated it did not matter whether the proposed fight would take place in the United States or in Northern Ireland.
“I know he’s a champ. I just want to fight for a world title next. I want to be involved in big fights. I would love the opportunity to fight Jamel. I’m not the champion. He’s the champion.”
McCreary, who resides in Toledo, Ohio, falls to 16-1-1 (7 KOs).
Francisco A. Salazar has written for The Ring since October of 2013 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (Calif.) Star newspaper, Boxingscene.com, and FightNights.com. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing