It’s fair to say that Carl Frampton was pretty fired up ahead of his WBO super-featherweight title fight against Jamel Herring, especially given the fact that ‘The Jackal’ was aiming to become the first boxer from the island of Ireland to have won world titles in three different weight divisions.
But a setback has hit the Northern Irishman in the form of a hand injury, which has forced the fight to be postponed from its original February date. The bout is now likely to take place in late March, with all parties working hard to try and come to a solution. While Frampton was previously the slight favourite in the Frampton vs Herring odds, things have been thrown up in the air by this injury news, and punters may well fancy Herring’s chances of defending his title on the rescheduled date.
While some may raise their eyebrows at the fact that Frampton’s hand injury is severe enough to cause a postponement, the man himself maintained that it would be a blessing in surprise, and that with rest and recuperation he’ll be in a stronger position to take down Herring.
"It gives me a better chance because I will be going into the fight with two good hands after taking the advice from the specialist,” Frampton said. “It is nothing major though and there is no fracture. I haven't been able to spar or hit the heavy bags for a while. From next week, I have been given the go-ahead to start doing that again. I have still been training, doing loads of running, shadow boxing and hitting the paddles as well, which kind of replicates the pads, but I have not hit anything solid for the last two weeks.”
Regardless of what Frampton says, Herring will now be confident of getting the better of the Northern Irishman whenever the fight does eventually take place. A hand injury can be worrying for a boxer, and Frampton will need to ensure that he is heading into the fight with maximum comfort in his punches. Any tentativeness is likely to be capitalised on by Herring, and the American will be keen to take advantage of any discomfort Frampton may be feeling.
Frampton has grand designs on winning this fight to set up one last showdown at Windsor Park before retiring, but he risks his career petering out with a bit of a whimper if he ends up getting downed by Herring without much resistance. He is going to need all his mental strength if he wants to gain that all-important fourth world title and make his little bit of history as a three-weight world champion.
But Frampton has always been a fighter in the truest sense of the world. Setbacks have hit him before, and every time he has picked himself up, dusted himself off and recovered. He has suffered heart-breaking defeats in title fights and has known the pain of losing his belts. All those disappointments will have made him stronger and better prepared for this newest challenge. Even if Frampton is not at 100% come the Herring fight, there’s no doubt that the American will have to put on a stunning display to get the better of him.