Carl Frampton going on the attack against Darren Traynor. PHOTOS BY QUEENSBERRY PROMOTIONS
Carl Frampton’s quest for a third world title is still alive. The “Jackal” scored a seventh round TKO victory over Darren Traynor at London’s York Hall last Saturday to stay on course for a shot at WBO super featherweight champion Jamel Herring this fall. That’s if Herring retains the belt against Puerto Rican Jonathan Oquendo in Las Vegas on Sept. 5.
Also at York Hall, undefeated Michael Conlan exploded late against veteran Sofiane Takoucht, stopping the former European titlist in the 10th and final stanza.
Coming off a nine-month layoff, Frampton started slow against Traynor, a late replacement for Armenian Vahram Vardanyan who encountered visa problems. But he’d warmed up by the sixth, dropping Traynor with a two-fisted body attack near the end of the round.
Traynor slumped face down. Surprisingly, he beat the count, but pulled a Roberto Duran-type “no mas” in the seventh after Frampton dug another left hook into his ribs.
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A former world champion at super bantamweight and featherweight, Frampton upped his ledger to 28-2 [16 KOs]. Traynor dropped to 16-4 [7 KOs].
The Scotsman, said Frampton, was a better tune-up foe ahead of his next world title bid.
Michael Conlan in control against Sofiane Takoucht.
“Darren isn’t a southpaw [like Herring], but the dimensions are similar. I know I need to be a lot better for Herring. It’s good to get the rounds done. My hands are fine. No issues there. Onward and upward,” said Frampton.
At ringside in York Hall, Herring was delighted by Frampton’s triumph. “When it’s time to face each other, I am definitely going to bring my best because without a doubt it will be the biggest fight in my career. But first and foremost, I have to take care of business on September 5,” said the American, a former Marine.
World-ranked at both 126 and 122-pounds, Michael Conlan lived up to his reputation in the former weight class, dominating Sofiane Takoucht for nine rounds before stopping him in the 10th.
It could have ended earlier had Conlan, pounding away at the Frenchman, not been docked points in the fourth and fifth stanzas for low blows. A third warning would have meant disqualification, so the Belfast star turned head hunter for a few rounds. He went back to the body late in the contest before setting up the finish with a vicious left hook to head.
Rocked, Takoucht [35-5-1, 13 KOs] took more shots, forcing referee Steve Grey to halt the fight.
Ranked third by the WBA and sixth by the IBF, Conlan is now 14-0 [8 KOs] and plans to drop down to the 122-pound junior featherweight class. He’s ranked third there by the WBO for its vacant title.
On the undercard, Andy Lee protégé Paddy Donovan kayoed journeyman Des Newton [8-16, 2 KOs] at 1:31 of the first round with a right hook to the body.
Out of Limerick, the 21-year-old Donovan is Las Vegas-based Top Rank’s latest Irish signing.
Having taken super lightweight prospect Ryan O’Rourke under its wings, Joe DeGuardia’s Star Boxing promotions of White Plains, New York, has signed O’Rourke’s Dublin training partner Tony Browne.
“He is one of the most exciting amateurs in world boxing and his pedigree speaks for itself,” said DeGuardia. “We believe he is well suited to the pro game and I look forward to seeing him progress.”
“I’m delighted to have finally turned pro,” said Browne. “This has been a dream of mine for a very long time, and this opportunity that has presented itself is one I had to grab with both hands.
“People have always said I’m suited for the pro game, so I’m raring to show that I am. A big thanks to my team Steven [O’Rourke] and Conor [Slater] and of course to Joe and everyone at Star Boxing for this amazing opportunity. I’m looking forward to getting started. I haven’t turned pro just to make up the numbers or to win just a couple of belts, I want to be world champion and leave a legacy. That’s my goal.”
According to Star Boxing, Browne has been listed at #4 on Ireland’s amateur pound for pound list. He represented Ireland internationally, medaling at The Chemistry Cup (World Cup), the Eindhoven Box Cup and won several Irish National Titles.
Browne, who will be campaigning at super middleweight, has had no shortage of professional experience having sparred with the likes of Chris Eubank Jr., in his preparation for his bout against James DeGale.