THERE is nothing more detrimental to a fighter’s future than a brave trainer.
Thankfully for Luke Jackson, his trusted mentor and career-long trainer Billy Hussein doesn’t fall into the above category. The Tasmanian was brave beyond measure and looked more than capable of upsetting the odds, but Carl Frampton proved to be too good at Windsor Park.
After a near nine completed rounds, Hussein admirably withdrew his charge, courtesy of the towel.
The raucous 25,000 spectators braved difficult conditions to witness the interim WBO featherweight title collision, with recently crowned IBF ruler Josh Warrington in attendance to stake his claim at Frampton, who delivered on his end, ahead of their salivating title unification.
Jackson (now 16-1, 7 KOs) started the bout with purpose, offering only jabs in a tense opening round.
Frampton (now 26-1, 15 KOs) was the more active of the pair, holding the centre of the ring, often splitting the Australian’s guard with single jabs. The defending titleholder promised a knockout in his dream fight at Northern Ireland’s national stadium, and it was evident that he was fighting for a finish.
Although Frampton was taking the rounds and built a comfortable lead by the mid-stage of the championship, the ambitious Jackson made the favourite work for pole position.
Perhaps sensing Frampton’s fast-start and subsequent buffer, Jackson, a former Olympic captain, took the fight to the pocket. Working a traditionally low stance, the previously unbeaten featherweight whipped short left hooks to Frampton’s body, which were worn well.
Jackson’s best moments were just rounds apart, with the challenger getting the better of a single right-handed exchange in the sixth round, before bettering this effort with a left-hook in the eighth round which garnered Frampton’s respect.
Ironically, it was a body shot just seconds later from Frampton which signalled the looming end.
In the middle of the ring, the pair opted for similar shots, with the duo both looking to hand left-hooks. However, Frampton’s landed in Jackson’s midsection, folding the Tasmanian. And while Jackson did well to survive the remainder of the round, his fate was sealed.
“These are my prime years, I feel good,” said Frampton in his post-fight interview.
“I have never felt better than I have with the team around me at the moment. I felt so relaxed against Jackson, I was able to try things out. Luke would have stood in there as long as possible, he’s very tough.”
The 31-year-old confirmed his intentions of challenging the unbeaten Josh Warrington.
“Me and Josh Warrington are both with Frank Warren, so hopefully we can make a fight. I would love to be world champion again. Josh Warrington is top of the list, that fight is the easiest to make and I’m as keen as mustard, so let’s do it.”
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