Carl Frampton was surprised and stunned after being knocked down twice in the first round Saturday, even if he claimed he was “never really hurt” by Alejandro Gonzalez Jr.
Frampton was dropped by a jab in the first minute of the fight, then by a straight right to the ear during an exchange in the final seconds of the round, resulting in a 10-7 hole for the Irishman to dig himself out of.
“The first knockdown was a shot, but I was partly off balance. I was fine. I wanted to show that I was OK and went back at him,” the 122-pound champion said of his U.S. debut at the Don Haskins Center in El Paso, Texas.
“The next punch was a good shot, a genuine knockdown. I recovered and was never hurt. I was trying to impress too much, but I was a bit stiff, very tight. My trainer, Shane McGuigan, told me to relax, loosen up and let my shots go.”
After regaining his bearing in the second round, Carl Frampton (21-0, 14 KOs) established The Moment at the 1:56 mark of the third, firing a right hand over a rhythm-establishing jab followed by a double jab, all to the head. That tone-setting sequence forced Alejandro Gonzalez Jr. (25-2-2, 15 KOs) briefly into retreat, turning the tables in Frampton's favor as he stormed back to win a unanimous decision.
“The main thing was to get the jab working in the second and third rounds to make things easier against him,” Frampton said. “Once the jab was going, everything came off it. I was hitting him hard enough that he was careful and a lot more cautious not to walk in and try to knock me out. That’s what won the fight.”
After the first, Frampton won each round on at least two of the three judges’ scorecards, sweeping Rounds 3-6 and 10-12 to win by scores of 115-109 and 116-108 twice. He was helped on the scorecards when Gonzalez had points deducted in the third and 11th rounds for low blows.
“I didn’t want to be throwing five- and six-punch combinations as opposed to ones, twos and threes on him,” Frampton said. “I kept my right hand close to my chest to be careful of his left hook. I stopped trying to get into a fight and boxed my way to a points victory instead of exchanging and going to war."
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