By Ian S Palmer
There’s a decent featherweight tilt at the SSE Arena in Belfast, Northern Ireland this Saturday, July 29th as hometown hero and former champ Carl Frampton takes on Andres Gutierrez of Mexico in what’s being listed as a 12-round WBC elimination bout. Frampton last fought in January when he lost to Leo Santa Cruz by a majority decision in their rematch after Frampton won the first meeting. Gutierrez was last in the ring in last October when he beat Wallington Orobio by a sixth-round TKO. This bout on the 29th can be seen live on Sky Sports in the UK. Frampton is a former IBF and WBA Super Bantamweight champion.
The 30-year-old Frampton enters the ring with an impressive record of 23-1 with 14 Kos to his name. He’s fought 152 rounds since turning pro in 2009. The champion stands 5-feet-5-inches tall and has a 62-inch reach. Frampton has pretty good power and his current knockout ratio stands at 58 per cent. He’s also got a decent chin, but has been on the canvas before. Frampton’s biggest-name opponents so far have been Santa Cruz, Scott Quigg, Kiko Martinez and former world champ Steve Molitor of Canada. This is just Frampton’s third bout in the 126 lb. division.
The 24-year-old Gutierrez also has a fine record of 35-1-1 with 25 Kos. He’s 5-feet-6-inches tall with a 67-inch reach so has a slight height advantage and a decent edge in reach. He’s fought 212 rounds since turning pro in 2009 and has pretty good power with a current knockout ratio of 68 per cent. Gutierrez’s lone loss was a 12-round majority decision at the hands of veteran and former super flyweight world champion Cristian Mijares in June of 2016. That fight has basically been his only foray into the upper echelon of boxing and he fought quite well.
Gutierrez has won some minor regional titles up to now and he’s not a bad boxer at all, especially for a 24-year-old. He likes to let his hands go, but at times can be a little bit reckless. If he can become a more accurate puncher then he should have a good future ahead of him. He’s shown a good chin up to now and that will definitely be needed against Frampton. If Gutierrez isn’t intimidated by the Belfast crowd then this should be an entertaining bout.
Understandably, Frampton’s the favourite here, but he sure can’t take Gutierrez too lightly as he’ll be in four a tough night if he does. Frampton is a solid boxer with a good arsenal of punches and isn’t one to lose his concentration in the ring though. He’s quite accurate with his punches, doesn’t waste many of them, and uses his jab to set up straight right hands and left hooks. He’s comfortable leading the way or counterpunching and his power is somewhat underrated. He’s expected to win this fight and win this fight he will, but it might be closer than some fans expect.