Carl Frampton vs Horacio Garcia: Local hero has some making up to do

Carl Frampton taken to KO Horacio Garcia in comeback fight
Carl Frampton taken to KO Horacio Garcia in comeback fight
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Carl Frampton is back in action on Saturday at the SSE Arena, Belfast. Betfair's boxing pro Frankie Monkhouse gives the round he expects The Jackal to win in...

"The points verdict appeals at first glance, given Garcia has never been stopped, but when you look at the level of opposition he has been in with, and notice he was dropped twice in an eight rounder recently, it’s not the value bet I first thought."

Carl Frampton is in action this weekend, barring any slip-ups (pun intended), when taking on Mexican Horacio Garcia on Saturday in Belfast. With the away fighter failing to win half of his last eight, The Jackal looks set for an easy night, at least according to traders, with no more than 1/100 (sportsbook) available on Frampton securing career win number 24.

With the perfect record gone, it's now up to the home town hero to return to winning ways as quickly, and impressively, as possible, following that majority decision defeat to Leo Santa Cruz back in January. The support will turn out in force, as always, and there's value in the betting for punters willing to roll up their sleeves and look past the 1-X-2 market.

Jackal appears to have his hunger back

Carl Frampton has made headlines for all the wrong reasons since suffering a career first defeat to Santa Cruz in Las Vegas earlier this year, a result that saw him drop the WBA featherweight title. The gritty 30-year-old has had a change in camps, suffered the humiliation of a bout with Andres Gutierrez called off at the last minute - leaving thousands of followers out of pocket - and seen himself fall further down the pecking order. Instead of completing the trilogy, Santa Cruz chose to defend his title against Chris Avalos in America last month, halting the Californian in eight.

Triumph here and Frampton will put himself firmly back on track for bigger and better nights, but he not only has to get the result, he must do it in style, proving the decision to cut ties with manager Barry McGuigan and trainer Shane McGuigan to be a shrewd call. Frank Warren is now pulling the strings, Jamie Moore in charge of his preparation, with improvement promised. The Northern Irishman hopes a change is as good as a rest, telling fans he had become disillusioned with the sport, and was going stale.

Will we see him explode out of the traps and score a knockout over an opponent who has never been stopped? The market certainly thinks so and there's 2/5 on the sportsbook about victory inside the distance, winning a fourth fight from five on points a touch more attractive at 7/4. Followers of the stats may be interested to know that each of the favourite's last four bouts have gone the distance - this one to hear the final bell is also trading at 7/4.

Garcia has never been stopped

27-year-old Horacio Garcia jets into The SSE Arena in Belfast with one main strength - his durability. The fact the Mexican has never been stopped in 37 previous bouts makes this one a bit more interesting for punters. The 5ft 6inch orthodox hasn't been in with anyone anywhere near Frampton's ability so far, an eight-round points nod over Fernando Vargas back in May one of his best efforts to date.

The underdog was beaten by Diuhl Olguin back in July, but twice touched down during that contest, hitting the canvas in rounds two and eight. A defeat he sorted just two months later, dealing with the same opponent inside four rounds. An eye-catching 65 per cent knockout average is sure to impress casual punters, perhaps those looking for a big price pay-out, but it's worth knowing that Garcia has lost to Hozumi Hasegawa, Joseph Diaz and Diuhl Olguin, and drawn with Erik Ruiz, in his last eight.

Not very convincing, is it, and I'd be surprised to see too many bets come for the upset, even with a cracking [25.0] available on the exchange. Will the recent upheaval affect Frampton? What's the chances of an away day? Well, there's no chance, to be brutally honest, not judging by the form of both men, Garcia a staggering 33/1 by KO/TKO, or 100/1 to win over the judges. A draw at [38.0] is more likely than the visitor impressing ringside scorers. That tells a story in itself.

Frampton will make light work of Mexican

For me, punters, traders, and just about everyone else, this fight is little more than a chance for Frampton to get back winning, and perhaps show fans the changes he's made behind the scenes. It wasn't the big-name opponent he promised to bring to Belfast to thank his support, and there will be a few who won't travel, feeling let down by the Gutierrez fiasco, but we must remain patient. Frampton will blow off the cobwebs with a big positive result - no question.

The points verdict appeals at first glance, given Garcia has never been stopped, but when you look at the level of opposition he has been in with, and notice he was dropped twice in an eight rounder recently, it's not the value bet I first thought. Frampton by KO/TKO at 2/5 for your weekend multiples, or there's a super single there to be shot at - Frampton in rounds 5-6 at 7/2, top price on the sportsbook.

Recommended Bets

Frampton KO/TKO @ 2/5 (sportsbook)
Frampton rounds 5-6 @ 7/2 (sportsbook)

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