Carl Frampton will face Andres Gutierrez in a WBC Featherweight title eliminator on July 29th, 2017 at the SSE Arena in Belfast. The bout marks Frampton’s return to the boxing ring since losing to Leo Santa Cruz by majority decision on January 28th of this year.

Return of the Jackal

Frampton is the first boxer from Northern Ireland and the second from Ireland to win a world boxing title in two different weight classes. Known as The Jackal, Frampton was the IBF and WBA super bantamweight champion before moving up in weight to challenge the then unbeaten Leo Santa Cruz for the latter’s WBA (super) featherweight title in June of 2016.

Frampton turned in a performance of a lifetime when he defeated Santa Cruz by majority decision but lost to the Mexican in a rematch held at the MGM Garden Arena last January. Santa Cruz is slated to rematch three division champion Abner Mares on October 7th in a fight that will determine the sole WBA featherweight king. With Santa Cruz going another direction, Frampton set his eyes set on the WBC featherweight belt. A win over Gutierrez sets up a bout between current WBC champ Gary Russell Jr.

Rising Mexican Contender

Andres Gutierrez is a rising Mexican contender. The 23-year old recently bounced back from the first loss of his career with a TKO win over little known Wallington Orobio. One fight back, Gutierrez suffered a controversial majority loss against former world champion Cristian Mijares in a WBC silver featherweight title bout. Gutierrez was four pounds over the weight limit during that fight.

Before the loss to Mijares, Gutierrez was aiming at Leo Santa Cruz but the latter didn’t take a fight with him. Now, he has the chance to face Leo’s rival. A victory over Carl Frampton will not only lead to his first ever world title shot but it could also lead him to a future bout with Santa Cruz, the man he claims avoided him.

Odds and Prediction

Frampton is the heavy favorite here at -2500 while Gutierrez is at +1000. Many think that Gutierrez isn’t ready for a fight of this magnitude and they are pointing at the Mijares fight as an example of why Gutierrez isn’t the real deal yet. But if you take a look at that fight, Mijares’ face was battered and bruised. The fans thought Gutierrez won but the judges gave the more well known fighter the nod.

Gutierrez has good punching power and Frampton was  knocked down by the late Alejandro Gonzalez Jr. in his U.S. debut in 2015. He has knocked out 25 of 35 opponents and his last three victories have been by stoppage. The only catch with him is that he can be wild at times while on the offensive end. Frampton meanwhile is a complete fighter and is considered the #2 featherweight in the world. The Jackal is a smart boxer who also has good punching power. He has beaten world beaters before and is no stranger to big fights. The only concern in this bout is that he gives up an inch in height and five inches in reach. It will be also interesting how he fights coming off a loss. All things considered, we’re picking Carl Frampton to win by unanimous decision.

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