|Has Frampton turned his back on purists?|
Believe me when I tell you, I used to be impressed with Carl Frampton. Truth be told, I had him pinned way back in 2013 as a man who might, just might, be able to beat Guillermo Rigondeaux. Looks like we'll never find out. And unless I'm sorely mistaken it's at least partially because Frampton and manager Barry McGuigan want nothing to do with the Cuban slickster.
Because there's more money to fight Leo Santa Cruz. For the record, Leo is a lot less of a challenge than Rigo is, too. Make of that what you will. Call me old fashioned. Call me stupid. Call me naive or even cruel, but I want to see the best fight the best. To me, boxing is a sport first and a business second.
And Carl Frampton's avoidance of Guillermo Rigondeuax tells me he and/or his camp put business first. It also strongly suggests that team Frampton is afraid to face Rigo. What's more, it suggests that team Frampton feels modern boxing fans are okay with fighters looking like, wait for it, ducks. Sadly, there are indeed many new breed boxing fans who applaud Frampton for playing it smart, avoiding the best challenge out there, and cashing in with easier work, but there are other types of fans, as well.
The new breed of fan may still be the controlling force of modern boxing, but it's power may be eroding. People really, truly do like to see the best fight the best...and they look down on fighters they feel avoid facing the best. Just ask Canelo Alvarez, who was extremely popular not all that long ago. Now he's just starting to look like a fighter with a strong fan base.
In short, Frampton won't get away from Rigo scott free. His name will always follow Frampton around, straight through to the Northern Irishman's eventual retirement. He may be avoiding an inconvenient foe, but Frampton is also weakening his own legacy. Perhaps he doesn't care. Fans such as myself do, however.
And there's more of us than some may think.