Carl Frampton had a late replacement opponent in Darren Traynor and a lot to lose with a junior lightweight world title bout against Jamel Herring looming.
Frampton (28-2, 16 KOs), a former two-weight world champion, stopped Traynor with a body shot in round seven of a scheduled 10-round lightweight fight. It took a few rounds for Frampton, who hadn’t fought in nearly nine months, to find his rhythm.
Traynor (16-4, 7 KOs) accepted the fight on about a week’s notice after Frampton’s original opponent, Vahram Vardanyan, pulled out due to visa issues.
Said Frampton, “I’m happy to get the win, obviously. Far from my best, but I suppose people talk about rounds. I don’t think it’s going to harm me doing the rounds. If I had the chance to take him out in the first round, I would’ve done that.
“It was a better opponent for Herring than the original opponent because I think he was about my height, maybe even a little bit shorter. Darren isn’t a southpaw, but the dimensions are similar. I know I need to be a lot better for Herring. It’s good to get the rounds done. My hands are fine. No issues there. Onward and upward.”
Conlan Remains Unbeaten
Featherweight Michael “Mick” Conlan, in his final bout before a planned move to junior featherweight, knocked out Sofiane Takoucht in the 10th round. Conlan (14-0, 8 KOs) had a pair of points deducted for low blows, but he dominated the action and stunned Takoucht (35-5-1, 13 KOs) with an overhand left early in the 10th.
A follow-up flurry prompted Steve Gray to call off the fight and give Conlan his second knockout in three bouts.
Following the bout, Conlan, who has campaigned at featherweight since turning pro in 2017, maintained his desire to shave four pounds to fight at junior featherweight. Conlan is ranked third at junior featherweight by the WBO and has his sights set on the winner of the upcoming title bout between champion Angelo Leo and No. 1 contender Stephen Fulton.
In other action:
— World-rated junior lightweight Archie Sharp (19-0, 9 KOs) scraped past former sparring partner Jeff Ofori (10-3-1, 3 KOs) in a 10-round lightweight bout. Referee Marcus McDonnell, the lone judge, scored the fight 96-95.
— Troy Williamson (15-0-1, 11 KOs) bested Harry Scarff (8-2, 1 KO) by 10-round unanimous decision to retain his IBF European junior middleweight title. Williamson prevailed by razor-thin margins of 97-94, 96-94 and 96-95, as he saw his six-bout knockout streak come to an end.
— Top Rank-signed welterweight prospect Paddy Donovan (4-0, 3 KOs), a 21-year-old from Limerick, Ireland, knocked out Des Newton (8-16, 2 KOs) at 1:31 of the opening round with a right hook to the body.