After enduring his first professional defeat earlier this year, Carl Frampton (23-1, 14 KOs) returns to the ring on July 29th for a Belfast homecoming bout. Many were hoping for a trilogy fight against Léo Santa Cruz, allowing the Irishman a chance to reclaim the WBA featherweight title, but we’ll have to keep waiting for now. Instead, he’ll be facing Andrés Gutiérrez (35-1-1, 25 KOs), a young Mexican fighter looking to make his mark. If you’re interesting in placing a bet on either fighter, be sure to check out our review of the best online sportsbooks before doing so.
Frampton had a landmark year in 2016, defeating longtime rival Scott Quigg in front of a sold-out Manchester Arena and claimed the WBA super-bantamweight title. Then he moved up to featherweight where he defeated WBA champ Léo Santa Cruz. To cap it all off, The Ring magazine named Frampton the Fighter of the Year.
That all came crashing down in January when he was outscored by Santa Cruz in a close rematch. Now, after four fights on the road, Frampton returns to Belfast for a bout he’s heavily favored to win.
At 30 years old, Frampton still has a couple of years left in him. But the Northern Irishman is already considering retirement. In a recent interview, he entertained the idea of fighting for another year or so and hanging up the gloves after the Santa Cruz trilogy.
Andrés Gutiérrez is a little-known 24-year-old Mexican fighter hoping to make a name for himself. Against Frampton, he gets the chance to do exactly that. Over 37 fights, he’s only managed to land one notable opponent, former super flyweight champion Cristian Mijares, who issued the youngster his first defeat earlier last year.
Frampton is clearly the better boxer in this match-up. He’s a gifted body puncher, a proven world champion, and, until recently, one of the top pound-for-pound fighters in the sport. Despite his long resume, Gutierrez is a largely untested fighter and isn’t accustomed to facing a seasoned vet like Frampton.
However, Frampton’s drive seems to have taken a hit after his loss to Santa Cruz. Another defeat would be devastating for him and that’s probably why he chose to face a little-known fighter as his next opponent. With retirement on his mind, Frampton probably isn’t as committed as he was a year ago. That’s a recipe for disaster for Frampton and a great opportunity for the long odds underdog.
Pick: Andres Gutierrez (+1200)