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PBC on CBS: Frampton wins unexpectedly tough U.S. debut, Arreola draws with Kassi

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Carl Frampton had to get off the canvas twice in the first round, but went on to take a wide decision, while a listless Chris Arreola struggled with Fred Kassi's mobility and volume.

Esther Lin/CBS

Most, if not all fans in the know expected IBF super bantamweight champion Carl Frampton to earn the win in his U.S. debut with relative ease. They proved half-right, as while Frampton took home a decisive victory, it wasn't exactly smooth sailing.

Unheralded challenger Alejandro Gonzalez, Jr. (25-2-2, 15  KO) dropped Frampton twice in the opening round, once on a stiff jab that Frampton walked into and again with a 1-2 behind the ear. Though neither was what you'd call a hard knockdown, it put the champion quite a bit in the hole.

The rest of the fight more or less followed the script, with Frampton's boxing acumen and lethal jab carrying him past the powerful-but-inexperienced Gonzalez. The latter made Fampton's catchup job easier by losing two points on low blos, although it's arguable that some of them were on the beltline.

In any case, neither man managed to hurt the other after the first, but it was Frampton landing the more telling blows throughout, and while there were a couple of mid- and late rounds where Gonzalez found success, the judges' scores (115-109 x2, 116-108) all seemed reasonable. Bad Left Hook had it 115-109 for Frampton.

With this win and rival Scott Quigg's two-round blowout of Kiko Martinez, the time really couldn't be more right for these two to finally lock horns. Here's hoping it happens.

In the opening attraction, unheralded Fred Kassi used a slick shifting style and tactical clinches to frustrate power-punching Chris Arreola for a good portion of their ten-round fight, eventually settling for a majority draw. Though Arreola (36-4-1, 31 KO) came in much lighter than in his previous bout, he threw a surprisingly low number of punches, allowing Kassi (18-3-1, 10 KO) to touch him up with well-placed jabs. Arreola did find success when he finally opened, particularly with a digging left hook to the body, but despite earning the nod on one judge's scorecard, his performance didn't inspire much confidence in his chances against the likes of Deontay Wilder.

For quick results and round-by-round coverage of the afternoon's proceedings, click here.