Carl Frampton’s boxing career came to an end on Saturday in Dubai, where he was beaten inside of six rounds when making a challenge for Jamel Herring’s WBO junior lightweight title.
The fight Frampton goes out on was an ambitious bid to win a world title in a third weight class, to add something more to his legacy in the ring, to put something more on his résumé. He was fighting small at 130 lbs; Carl frankly fought small even at 126, as he was a thickly-built but not tall guy at 122, where he was at his very best.
He was beaten soundly by a better fighter on the night against Herring, and he made no bones and no excuses about that.
“I just got beat by the better man. I really struggled to get inside him. He was sharpshooting from a distance, perfect game plan,” he said. “Zero excuses, I had an amazing camp, I was coming into this fight to win it. I was just beaten by the better man.”
Frampton then showed something else people will remember about him beyond his accomplishments in the ring: his class, his humble nature, and his gentlemanly respect for everyone else.
“I feel like you should be interviewing the champion,” Frampton said. “I lost the fight, he’s the champion.”
That led to Herring — also known for his gentlemanly nature — coming over and embracing his foe, sharing words with Frampton and calling it “an honor” to have shared the ring with him. The respect between the two sides was very clear and also very clearly sincere, and if you need any extra proof of that, this came from Jennifer Herring, Jamel’s wife, on Friday:
I know it’s fight week but @RealCFrampton was a true gentleman greeting me today. Along with his camp! Much much respect!— Jennifer Herring (@JenCHerring) April 2, 2021
Boxing has always had its trash talkers and always will. But the sport, too, has always had and always will have its gentlemen warriors. Jamel Herring is one of them. Carl Frampton is another.
And with Frampton, who retires at 28-3 (16 KO) and a two-weight world champion, stepping away from the ring, here are some thoughts that were shared from the boxing world on Twitter yesterday:
Yes, this probably the biggest victory of my career, but i just want for everyone to pray and show love for @RealCFrampton. I’ll always be a fan, and he’s a true gentleman. God bless you, my man. Please make it home safely to your beautiful family.— Jamel Herring (@JamelHerring) April 3, 2021
Carl Frampton will be remembered for what he is; an amazing fighter who achieved amazing things, and someone who united a country and gave them unbelievable memories. One of the bravest fighters I know and sometimes they need saving from themselves. What an honour it’s been ❤️ pic.twitter.com/DxVqNQQyna— Jamie Moore (@JamieMoore777) April 4, 2021
Congrats @RealCFrampton on a wonderful career. You ducked no one. Class act !— Andre S.O.G. Ward (@andreward) April 3, 2021
Absolutely gutted for @RealCFrampton . A Very illustrious career that most fighters can only dream off. He gave me my best boxing experiences & memories, I’m grateful I was involved in a part of his outstanding journey & proud to call him my friend. All the best in retirement pic.twitter.com/1JcT6hNi6A— Josh Taylor (@JoshTaylorBoxer) April 4, 2021
Legendary career @RealCFrampton got my respect for sure— Shakur Stevenson (@ShakurStevenson) April 3, 2021
What a champion, what a legend @RealCFrampton hold your head high, enjoy the rest of your life champ!— Michael Conlan (@mickconlan11) April 3, 2021
.@RealCFrampton was a legend, is a legend and will always be a legend.— Frank Warren (@frankwarren_tv) April 3, 2021
Hold your head up high, you have left an incredible mark on the sport and have made your family, your fans and your nation proud #TheJackal pic.twitter.com/isHECZ1fS6
An illustrious career that brought many incredible moments, including becoming a two-weight world champion.@RealCFrampton should be proud of what he has achieved. A true legend of the sport who gave everything. Here's to a happy retirement with his family.#HerringFrampton pic.twitter.com/GpY40Bslgc— MTK Global Boxing (@MTKGlobal) April 3, 2021
“I said before that I would retire if I lost this fight, and that’s exactly what I’m gonna do.”— Top Rank Boxing (@trboxing) April 3, 2021
2-division world champion. 2016 Fighter of the Year. Represents everything good about the sport.
Salute to @RealCFrampton on an amazing career. pic.twitter.com/aht0NqlWVa
A two division world champion, a WARRIOR in the ring, and about as classy a man you'll find outside of it.— DAZN Boxing (@DAZNBoxing) April 3, 2021
Congrats on an amazing career to 'The Jackal' Carl Frampton pic.twitter.com/BDeibl1Mk3
What a fantastic career @RealCFrampton has had.— Dave Coldwell (@davidcoldwell) April 3, 2021
One of my favourite British fighters.
Congratulations on all you’ve achieved, now it’s time to enjoy family life.
I must give a special mention to Carl Frampton who was hoping to win the WBO belt Carl accepted defeat with grace & dignity. He is now retiring to spend quality time with his family. Happy retirement Carl. @RealCFrampton pic.twitter.com/6hn1mBOf47— Frank Bruno MBE (@frankbrunoboxer) April 4, 2021
Class/respect/sportsmanship-3 reasons we love boxing! Congratulations to @JamelHerring on his victory!— Michael Buffer (@Michael_Buffer) April 3, 2021
Another reason to love boxing is Carl Frampton for all the thrills & excitement he’s given us throughout his career!
@RealCFrampton @XtineDorrian pic.twitter.com/hoY6NNqtlt
3/4/2021 is all about @RealCFrampton legend of the game on this little island of Ireland. Gave his all as always, so many great nights in Belfast, Manchester & New York to put out there but also in National stadium Dublin & Ulster Hall #Legend— Patrick Hyland (@Pajpunisher) April 3, 2021
Carl Frampton, hero!!!— Conrad Cummings (@ChampCummings) April 3, 2021