Carl Frampton has halved sparring practice to reduce brain-damage risk

Carl Frampton has halved his sparring routine to reduce the possibility of sustaining brain damage, writes Stephen Barry.

The former two-weight world champion is in his first camp with new trainer Jamie Moore after his split from Shane McGuigan and has revealed his sparring workload has been cut in half.

"I've got two kids and a missus. I don't want problems after boxing. You need to be careful," he told BBC Sport, ahead of his homecoming fight against Horacio Garcia.

Carl Frampton pictured with his daughter Carla after defeating Leo Santa Cruz in 2016. Pic: INPHO/Presseye/William Cherry

"You have heavy gloves and a head-guard on but if you talk to any other boxer about the amount of rounds they spar there is nobody getting close. Most do maybe 100 or 120 for a 12-round fight and I was doing 220. It was a lot.

"You're just taking punishment every day, getting hit all the time. That's something we're going to cut back on. I'll train hard but the sparring will be cut in half."

The 30-year-old says his original plan to retire by the age of 32 "may still be the case" despite recent setbacks, saying, "it's important to get out at the right time".

Frampton missed the weight for his previously scheduled homecoming bout against Andrés Gutiérrez, which was subsequently cancelled when the Mexican slipped in the shower and suffered a gash to his chin and dental damage.

The 2016 Ring Magazine Fighter of the Year then announced his split from Cyclone Promotions, run by Barry McGuigan, and signed for promoter Frank Warren.

"I was embarrassed," said Frampton. "If you look at my demeanour I was upset and annoyed at myself. I just didn't want to be there when I stepped off the scales.

"If people had have seen me before in a sweat suit, in saunas... I tried to make it and missed it by a pound. People are saying 'why not go and lose a pound?' But I'd lost a lot of weight and that was it. I just couldn't lose any more.

"It wasn't just a pound. The night before I was probably nine pounds overweight. I had the wrong approach. I should have been lighter. I should make it comfortably. I'm not a massive featherweight.

"Then he slips in the shower after the weigh-in and knocks his teeth out. You couldn't make it up.

"Everything that went on around that whole fight was just bizarre. Maybe a blessing in disguise. Who knows?"


By Stephen Barry

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