Photo: Esther Lin/CBS

Undefeated Irish star Carl Frampton (21-0, 14 KOs) showed massive heart and determination, as he successfully defended his junior featherweight title against Alejandro Gonzalez Jnr (25-2-2, 15 KOs) at the Don Haskins Center in El Paso and live on PBC on CBS. Fighting in his U.S. debut. Frampton was knocked down twice in the first round, but bounced back in impressive fashion to win via unanimous decision (116-108 twice and 115-109).

Gonzalez Jnr came out swinging and hit Carl Frampton with a hard straight left jab less than a minute into the fight, sending the Northern Ireland-native to the canvas for the first time in his career. Frampton was knocked down again with less than 15 seconds left in the as first, when Gonzalez hit Frampton with a sharp right hand behind his ear. Gonzalez was deducted a point in the third round for a low blow and again in the 11th.

“The Jackal” lived up to the lofty expectations of his U.S. debut by throwing and landing 100 more punches than Gonzalez Jr., including nearly triple the amount of jabs. Gonzalez Jr., threw more power punches, however, Carl Frampton was more accurate with his power shots.

“I didn’t feel great in the first round. I got up from two flash knockdowns though and recovered well. The kid could punch very well,” said Frampton. “The ring canvas was very soft. I couldn’t get up on my toes and that’s my best attribute. I got up and showed courage. I came back and won most of the rounds and gave excitement.”

Carl Frampton continued, “I wanted to win by knockout. It didn’t happen. I’m disappointed, but I’ll re-evaluate and move on; onwards and upwards. He hit me low so many times, but you’ve got to deal with that and carry on and that’s what I did.”

“I definitely won the fight, I was much more effective,” said Gonzalez. “I want a rematch and I’m happy to do it in his hometown. I’ll take whatever fights are best for me either at 118 or 122.”

“The ref overreacted to the low blows, I was just doing my body work,” Gonzalez continued. “I’m not a dirty fighter, I play by the rules and this was disappointing. He’s a good fighter but I’m the best he’s ever faced.”