IN what was his first fight for almost a year, Belfast’s Carl Frampton got back to winning ways with an impressive 10-round decision win against previously unbeaten American Tyler McCreary in Las Vegas on Saturday (November 30).

The talented 32-year-old was in control throughout and managed to make a dent in McCreary in both the sixth and ninth rounds. In the sixth, he dropped the Ohio native with some well-placed body shots, while in the ninth he sent him to the deck for a second time, this time thanks to a couple of hooks to the midsection.

The result, in the end, was never in doubt and Frampton’s dominance earned him scores of 100-88 from all three ringside judges.

“I was happy. That was the plan, to target the body,” Frampton said. “Tyler is pretty tall. We’ve seen that he’s left gaps.

“My hand wasn’t great coming into the camp as well. It’s always a bit softer hitting the body than the head.

“I feel like I hurt it again in the second round, so that’s why it wasn’t the most exciting fight in the world, but I just cruised to a points win. I just wanted to be safe with my hands.”

Frampton, of course, was due to box in August, only to have to cancel a proposed fight against Emmanuel Dominguez when a freak accident with an ornament led to him damaging his hand.

Now back in the saddle, he hopes to secure a shot against WBO super-featherweight champion Jamel Herring in the first quarter of 2020.

Should he defeat Herring, he would become Ireland’s first ever three-weight world champion, having previously won titles at super-bantamweight and featherweight.

“I know [Jamel] is the champ. I just want to fight for a world title next,” he said. “I want to be involved in big fights. I would love the opportunity to fight Jamel. I’m not the champion. He’s the champion.”

Also on the Vegas show, Oscar Valdez made his super-featherweight debut with a hard-fought seventh-round stoppage win against Adam Lopez, a late-notice replacement.

Lopez, having stepped in for Andres Gutierrez at the eleventh hour, put up quite an effort, outboxing Valdez for much of the fight and dropping him in the second round. However, Lopez’s good start wouldn’t sustain and he was eventually worn down and overpowered, dropped and stopped in the seventh.