Frampton beats Garcia by unanimous decision in front of Canelo

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Carl Frampton overcame Horacio Garcia via a unanimous decision as Mexican star Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez watched ringside in Belfast.

Frampton, 30, was awarded the win after judges scored Saturday's fight 98-93, 97-93 and 96-93 in favour of the Northern Irishman.

However, it was a less-than convincing performance from Frampton in his return to boxing since losing the WBA featherweight title to Leo Santa Cruz in Las Vegas in January. 

Frampton was knocked down by his Mexican opponent – watched by countryman Canelo whose September blockbuster bout with Gennady Golovkin ended in a draw – in the seventh round and he lost his feet again in the ninth.

Garcia's punches poured in but Frampton, who rallied, survived to emerge triumphant on the cards.

"I thought it was a good fight and everyone would have enjoyed that more than me," Frampton said. "I was boxing lovely at the start then I let him drag me into a fight.

"I wanted it to be a hard fight, that has got the rust off, the cobwebs have gone and I want one of the big boys.

"I had all the input on that opponent, maybe I will let the team decide who I fight next.

"[Leo] Santa Cruz and [Abner] Mares are fighting and [Josh] Warrington and [Lee] Selby will probably fight in the spring so I will have to wait."

On the knockdown, Frampton added: "To be fair to [referee] Victor Loughlin, I slipped, but on the way down he caught me with a shot so it probably looked a knockdown.I have had a terrible few months."