Carl Frampton not ready to make a hasty decision on his boxing future
Carl Frampton will not rush into a decision over his future following his defeat by Josh Warrington in a memorable IBF featherweight world title fight in Manchester.
After his unanimous points loss, the Belfast fighter hinted he will consider retiring but will first "forget about boxing" for at least a couple of weeks.
"I don't even want to think about boxing for a while," he added.
"I just want to go home and see my kids and we'll see [what the future holds]."
The 31-year-old, who had stated in the pre-fight build up that he intended to take a "big fights or no fights" approach to the remainder of his career, added: "I do not know what I am going to do."
Outfought and outboxed
Fans at Manchester Arena were treated to a main event almost certain to be under consideration for fight of the year, with Warrington's outstanding start setting the tone for the bout.
"The better man won and that is it. He outfought me and out-boxed me," conceded Frampton, who sustained a cut under his left eye in the opening rounds.
The undefeated Englishman caught Frampton off guard with a relentless flurry of punches in the first two rounds, eventually sending the former two-weight world champion staggering across the ring.
"The way the first two rounds went set the pace for the fight and changed how everything was happening," Frampton said.
"I feel like I did well enough to steal a few rounds and come back into it but he won the fight fair and square."
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Having lost the WBA belt to Leo Santa Cruz in January 2017, Frampton fought three times in the following 20 months to set up the world title shot with Warrington but experienced only the second loss in his 28-fight career.
While Warrington now looks set for a unification bout, Frampton would likely have to earn the right to contest another world title bout and when asked if he was considering his future, the featherweight replied "not right now".
"I will make a conscious decision soon," he added.
"Let me get Christmas out of the road and the New Year and then I will make a conscious decision as to what I am going to do."
Warren pledges support for 'a true warrior'
Frampton can take comfort from the knowledge that whatever decision he makes will be supported by his trainer Jamie Moore and promoter Frank Warren.
Manchester-based Moore has helped to guide his fighter back to into world title-contention in their four fights together while Warren delivered one of the biggest nights of Frampton's career when he headlined a stadium fight at Belfast's Windsor Park.
"He is a true warrior and whatever he wants to do I'm there for him. I'm there and that's it," said Warren.
"We signed a new contract before the fight and if he wants to fight on I'll support him 100% if he wants to go up in weight or whatever he wants to do, I'm there for him because he was there for me. I have the utmost respect and admiration for him as a person and as a fighter."
The veteran promoter compared the Warrington-Frampton battle to the legendary 1980's rivalry between Thomas Hearns and Marvin Hagler and having watched Frampton add to his reputation as a crowd pleaser, he is in no doubt that the Northern Irishman could rise again: "Has he still got it in him? I'm quite sure he has but it's whether he wants to do that. This is the toughest sport of them all.
"It's not like he's a bad-living guy, he's not one of those guys who blows up in weight, he's a clean-living athlete but ultimately it's his and his family's choice of what he wants to do and I will respect whatever he wants to do and whatever that is, I'm with him."
BBC boxing correspondent Mike Costello speaking on Saturday night
Frampton competed at an elite level tonight but the question is how much has that taken out of him?
He's lost a world title before and knows how tough it is to climb back and drag yourself to the gym. He has to ask himself that question because the desire to fight is like elastic in your socks, once you've lost it, you can't get it back.
The plan was definitely to apply controlled pressure because he felt he had the greater strength in those exchanges. But the way Warrington closed the gap between him and Frampton in those exchanges was key in the fight.
It's very high among the best fights I've covered at ringside.