Barry McGuigan dismisses Santa Cruz “smokescreens”

Leo Santa Cruz [32(18)-1(0)-1] has been fairly open with what he claims is his gameplan for his rematch with Carl Frampton [23(14)-0] next Saturday – but Barry McGuigan isn’t convinced.

‘El Terremoto’ seeks revenge against Frampton on January 28th at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, and has outlined how he will use his physical advantages in terms of reach, and will also target the body more in the hotly-anticipated WBA featherweight title fight.

McGuigan however believes that Santa Cruz will approach the fight with his usual style – relentless pressure.

The Clones Cyclone described how “Santa Cruz is talking about using his range, but I think that’s all smokescreens. A soon as that bell rings he’s going to come straight at Carl and we’ll be in for another great fight.”

This leads McGuigan to predicts that the adaptable Belfast man will win more convincingly than his majority-decision triumph last July in New York in what he feels will be a similarly exciting clash. The Monaghan man, who once held the belt now possessed by his protégé, outlined how “I think Carl will win even more convincingly this time, but it’s going to be a great fight every time they meet because of the clash of styles.

“It [the first fight] was definitely Carl’s toughest fight but Carl I think is still getting better. He’s looking very strong and he’s hitting very hard.”

Joe O’Neill and Gavan Casey look ahead to 2017 in episode 1 of The Irish Boxing Show

Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on, Boxing News,, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: