Blame it on Leo – Carl Frampton suggests ‘scared’ Santa Cruz is at fault for lack of trilogy

Carl Frampton [27(15)-2(0)] has laid the blame for the lack of a Leo Santa Cruz [37(19)-1(0)-1] rubber match at the door of the Mexican.

‘The Jackal’ is adamant his old rival has to take ‘sole responsibility’ for the fact the pair haven’t competed a third time.

A trilogy looked a dead cert after Santa Cruz avenged his sole career defeat, suffered to Frampton in July 2016 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, by defeating the Belfast fighter in the MGM Grand the following January.

It was one a piece after two thrilling fights and a decider looked inevitable.

However, despite cries from the former two weight world champion, a second rematch with his four weight world title winning counterpart never materialized.

The current WBA super featherweight world champion seemed initially keen, only distancing himself from a trip to Belfast.

Since he has said he would have no issue with the fight before taking a ‘I fight who I am told’ stance.

Frampton no longer holds hope of a third installment and claims it won’t happen because of his old dance partner.

To be honest, I don’t see the fight ever happening,” Frampton said during SiriusXM’s “Ak and Barak Show” on Wednesday.

“I think it’s been and done. It should’ve happened. There should’ve been a third fight. But, you know, you can’t really point the finger at me as to why it never happened. I think Leo has to take sole responsibility. I was happy to travel to L.A. [to do it]. I wanted the fight. Everyone knows I wanted the fight. I still want it. I just don’t see it happening.”

The 33-year-old has his sights set on Irish boxing history and three weight world champion status.

The Jamie Moore trained fighter should fight WBO super featherweight world champion Jamel Herring in the near future.

Santa Cruz has been linked to Gervonta Davis, but Frampton doesn’t see that one happening.

“Even the Gervonta Davis fight, even though Mayweather Promotions have said that that is Leo Santa Cruz’s next fight, I still don’t believe that [will] happen,” Frampton said.

“That’s a tough fight. It’s a very, very hard fight, and I think at this point Leo, if you dissect Leo’s career, he’s had a few tough fights. But most of his fights have been kind of fights where he’s, you know, a big favorite to win.

“I don’t think he likes to take on challenges, where he’s not gonna win the fights. And I think that’s why the third fight with me never happened, because you know, I don’t think he expected me to beat him the first time. Then, when I did, he beat me. I don’t think he wanted to lose again, and that’s why it never happened.”

Jonny Stapleton

Irish-boxing.com contributor for 15 years and editor for the past decade. Have been covering boxing for over 16 years and writing about sport for a living for 19 years. Former Assistant Sports editor for the Gazette News Paper Group and former Tallaght Voice Sports Editor. Have had work published in publications around the world when working as a freelance journalist. Also co-founder of Junior Sports Media and Leinster Rugby PRO of the Year winner. email: editoririshboxing@gmail.com