Carl Frampton questions Santa Cruz’s confidence ahead of world title rematch

Carl Frampton [23(14)-0] believes he may have already broken the spirit of Leo Santa Cruz heading into their much-anticipated rematch later this month.

‘The Jackal’ took the WBA featherweight title from Santa Cruz during the Summer in New York in what was a Fight of the Year contender, and feels that his display at the Barclays Centre may leave the Mexican-American second-guessing himself.

The pair rematch on January 28th at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas and Frampton believes that the initial fight could have knocked Santa Cruz [32(18)-1(0)-1] out of his stride.

Speaking to FightHype.com at his Sin City training base, which is the gym of former welterweight champ Shawn Porter, Frampton described how “Leo is a confidence fighter, he tries to get on top of people, he tries to overwhelm people. I don’t know how good his confidence, and how high is confidence levels will be going in to this fight.”

Frampton reiterated his view on the rigidity of Santa Cruz’s come-forward style, and mused how he proved it can be defeated last July. The Belfast man reasoned that “no matter who he’s fighting, he feels like at some point he’s just going to get on top of them. With me in the last fight he wasn’t able do that. I won the first half of the fight, he won a few rounds in the middle, and I feel like I won the last few rounds. That’s something he hasn’t come up against before.”

“I don’t know how good his confidence is going to be going into this fight. I know what to expect from him, but he doesn’t know what to expect from me because I can adapt and change styles.”

Watch Carl Frampton’s interview with FightHype.com in full below:

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 irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: joneill6@tcd.ie