Carl Frampton “slightly more optimistic” about Leo Santa Cruz Belfast rematch

Negotiations are going well.

Carl Frampton [23(14)-1(0)] is upbeat that Cyclone Promotions can lure Léo Santa Cruz to Belfast for a third and decisive fight.

‘The Jackal’ lost his WBA featherweight title to Santa Cruz [33(18)-1(0)-1] in Las Vegas last month. That fight was a rematch of last Summer’s clash in New York City and, having travelled to America twice, Frampton wanted the third fight to take place in his home city.

However, most believed that this was a pipe dream, and Frampton himself acknowledged the difficulties in convincing Santa Cruz to traverse the Atlantic.

Despite this, Frampton has revealed that talks are going well.

Speaking yesterday evening at a signing session at JD Sports in Belfast, the 29 year old told the BBC that
“negotiations are at a very early stage but our team are slightly more optimistic than we were initially after the fight.”

“I’m hoping that Leo sticks to his word and comes to Belfast like he said. He can make it happen.”

“He’s the man that’s fighting so he can make the decision and pull the strings and, if he wants to come to Belfast, he tells the promoter what he wants to do. That’s a get-out clause [saying it’s not up to him]”

Regardless of Santa Cruz’s next move, Frampton will fight at home next, and he outlined that “I want to fight in Belfast next. I want to fight at home. I feel like I’ve been on the road now for about two years or so,” he said.

“If it’s not him [Santa Cruz], I’ll be fighting in Belfast against someone else, although I don’t know who that is.

“It’s been a dream of mine to fight at Windsor Park. I was in the stadium tonight and it looks outstanding. I can just imagine a ring right in the middle of it. Winning back my title at Windsor would be a dream come true.”

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