“I think he’s trying to throw me a dummy” – Frampton questions Santa Cruz approach

Carl Frampton [23(14)-0] has echoed the sentiments of his mentor Barry McGuigan ahead of his rematch with Leo Santa Cruz this day next week.

‘The Jackal’ defends his WBA featherweight title against Santa Cruz [32(18)-1(0)-1] at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, and McGuigan has dismissed the challenger’s claims that he will make it a distance fight as being a “smokescreen.”

Speaking on a conference call to boxing writers, Frampton agreed and outlined how he thinks Santa Cruz is “trying to throw me a dummy.”

The Belfast man believes that he has the better skills and distance control, and can not foresee Santa Cruz keeping the fight on the outside – despite his advantages in height and reach.

“I’m ready for whatever style that comes from Leo,” said Frampton. “If I’m being honest, I think he’s trying to throw me a dummy. I don’t think he’s going to try to box at all. I think he’s just going to try and even put more pressure on him to come more relentless than he was the last time.”

“I think that’s their game plan and I think he won’t try to box me. I think that, I honestly think that that’s a mistake from their team because it makes the fight much easier for me.”

“If you look at me and my stature, I’m a short, stocky guy and people just look at me and just automatically think ‘this guy’s going to be a brawler.’ But I prefer people to come to me. I prefer to box on the outside and I’m being honest.”

“I can mix it up on the inside if I have to but I think that right through my career, I’m a professional. I’ve always preferred guys to come to me and Leo just keeps coming all night. So I think his sort of style, it’s an exciting style but I think that it’s tailor made for mine.”

In terms of ‘El Terremoto’s’ promise to go to the body and tire Frampton out, the Tigers Bay star is not phased, arguing that “people go to the body all the time, I’m ready for whatever it takes. If I have to go into the trenches, I’m going to do it. I’ll do whatever it takes to get this one.”

“You know, I feel like I’m developing. If he goes to the body, it gives me a chance to hit him to the head. So it doesn’t really matter. I’m expecting a tough fight. He went to the body a lot the last time also and though I believe I’ll have an answer for anything that he shows up with.”

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