Carl Frampton v Leo Santa Cruz: CompuBox Stat Preview

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Carl Frampton’s WBA featherweight title clash with champion Leo Santa Cruz next Saturday is one of the closest top level match-ups in the sport this year.

Ahead of the New York brawl at the Barclays Centre, the statisticians at CompuBox have published the following detailed analysis of the two fighters.

Three-division world champion Santa Cruz ranks as one of the World’s top-three fighters in an impressive four key categories – Total Punches Thrown, Landed, Connect Percentage, and Power Punches Landed.

The numbers suggest that Santa Cruz is one of the best punchers in the world, topping Gennady Golovkin, Manny Pacquiao and ranking only second by a small margin to pound-for-pound champ Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez in Power Punches Landed Per Round.

More impressively, Santa Cruz ranks as the world’s best in the Plus/Minus category that was dominated for years by pound-for-pound champ Floyd Mayweather. In this measure, which is determined by subtracting opponents connect percentage from a fighter’s connect percentage.

While Santa Cruz is a statistical leader in five key categories, defending Santa Cruz’s biggest strength – power punches – should be one of Frampton’s greatest attributes. In his last six fights, Frampton’s opponents landed just 29.2 percent of their power punches. Comparatively, Santa Cruz landed an astonishing 46.9 percent of his power shots over his last eight fights. Something’s got to give when the pair clash on July 30th

Additionally, Frampton is the second best in the world in Average Number Of Jabs Thrown Per Round, behind leader Jesus Cuellar and well ahead of Rigondeaux (#5), Golovkin (#6), Crawford (#7) and Kell Brook (#8). Santa Cruz is also a statistical leader in this category, ranking #9 in the world.

Below is the detailed look at the categories in which Santa Cruz and Frampton excel:

PLUS/MINUS (hit vs. get hit):
Santa Cruz (+15.8%) ranks as the World’s best, followed by Andre Ward (#2), Gennady Golovkin (#3), Erislandy Lara (#4), Terence Crawford (#5), Roman Gonzalez (No. 6) and Canelo Alvarez (#7). The retired Floyd Mayweather Jr had previously held the top spot.

Leo Santa Cruz trails only Nicaraguan pound-for-pound star Roman Gonzalez in terms of total punches thrown per round. Santa Cruz (#2) bests Jesus Cuellar (#3), Juan Francisco Estrada (#6), Orlando Salido (#7) and Gennady Golovkin (#9). Santa Cruz throws an eye-watering 84.6 total punches per round, compared to boxing’s overall average of 55.5.

Again Santa Cruz trails just Roman Gonzalez , connecting with 33.1 shots per round compared to the overall average of 16.9. At #2, Santa Cruz is ahead of pound-for-pound mainstays Gennady Golovkin (#3) and Juan Francisco Estrada (#4). Santa Cruz’s average is more than double that of the CompuBox average punches landed per round of 16.9.

Santa Cruz ranks in the top three in this important category in which only a few percentage points separate the world’s best. Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. ranks #1, followed by Golovkin (#2), Santa Cruz (#3), Roman Gonzalez (#5), Adrien Broner (#6) and Andre Ward (#7). At 39.2 percent, Santa Cruz landed at a nearly 10 percent higher rate than the overall average.

Santa Cruz is second in the world in this category, connecting with a gut-wrenching 46.9% of power punchers, trailing only Roman Gonzalez by a slim margin and topping Juan Francisco Estrada (#3), Abner Mares (#5), Golovkin (#7) and Pacquiao (#8) among others.

Santa Cruz and Frampton both rank in the top 10 in average number of jabs thrown per round. Frampton, throwing an average of 34.3 jabs a round is second in the World behind leader Jesus Cuellar, and ahead of master jabbers such as Rigondeaux (#5), Golovkin (#6), Crawford (#7) and Brook (#8). Santa Cruz is ninth best in this category with 30.6 jabs a round. Frampton, who trails Cuellar by just one percentage point, throws 13 more jabs per round than the overall average.

Frampton is among the World’s best at preventing his opponents from landing big power shots. He ranks at tenth in a category that includes Cuban maestros Rigondeaux and Lara at #1 and #2, Wladimir Klitschko (#3), Ward (No. 4), and Crawford (No. 5). Frampton’s opponents landed just 29.2% of their power shots.

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: