The bout between undefeated featherweight world champion Carl Frampton and former third division world champion Leo Santa Cruz will take place at the MGM Garden Arena in Las Vegas early next year (You can find the Boxing Odds at MyBookie.lv).
Dejan Zlaticanin’s first title defense against former two-division titlist Mikey Garcia will also take place in the same Showtime Championship Boxing Doubleheader.
Carl and Leo first clashed in a July Match that is a candidate for Fight of the Year. The 12-rounds of the match were surprisingly balanced, with the momentum of the fight moving back and forth until the Irish fighter took a majority decision victory.
Carl’s legion of Irish fighters will most likely follow him to Las Vegas for a rematch in an arena that Leo has fought in six times already. The first Leo/Carl match saw 402 power shots exchanged, and the second one might be even more explosive.
On the 29th of November and 1st of December, Leo and Carl will kick the promotions for the rematch off by holding open-to-the-public press conferences in Northern Ireland. Carl really enjoyed his first match with Leo, with its fantastic atmosphere and energized fanbase.
Carl wants to make his win even more convincing in January. And that just might happen with Carl claiming that he already has a keen understanding of Leo’s fighting style. Carl has every reason to give this fight his all because he has never headlined in Las Vegas; he cannot afford to not put his best foot forward with such an opportunity.
Leo began planning to get his belt back the moment he got back to the locker room, following his loss to Carl. The idea has consumed him for the last several months, and he is more than motivated to put Carl down in January.
The two combatants are not the only ones looking forward to the doubleheader. Zlaticanin’s fight against Garcia will be his most important to date. He knows just how ruthless Garcia can be and he expects a knockout to decide the fight.
Zlaticanin sounded confident when he said that Garcia had never faced an opponent quite as strong as him. Garcia, on his part, sounded excited at the prospect of taking home a third world title in his third division. HE admitted that his opponent was tough and dangerous enough to present a difficult challenge, though Garcia was still optimistic about his chances.
People will focus on the Carl/Leo match because it is an immediate follow up to a July fight that already wowed boxing fans. The Zlaticanin/Garcia fight will elicit excitement, none the less, because of the two undefeated champions involved.
Barry McGuigan of Cyclone Promotions confidently threw his support behind Carl, certain that he would attain victory; Barry is a former World Champion so he obviously knows these things. He suggested that, in beating Leo, Carl would truly define and cement himself as a champion.
Richard Schaefer, Chairman, and CEO of Ringstar Sports said that it was a thrill to promote boxing fights of such a caliber, featuring such quality athletes; he seemed certain that Leo would probably take the win this time round.
Whatever the outcome, the Leo/Carl Rematch could be even better than Leo and Carl’s first bout.