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“Carl did a lot of things wrong” – McGuigan backs Frampton to improve in Santa Cruz rematch

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Barry McGuigan feels that his protégé Carl Frampton [23(14)-0] has the ability to go up a notch and defend his WBA featherweight title for the first time in January against Leo Santa Cruz.

The Clones Cyclone held the same belt 31 years ago and in his first defence he put on a career-best performance against American Bernard Taylor. The Monaghan man believes that ‘The Jackal’ has the ability to do something similar at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on January 28th.

Belfast’s Frampton won the belt during the Summer in New York, defeating three-weight champ Leo Santa Cruz via a competitive majority decision (117-111, 116-112, 114-114). McGuigan argues that it was far from a perfect performance from Frampton and thinks that he can win more comprehensively this time round.

Speaking to IFL TV, McGuigan explained that “I looked at the fight many times, I know Shane [McGuigan, trainer] has too. I think Carl did a lot of things wrong in the first one. If he does them right in the rematch, he will beat him more comprehensively.”

“This is going to be equally hard, maybe even tougher, than the first one, but I’m absolutely one hundred percent confident in Frampton.”

Echoing Frampton’s ‘big fights only’ mantra, McGuigan described how “we were contractually obliged to give him [Santa Cruz] a rematch but we could have put in a voluntary defence if we’d wanted.”

“We want Carl to be motivated, at this stage, and with the amount of money he’s making, he needs to have big fights that he gets excited about, that he gets really up for.”

Watch Barry McGuigan’s interview with IFL TV in full below@

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