‘The Jackal’ grabbed Santa Cruz’s WBA featherweight title when the two met in July at the Barclays Centre in New York, with Frampton winning via majority decision (114-114, 117-111, 116-112). ‘El Terremoto’ however would claim that the judges at ringside were influenced by Frampton’s fans and seemed to suggest that the Belfast man enjoyed home advantage that night in Brooklyn.
Los Angeles-based Santa Cruz called for the rematch to take place in a more ‘neutral’ venue to allow a fairer outcome.
However, despite Vegas being just 430 kilometres from Los Angeles and almost 7,900 kilometres from Belfast, Frampton believes that he again will enjoy the lion’s share of support at the MGM Grand early next year. Indeed the 29 year old predicts that ‘The Jackal Army’ will be even larger than in New York.
Writing in his column for the Sunday Life, Frampton noted how “after out first fight Santa Cruz complained that the judges were influenced by the fans in the Barclays Centre in Brooklyn and he’s been doing a bit of whining ever since. He said it felt like I was the home fighter, well if he thought that was hard to handle wait until the rematch.”
Outlining why his fanbase will be even larger come January 28th, the Tigers Bay puncher described how “ever since the rematch was confirmed, people have been buzzing and I’m very confident that I’ll have even more fans backing me in the arena than were there in New York.”
“July in New York wasn’t the ideal time for my fans because a lot of people had understandably paid to go and watch Northern Ireland at the Euros and money can only go so far.”
“This time I’m hoping that Father Christmas is good to my fans and they’re able to sort themselves out for flights and tickets.”
Frampton promised that “it’s going to be an amazing experience for everyone who can make it to the rematch – and unfortunately for Leo he’s going to be left crying again.”