Frampton: I’ll hit harder at featherweight – I can KO Santa Cruz

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Carl Frampton believes that, especially now at featherweight, he has the power to knock out WBA champ Leo Santa Cruz when the pair meet later this month.

Frampton steps up from super bantamweight to take on the three-weight World champion at the Barclays Centre in New York on July 30th, and revealed that he is feeling much stronger at 126lbs.

While he is by no means underestimating El Terremoto, Frampton feels that “moving up to 126 pounds was definitely the right decision for me.”

“I’m a big puncher but I lost power coming down to 122 pounds. I’m going to be punching harder and be at my very best.”

Speaking to the Ring Magazine, the Belfast man outlined how Santa Cruz has “never been hurt – But I don’t believe he’s been hit by someone who can punch as hard as me yet.”

“And we’re going to see – that’s the plan.”

“The main thing is to win but I believe I’ve got the power to knock him out.”

“I’m going to bring some fire with me up the weight and I think Santa Cruz is going to feel it.”

‘The Jackal’ also noted that there may be a chance that the Californian will underestimate him following his last Stateside trip. Santa Cruz was sitting ringside the night when Frampton was downed twice in the opening round of his points win over Alejandro Gonzalez Jr, and the Tiger’s Bay puncher recalls how “he was smiling and smirking and I think he may think this is an easy fight.”

“But once I hit him hard in the first round he’s going to realize it’s not going to be easy.”

“He’s a very good fighter but I believe I’m as good if not better than him.”

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