Frampton-Santa Cruz in Madison Square Garden next St. Patrick’s Day?

IBF super bantamweight champion Carl Frampton has made it known that he would love to return to America next year to face Leo Santa Cruz.

What’s even more exciting is that ‘The Jackal wants it to be on St. Patrick’s Weekend in front of a huge Irish crowd at the home of boxing, New York’s Madison Square Garden.

Writing in his Sunday Life column, Frampton revealed that “Leo Santa Cruz says he would be happy to face me at super-bantamweight and I can’t think of a better fight to go back to the States for next year.”

The Belfast boxer feels that “St Patrick’s weekend at Madison Square Garden would be the perfect venue for a showdown with Santa Cruz”

The 28 year old is optimistic that such a fight can occur, reasoning that “a fight between myself and Santa Cruz has been talked about for almost two years now and I hope it can be made.”

“We’re both linked to the American promoter Al Haymon who proved with the Santa Cruz-Mares fight that he is keen to make some very big battles.”

“I love the way Santa Cruz fights. He just comes in looking to walk you down and I think our styles would make for a great fight and he knows it too.”

If Frampton is to take on Santa Cruz, ‘El Terremoto’ will have to drop down a weight class. The Tiger’s Bay fighter acknowledged that “one day I will move up to featherweight but my team and I have agreed that for the next couple of fights at least I’ll be at super-bantamweight so Santa Cruz would have to drop down a division — which he has said he would do.”

Santa Cruz recently outpointed three-weight world champion Abner Mares in a fight of the year candidate, and Frampton was a more-than-interested onlooker. Giving his thoughts on the barnstormer, Frampton admitted that “when last weekend’s fight was first signed I thought Mares might be too strong, but then as it got closer I fancied Santa Cruz and credit to him because after about two or three rounds he won most of the rounds and he boxed very well.”

“It was a very exciting fight because Mares didn’t take a backward step, he probably just tried too hard to overwhelm Santa Cruz early on and burned out a bit.”

Frampton noted the importance of exciting, well-matched fights, explaining that “it was great for the sport to have such a fight and for it to get the biggest boxing audience on ESPN since 1998.”

“It shows you how boxing is changing in the States, how the sport is reaching a bigger audience because of Haymon’s terrestrial TV fights and obviously ESPN is a very popular cable sports channel.”

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: