Frank Warren confident he can tempt Leo Santa Cruz to Belfast


Frank Warren believe he could tempt Leo Santa Cruz to come to Belfast next Summer.

The reigning WBA featherweight champion had promised to traveled to the home town of Carl Frampton, a fighter who twice faced him Stateside, firstly in a July 2016 New York win before suffering defeat in Las Vegas in January of the following year.

However, it became quite clear the people who look after the career of ‘El Terremoto’ were not going to allow the Mexican to stay true to his word. 

The suggestion was there was more money to be had across the Atlantic and there were worries about the ability of the world champ’s trainer and father, José, to travel – not to mention concerns about judging.

However, Frank Warren believes that ‘The Jackal’ now has the financial backing to tempt the 30-year-old belt holder to the boxing capitial of Europe.

With BT Sport offering a PPV platform and Frampton proving he can sell out Windsor Park in a non world title fight and against an unknown name like Luke Jackson, the Belfast man’s promoter claims the money is there to persuade Santa Cruz to get on a plane for the rubber match.

“We could bring Santa Cruz to Windsor Park, of course we could with the backing of pay-per-view on BT Sport” said Warren when speaking to David Kelly of the Belfast Telegraph. 

“I was absolutely delighted with the response of the fans at Windsor. It didn’t even matter that it was raining because they were having such a good time. Going to Windsor is all about confidence and taking a chance and we did that and delivered.”

“We want to go back there and a fight with Santa Cruz would be perfect for Windsor Park.”

The bout could be a unification bout if Frampton manages to defeat Josh Warrington in Manchester to claim the IBF title on December 22nd – with the belt looking to be a crucial cog in terms of tempting the Mexican-American into a third fight.

Indeed, Santa Cruz is rumoured to be facing WBC champ Gary Russell Jr on the Deontay Wilder v Tyson Fury undercard on December 1st so three belts may be on the line – if not four, if Frampton defeats Warrington and fights and beats Oscar Valdez for the WBO title early in 2019.

Warren warns a win over Warrington is not a foregone conclusion and even predicts the bout could prove so entertaining that a rematch may be demanded – and perhaps a prolonged domestic dalliance with the Leeds ticket-seller is his preference.

“First Carl has to get past Josh and that is not going to be easy because you have two guys at the top of their game.”

“And if this fight turns out the way I think it will, as a real barnstormer, then we could easily have a re-match,” added their common promoter who has previously spoken of his trilogy desires.

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