Carl Frampton [23(14)-1(0)] is keen to look at the positives following his first career defeat.
‘The Jackal’ lost the WBA featherweight title in a rematch Leo Santa Cruz last night in Las Vegas. The bout was again a close-run affair, with Frampton being edged out on another majority decision and resulting in widespread calls for a trilogy fight.
Frampton hopes to answer these calls, but is hell-bent on bringing the rematch to Belfast – where he has not fought since February 25th – and is hopeful that Santa Cruz will honour the promises he made when he came to the Titanic City in November for the pre-fight press tour.
Back then Santa Cruz [33(18)-1(0)-1] said “I got my first defeat to a great fighter and I want to win the rematch, hopefully I win and I would like to have the third fight in Belfast. Hopefully the night will go my way and we can come to Belfast for the third fight.”
While he has promised rematches since then, ‘El Terremoto’ has been non-committal on location and whether he would come to Belfast remains to be seen.
Speaking at the post-fight press conference at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, Frampton described how “obviously I’m very disappointed. It was a good fight.”
“Leo is a tremendous fighter. He surprised me with his tactics tonight, I honestly didn’t believe he could box like he did, he was on the back foot a lot”
“If I’m being honest, hand on heart, I feel that Leo deserved the win. I came back, there were a couple of rounds that were close, I thought I was doing pretty well and came back in some rounds but Leo used his experience and stole them with bursts of 15 seconds. I felt he deserved to have his hand raised. Congratulations to the new champion and Hopefully he can do it again.”
Frampton’s thoughts have now immediately switched to a rematch, or indeed rematches, and the Ulsterman is desperate to bring a rubber fight to his home city of Belfast – even offering the new champion a bed in his home.
‘The Jackal’ outlined how “me and Leo have had 24 rounds with each other and they have all been pretty competitive rounds. It’s one-all now so if I’m going to look at any sort positive out of this it’s that we have to have again, make it a trilogy.”
“I came to the States twice now and Leo has said he would do it in Belfast a third time.”
“I hope he’s a man of his word. He can come and stay in my house if he wants and we can get it on for a third time.”
“After that, I would be happy to go to LA. Who knows? This could be three, four, five, who knows? They were great fights and let’s give the fans what they want. ”
Eric Donovan joins Gavan Casey and Joe O’Neill on Episode 2 of the Irish Boxing Show: