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“He sounded like a primary school kid” – Frampton slams Santa Cruz’s Belfast excuse

Carl Frampton [23(14)-1(0)] has moved to reassure fans that a Belfast rematch with Léo Santa Cruz is still a possibility.

However, ‘The Jackal’ admits that the ball is firmly in the Californian court of Santa Cruz [33(18)-1(0)-1].

Frampton lost his WBA featherweight title to ‘El Terremoto’ in a Las Vegas rematch last month. Having fought Santa Cruz twice in America, the Belfast man would call for a rubber match in his home city.

The prospect of such a bout was promised by the Mexican-American last year, but Santa Cruz has recently claimed that his father is against a fight in the Titanic City and that he will follow José’s instructions.

Frampton however has dismissed this talk as more a money-maximising tactic than a rigid mantra.

Writing in his weekly column for the for the Sunday Life, Frampton commented that “there’s been a lot of negative talk this week coming from the other side of the world about a third fight between myself and Léo Santa Cruz, but I want to make it clear that the situation is far from all doom and gloom.”

“The bottom line is that Santa Cruz is going to be offered the biggest payday he’s ever had. my team are working hard on the deal that will be put to him and there will be no excuse about not being well paid to come fight me in Belfast.”

“This is boxing and money talks, and the whole interview with Santa Cruz just sounded like he was looking to make sure he was getting plenty of money for a third fight.”

Frampton has little time for Santa Cruz’s claim that his father’s word is final, and noted how “the guy is roughly the same age as me and yet he sounded like a primary school kid – ‘my dad doesn’t think it’s a good idea, so I’m not going.'”

“It’s the fight that everyone knows makes sense. It’s the biggest fight in the featherweight division.”

The WBA look set to order a title rematch between Santa Cruz and Abner Mares this week, but this can be delayed should an agreement be reached with Frampton – and the Ulster man is confident that an enticing offer can lure Léo across the Atlantic.

Frampton explained that “the gate receipts and the television money will give Santa Cruz a great deal. If he then still doesn’t want to fight me, then you have to say his bottle is gone.”

“The money will be on the table and it will ultimately come down to whether or not Santa Cruz will step up to the plate and come over to Belfast. There are no excuses, so it’s over to 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