The WBA featherweight champion warned upcoming Frampton foe Nonito Donaire that he will need a knockout when he fights ‘The Jackal’ at the SSE Odyssey Arena on April 21st as he will not be awarded a win on the scorecards.
This assertion has angered Frampton, who sees the comments as further proof of Santa Cruz’s lack of intention to fulfil his promise and have a rubber match with the Tigers Bay fighter in the Titanic City.
The pair traded wins and the WBA title in America in 2016 and 2017 but, despite promising to give Frampton a third fight in Belfast, Santa Cruz [34(19)-1(0)-1] has since gone down a different route.
In October last, the Mexican-American defended his title against former Frampton foe Chris Avalos, and will now rematch Abner Mares on June 9th.
Whenever he is questioned about facing Frampton in Belfast, Santa Cruz notes visa issues for his father as well as the potential for a hometown decision – and the Ulster 30-year-old believes the prospect of a home fight has passed.
Writing in his weekly column for the Sunday Life, Frampton outlined how “Santa Cruz has said that the judges are too easily influenced by my fans and has warned Nonito Donaire that he will not get a fair shout when we meet on April 21st.”
“That’s an insult to Belfast and to the judges but more than that I think it just confirms what I’ve been thinking for a while, that Santa Cruz will never come to Belfast.”
Questioning Santa Cruz’s testicular fortitude, Frampton added: “Instead of talking nonsense and sending out excuses for not wanting to face me in Belfast, which he said he would do on more than one occasion, he should show some cojones like Donaire and agree to come here or maybe he would prefer if we have the third fight in an empty hall.”
Acknowledging the benefit of home advantage, Frampton described how “every fighter likes to box at home and for me it’s great to have the backing of my fans, I can’t overestimate what it means to have their backing – it gives you that extra push and drive because I don’t want to let them down.”
“But Belfast fans have always been fair – they know a good fighter and if there’s a bad decision they won’t stand for it even if it is a local man so Santa Cruz has no excuse for not coming here.”
“Even when we fought in New York Santa Cruz was complaining about my fans influencing the judges which seems crazy.”
Frampton still is desperate to avenge his sole career loss, and is willing to travel to face Santa Cruz, noting how “if push comes to shove and to get the third fight I have to travel then I’ll go to Vegas again to face him if that’s what has to happen.”