“It doesn’t look like it’s going to happen” – Santa Cruz v Frampton rematch hopes fade further

The rubber match between Carl Frampton and Leo Santa Cruz will most likely not happen this Summer – according to the Belfast fighter himself.

The pair traded wins for the WBA featherweight title in their last two fights, with Frampton defeating Santa Cruz via majority decision in New York last July before ‘El Terremoto’ exerted revenge in Las Vegas, again by majority decision, in January.

With the first two fights happening in the United States, and Santa Cruz having promised before the Vegas rematch that a third bout would take place in Belfast, Frampton has been chasing a home city rematch at his beloved Windsor Park.

Disappointingly, Santa Cruz [33(18)-1(0)-1] would go back on his word following his win at the MGM Grand, citing his father and trainer José’s fear that he would be on the wrong end of a hometown decision if he were to come to the Titanic City.

With Frampton [23(14)-1(0)] insistent that his next fight will take place at home, following almost two and a half years on the road, and Santa Cruz seemingly unwilling to fulfill his pre-fight promise, ‘The Jackal’ is now looking at alternative options.

Explaining his desire for a home fight, Frampton told IFL TV that “me and my team are on the same page, I want to fight at home. I used to get grief for never travelling and my last four fights have been away from home.”

“I want to fight at home and we’re going to do that in Belfast this Summer.”

“We’re looking at the end of July, early August.

Regarding his opposition for this fight, Frampton does not believe it will be a tie-breaking bout with Santa Cruz, but is hopeful that a big name can be secured.

The Tigers Bay man admitted that “I don’t think it’s going to be Santa Cruz now, it doesn’t look like it’s going to happen, I’m not that optimistic.”

“It’ll be a good opponent and it will be a big night at Windsor Park.”

Watch Carl Frampton’s interview with IFL TV in full below:

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