José Santa Cruz has stressed, in no uncertain terms, that a third fight between Leo Santa Cruz and Carl Frampton will definitely not take place in Frampton’s home city of Belfast.
The father and trainer of the current WBA featherweight champion has pulled rank on his son, who was more open to the idea. Don José cites hometown judging and a belief that it is an unnecessary fight for his son.
Frampton and Santa Cruz are locked at one apiece following two epic battles in America, both ending in close majority decisions, with Frampton prevailing in New York last Summer before Santa Cruz reclaimed the title in Las Vegas in January.
‘El Terremoto’ had promised Frampton before the second fight that he would grant a rematch in Belfast should he win. While his enthusiasm for this cooled post-fight at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, Santa Cruz remained open to the possibility.
Recently Santa Cruz revealed his father’s reluctance to travel across the Atlantic, and José has now completely quashed the idea of fighting in the Titanic City – despite the claimed offer of a career-highest purse.
The Stetson-wearing trainer told Villainfy Media that “we’re not going over there [Belfast] because it doesn’t benefit us. He [Leo] doesn’t have the need to go over there. If they want to fight again they need to come over here. They’re the ones who have the need to fight us again. We don’t so why would we go over there?”
It is not an issue for Santa Cruz that a refusal to travel will see his son break his word. He believes the threat of a bad judging decision – as he claims happened in the first fight – is too great.
“Leo can say that [he would go to Belfast], but the one who makes the decision is me,” claimed Jose. “And I’m deciding we’re not going over there.”
“In New York he [Frampton] didn’t beat Leo. It was a close fight, but not one where they could take it from Leo. So, if we go over there, and if they took it away from Leo here, then over therem with more reason, they’ll take it too.”
“That’s why we’re not going over there.”
Watch José Santa Cruz’s interview with Villainfy Media in full below:
Jamie Conlan joins Gavan Casey and Joe O’Neill for Episode 3 of The Irish Boxing Show: