Olympic silver medalist, and former Carl Frampton team mate, Kenny Egan feels that ‘The Jackal’ did plenty wrong in his rematch with Santa Cruz at the weekend.
Frampton lost his WBA featherweight title, and his undefeated record, to Santa Cruz at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, falling to a majority decision.
Analysing the fight, ten-time Senior Champion Egan felt that Frampton was far from perfect in the fight, however he did see some good things in the performance, and still believes the Tigers Bay star could win a rematch.
Speaking on RTÉ 2FM’s Game On last night, Egan described how he noticed that “right from the first bell, he [Frampton] wasn’t himself. I don’t know what happened before the fight or in the training camp, but he wasn’t his relaxed self.”
“In the first and second round when Frampton’s tactics did not work, Santa Cruz was on the back foot and spent most of the first two rounds with his back against the ropes and he was picking Carl off.”
The Dublin light heavyweight admitted that he was frustrated at times by Frampton’s performance, recalling how “Carl was boxing brilliantly, he was closing the gap and getting that bit closer and attacking.”
“But then after his attacks, he was coming back in straight lines and Santa Cruz was picking him off on the counter and Carl’s head was just going back and he had his hands down around his ankles.”
“It’s too risky when you have a great attack and score a couple of points and you’re doing well and then waste it all by getting clipped on the way out. It’s a waste of energy and a waste of time.”
Indeed Egan thinks that it was not just Frampton’s defence which let him down during the bout in Sin City, and explained that “Carl was attacking from too far out. It’s only a matter of inches. If Carl had feinted his way in, just that little bit closer, and then attacked.”
“He was looking for big bombs and missing by a country mile, and this shouldn’t happen.”
Egan was by no means placing all the blame on Frampton for the defeat, and also made the point to commend Santa Cruz for adapting his style following the first epic encounter in New York last Summer – something which few believed he could do.
“Everyone was expecting a toe-to-toe, because Santa Cruz doesn’t know anything else,” Egan noted
“Santa Cruz’s jab was perfect on the night, the double jab in Carl’s face all the time, keeping him at bay, keeping him out, keeping him long and that kept Carl away. It just shows a great amount of discipline on his part because he changed his whole fight plan to beat Carl.”
Egan doesn’t believe that Santa Cruz has found the ‘key’ to beating Frampton, and feels that the Belfast man can defeat Santa Cruz should the champion adopt a similar backfoot approach in the rubber match.
“If this trilogy is going to happen and if they get Santa Cruz to Belfast, do I think Carl will beat him again? I’m not sure, they need a serious game plan.”
“If it goes the way it went on Saturday, and Santa Cruz goes on the back foot, then Carl needs to be all over him like a cheap suit and just stick to him like crazy glue. If he gives him any space, Santa Cruz will just pick him off again with that jab.”
Eric Donovan joins Gavan Casey and Joe O’Neill on Episode 2 of the Irish Boxing Show: