Santa Cruz hoping for “fifty-fifty” split of fans in “neutral” Vegas for Frampton rematch

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Leo Santa Cruz [32(18)-1(0)-1] is looking forward to his rematch with Carl Frampton next year, with the Mexican-American fighter is expecting a “fifty-fifty” crowd split at the MGM Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

Frampton [23(14)-0] defeated Santa Cruz in New York during the Summer, taking his WBA featherweight title in the process. Afterwards ‘El Terremoto’ would complain that the pro-Frampton support – which consisted of a huge travelling Jackal Army along with a sizeable throng of Irish-Americans and J1 students – had swayed the judges in the Barclays Center who awarded the Belfast man the win via majority decision (114-114, 116-112, 117-111).

With Irish weather ruling out a Belfast rematch, and Frampton refusing to give home advantage to the challenger, the rematch now takes place on January 28th in Sin City, with ‘The Jackal’ entering the bout as a slight favourite.

Santa Cruz is more than content with the venue and told ES News that “I think it’s a little bit better than New York. In New York there were all his people there, and the judges they saw that, but I don’t like making excuses.”

The former three-weight World champion is hopeful that his fanbase can make the short trip from his home city of Los Angeles for the fight. Santa Cruz outlined how “Vegas is neutral, Now it’s going to be maybe fifty-fifty, fifty percent his people and fifty percent my people. Vegas is neutral, there’s a lot of tourists there and I think a lot of people for him will come to support him.”

“I also expect a lot of people for me to go and support me because we’re four hours [by car] from LA so hopefully a lot of people from here [LA] go and support me and there can be a pretty even, fifty-fifty crowd.”

Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on, Boxing News,, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: