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McGuigan: Team Santa Cruz afraid of featherweight Frampton’s power

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It’s only four pounds in the difference, but it will feel like four tons when Leo Santa Cruz gets hits by a featherweight Carl Frampton, suggests Barry McGuigan.

The Hall of Fame fighter believes his charge that small increase in weight will “make a huge difference” when ‘The Jackal’ challenges Leo Santa Cruz for the WBA super featherweight title in New York on July 30th.

The Irish fight legend, who mentors Frampton, claims we will see the Belfast fighter at his strongest after the move up from super bantamweight and suggests Santa Cruz will taste serious power come fight night.

“I believe we will see a stronger and harder hitting Frampton at featherweight.”

“The extra four pounds will make a huge difference to Carl and we will see that on the night,” McGuigan told the Belfast Newsletter.

The Clones Cyclone admits the three weight World champion with an addiction to throwing punches represents the toughest test of Frampton’s career to date, but claims having studied the Mexican-American he is more than confident his charge will become a two-weight World champ before July is out.

While the majority of his confidence come from studying past Santa Cruz fights and comparing it to what he knows Frampton is capable of, he does take further belief from recent noises coming from the Santa Cruz camp.

“I think they might be underestimating Carl and I hope they are. Santa Cruz is a big favourite over here to win the fight and that suits us down to the ground. I think they are also trying to convince Santa Cruz that Carl doesn’t hit that hard.”

“But I have thought long and hard about this fight – and it will be the toughest fight of Carl’s career – but I am convinced he wins and wins well.”

That said, McGuigan is not underestimating the challenge posed by El Terremoto and admits that “he [Santa Cruz] is a fantastic fighter. He throws up to 150 punches a round, he can punch, he is brave and he is a better boxer than people give him credit for.”

“He is a three weight World champion and you don’t do that if you are not a great fighter.”

“This is without doubt Carl’s toughest fight to date but I think it is the perfect fight for him.”



Integral part of the Irish boxing community for over 13 years