Carl Frampton thrilled the watching crowd on Saturday night in his win over WBA champ Leo Santa Cruz in New York.
‘The Jackal’ claimed a majority decision win (114, 117-111, 116-112) against the three-weight World champ in what was probably the greatest away performance for an Irish boxer ever.
The Belfast man backed some early rounds before El Terremoto worryingly began to build some momentum – however trainer Shane McGuigan was on hand to help his fighter adjust and take back control.
27 year old McGuigan, who had already become the youngest head trainer of a World champion, explained that “Carl was covering too much distance, he was pulling out of shots,McG he wasn’t doing enough. He thought he was doing enough, but he just wasn’t and he was losing rounds by switching off.”
“I thought in the middle rounds, Carl mixed it and started loading up. The fact is that Leo throws lots of good shots rather than excellent shots – he tries to hit you with 10 good shots rather than two really crisp ones.”
“Carl was loading up and Leo was out-working him on the inside sometimes.”
“I was like ‘you have to stamp your authority, you have to take it to him and meet him with shots and, as soon as he started doing that, Santa Cruz started backing off.”
Indeed McGuigan had some help inspiring his man to greatness in the form of the raucous pro-Frampton crowd inside the Barclays Centre, and he recalled how “I told him to listen to the fans singing Danny Boy at one stage and said ‘if that’s not motivation for you, I don’t know what is – go out there and make us all proud’. The atmosphere was incredible – those people made some noise.”