“Real” Leo Santa Cruz plotting KO win in Frampton rematch

The ‘real’ Leo Santa Cruz will stand up and ‘hurt’ Carl Frampton on January 28th claims the former world champion himself.

The Mexican-American lost his WBA featherweight title to the Belfast boxer in a Fight of the Year contender in New York back in July and the pair will renew acquaintances in Las Vegas in the first month of 2017.

The three-weight world champ, who questioned the decision post-fight and even bemoaned the effect ‘The Jackal Army’ had on the outcome, now admits a more personal reason for the loss beyond the judges and fan power.

Santa Cruz, who was undefeated before Frampton outpointed him in the Summer, claims he was far from his best on what was a sensational night for Irish boxing.

El Terremoto believes his father’s battle with cancer meant he couldn’t prepare properly for his first battle with Frampton. The California-based action lover now warns the Belfast star that he will see how good he really is during the repeat.

“The difference now is that I’m more motivated, with no worries, no obstacles. For the first one I was thinking about my dad having cancer. I was not very focused, I was focused on my dad’s recovery,” Santa Cruz told ESPN Deportes.

“Frampton is going to face the real Leo Santa Cruz. In that fight, I didn’t come in as ready as I’ve been for past fights. I will have the opportunity to prepare very well, it will be my victory now. Frampton thinks that I came into that fight at hundred percent, that I showed him the best that I have.”

Santa Cruz, who came out on the wrong end of a 114-114, 116-112, 117-111 majority decision, isn’t planing to allow it to go to the judges scorecards again, and is plotting a stoppage win.

“We do not want to leave the responsibility of the outcome to the judges. We are going to try to prepare very well. I will try to hurt him, I will work more to the body as I should, we will go to the body and look for that blow that hurts. If I catch him well with a punch he will go down,” Santa Cruz outlined.

Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: joneill6@tcd.ie