Santa Cruz Belfast talks ongoing as McGuigan aims for pay-per-view persuasion

José Santa Cruz may not want his son, Léo, to face Carl Frampton [23(14)-1(0)] in a rubber match in Belfast this Summer, but Barry McGuigan has not lost hope.

At the weekend Santa Cruz [33(18)-1(0)-1] claimed that, despite his desire for such a bout, a Titanic City rematch was unlikely due to his father’s opposition. Santa Cruz Sr holds the belief that his son would be in danger of unjustly losing the fight should he travel to the home town of Frampton.

McGuigan however has revealed that negotiations are still ongoing with Al Haymon, the man behind Premier Boxing Champions and advisor to both Frampton and Santa Cruz.

The Cyclone Promotions chief told the Belfast Telegraph that “I’ve seen what Santa Cruz has had to say about not wanting to fight in Belfast, nothing surprises me in boxing. Those thoughts are clearly influenced by his father but nothing is deterring us from continuing to negotiate a deal for Santa Cruz to face Carl in the summer in Belfast.”

Reiterating that talks are going well, McGuigan continued – “any negotiations that we have had so far with Santa Cruz’s adviser Al Haymon have been positive and we don’t see any reason why that shouldn’t still be the case, despite what Santa Cruz has said.”

A frequently cited stumbling block to the fight taking place on this side of the Atlantic is time difference, with an evening time fight at Windsor Park or a similar venue being unattractive for cable networks in the U.S. which is between five and eight hours behind Irish time.

It had been suggested that the bout could take place as a big afternoon bout on American terrestrial television, a-la Errol Spence v Leonard Bundu, however McGuigan has plans for an alternative and believes that the promise of pay-per-view money could entice ‘El Terremoto’ across the pond.

The Monaghan manager outlined how “we are working very hard to make coming to Belfast at an outdoor venue on pay-per-view the most lucrative deal for Santa Cruz in a third fight with Carl.”

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