Santa Cruz: I can’t let Frampton take away my dream

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Leo Santa Cruz wants to become a boxing legend, and Belfast’s Carl Frampton is standing in his way.

The Mexican-American defends his WBA featherweight title against The Jackal at the Barclays Centre on July 30th, and he believes that Frampton is another step on his way to greatness.

El Terremoto has visions of one day being a six-weight World champion, something which only Oscar De La Hoya and Manny Pacquaio (who was an eight-weight champion) have achieved.

Speaking after a media workout at the City of Angels Boxing Club in Los Angeles yesterday, Santa Cruz explained that “my dream is to be the next big thing in boxing.”

“We’re going to work hard every day in the gym, learn from our mistakes and improve so I can be the best fighter out there.”

“I want to get this win against Carl Frampton and then unify against Gary Russell Jr., Lee Selby or any of the champions. When my body is ready we’ll move up in weight to seek another world title.”

“When I first started boxing all I ever thought about was being a World champion one time. Then after I got there I started pushing my goals.”

“If I continue to keep learning and improve as a fighter, I could go all the way up to 140-pounds.”

The unassuming champion was highly complementary of his upcoming Irish opponent and described how Frampton “has great skills, great punches and he moves very well. It’s going to be a tough fight for me but I’m going to work hard to defend my belt.

“He’s a very skilled fighter. He has great power and I think it’s going to be an exciting fight. These are the kind of guys I want to fight. It gives me even more motivation to get in the gym and train hard.”

“I see Frampton as someone trying to come and take away everything I worked hard for.”

“I can’t let that happen. I’m going to do what I have to do to get the win.”

Frampton, who is currently in New York preparing for the bout, has stated that he has improved power at featherweight and that he has the ability to knock the Californian out. Santa Cruz is happy about the prospect of facing the best-ever version of the Tigers Bay fighter and reasoned that “I think Frampton will keep his power up the weight classes. He couldn’t make 122-pounds anymore and he’s said that he will be even stronger this time.”

“That’s good. That’s what I want. I want him to feel good so it’ll be a tough and entertaining fight.”

“I can’t let him come over to the U.S. and get this win. We’re going to go out there and see if he can bring the best out of me. I’m going to be one-hundred percent ready.”

Much has been made of Frampton travelling across the Atlantic for the fight in the Big Apple, but the bout also constitutes Santa Cruz’s first East Coast affair. The 27 year old however is undaunted by the new experience and claimed that “I’m thrilled to be fighting in New York.”

“It’s going to be my first time out there. I’m excited to meet new fans.”

“The people who have wished I would fight in New York will get to see me. There are also people that don’t know me and this my opportunity to be impressive and put on a show for them.”

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: