Santa Cruz eager to “prove” he is better than Carl Frampton

Leo Santa Cruz [32(18)-1(0)-1] believes he is a stronger fighter than the one who lost for the first time in his career last July against Carl Frampton – and he wants to prove it later this month.

The Mexican-American three-weight world champion takes on Frampton [23(14)-0] for the Belfast man’s WBA featherweight title on January 28th in Las Vegas, and feels he has learnt from his mistakes in their first meeting.

That time in New York, Santa Cruz’s high-octane style was negated somewhat and overcome by the boxing skill of Frampton, but the California-based former champion argues that it will be different this time and that he will exert revenge – thus proving he is a better fighter than ‘The Jackal.

Reflecting on their first battle, Santa Cruz described how “I think I have to land more clean punches this time. I’m going to work the body more and break him down. I’m going to sit on my punches a lot better. I couldn’t land my punches clearly and with enough power.”

‘El Terremoto’ promises it will be different at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, and outlined how “I feel stronger since the last fight and I’ve been preparing for everything. We’re sparring some bigger guys just to keep me prepared. We have strong, fast and heavy opponents. Carl Frampton won’t have anything we aren’t ready for.”

“I’m going to show everyone what I’ve been working on. I want to prove that I’m better than Carl Frampton. If everything works out, we’ll get the victory.”

“My fans have kept me motivated and given me the hunger to go out there and reclaim my title. That’s what I want to do. I hope it’s another Fight of the Year, but this time I will get the victory.”

“I’m going to fight like this is for my first world title. I’m going up there as a nobody and I’m going to go make a name for myself. I’m coming with that kind of hunger. ”

Joe O’Neill and Gavan Casey look ahead to 2017 in episode 1 of The Irish Boxing Show

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