‘El Terremoto’ lost the WBA featherweight title to the Belfast man back in July in New York, but feels he was not in the right frame of mind going into the clash at the Barclays Centre.
That Fight of the Year contender came during Santa Cruz’s father’s recovery from Stage 3 Myeloma (bone cane). Jose Santa Cruz, who trains his son, spent large periods away from the fight camp due to his treatment. Thankfully he is en-route to a full recovery and was able to man his son’s corner that night in Brooklyn
This time round the elder Santa Cruz will be ever-present throughout the preparations, something which Leo believes will be a huge benefit both emotionally and tactically.
Santa Cruz told Behind The Gloves that “I don’t like to make excuses, but I think my dad’s illness had a little bit to do with it [the loss to Frampton]. I didn’t train as I had to because my dad wasn’t there with us in camp, he was in chemo, he was in hospital.”
“This camp is going to be way different, my dad is going to be there the whole time. I think my mind was more there with him than in camp.”
“In that fight I didn’t do what I had to do.”
“We’re going to train in the camp with my dad and my brother and they’re going to tell me how to fight and we’re going to go in with a different gameplan and it will work perfectly.”
“I want to get revenge. I had a perfect record and now I have to go out there and beat him. Beating him will erase that loss, I know it wont erase the loss, but if I beat him it will feel in my head like I am still undefeated.”
Watch Leo Santa Cruz’s interview with Behind The Gloves in full below: