Wayne McCullough, who won a WBC bantamweight world title and challenged for belts at higher weights six times, believes the Mexican-American’s rematch win over Abner Mares earlier this month opens the door to a third fight with ‘The Jackal’.
And if and when the third fight does play out, ‘The Pocket Rocket’ believes his fellow Belfast native will emerge victorious.
Frampton dethroned Santa Cruz in New York in the Summer of 2016 to take the WBA featherweight title which he lost in an immediate rematch in Las Vegas.
Despite promising to come to Belfast for a third fight, Santa Cruz reneged on his word and instead faced Chris Avalos, a boxer stopped by Frampton, then rematched Mares.
“I was at the fight last week when Leo Santa Cruz beat Abner Mares and I was glad Mares lost, as it puts Carl back in the picture to get the third fight,” McCullough told the BBC.
“He deserves that fight and the trilogy bout has to happen. Of course, I think Carl would beat him.”
In fact, McCullough believes Frampton is a match for any featherweight in the world.
The 47-year-old recently put himself forward to face his fellow Belfast boxer at Windsor Park on August 18th – a move which drew criticism and ridicule. Today, Aussie Luke Jackson was confirmed as the opponent for the stadium fight.
The 1992 Olympic silver medallist believes Frampton, who should be afforded the chance to claim the IBF world title with a December fight against Josh Warrington, has the ability to defeat the likes of Santa Cruz as well at the other 126lbs world champions Oscar Valdez and Gary Russell Jr.
“Carl’s in a position now he can beat any of the guys [in the featherweight division].”
“The only guy who is a real big puncher is Gary Russell Jnr. but he only fights once a year so nobody is really touching him.”