WBO featherweight champion backs Santa Cruz to win Frampton rematch

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Leo Santa Cruz [32(18)-1(0)-1] will have learnt from his loss to Carl Frampton [23(14)-0] and will claim victory in their rematch for The Jackal’s WBA featherweight title on January 28th at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

At least that’s the opinion of WBO featherweight champion Oscar Valdez [20(18)-0].

The Mexican two-time Olympian believes that his countryman will have been invigorated from his loss to Frampton in New York during the Summer, and that the defeat is just the sort of kick-start needed by Santa Cruz to move to the next level of his career.

Valdez told IFL that “I’m a boxer, but I’m also a fan of boxing, and I like the way Santa Cruz and Frampton fight. I think that fight is going to be a great fight and, if I were to pick, I think Santa Cruz will take it.”

“I think Santa Cruz is a good fighter, Frampton is a great, great, fighter, and I think Frampton beat him well the first time.”

“But I don’t know, I think Santa Cruz needed that to pump him up a little bit more, there’s nothing wrong with losing. I think that will help him a lot and move on to better things in his career.”

Watch Oscar Valdez’s interview with IFL TV in full below:

25 year old Valdez defends his WBO 126lbs belt for the first time next Saturday (November 5th) on the Vargas-Pacquiao undercard in Las Vegas, and has stated his desire to for unification fights in the future. Alongside Valdez and Frampton, the division’s other champions are Lee Selby (IBF) and Gary Russell Jr (WBC).

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