Where and When will the Frampton v Santa Cruz rematch take place?

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It’s now been two and a half months since Carl Frampton’s sensational victory over Leo Santa Cruz in New York to become the WBA featherweight champion.

Since that balmy July night the evenings have become shorter and shorter, and there is a definite chill in the air, but yet we are still awaiting news on ‘The Jackal’s’ next contest.

It’s sad to say, but it now seems near-certain that Frampton will not fight before the end of 2016.

With information thin on the ground, we take a look at what’s been said and what looks likely for the coming months.

The Who
In terms of opponent, we all know that the Belfast two-weight champ will most likely trade leather with Leo Santa Cruz again. The details of the rematch clause in the pair’s original contract are unsure, but the Santa Cruz camp have given the impression that Frampton is contractually-bound to face ‘El Terremoto’ in his next bout. Regardless of the fine print, a rematch of the Fight of the Year contender was the obvious choice for everyone involved.

The Where
The bout will most likely take place in America. Frampton would love to fight at the new Windsor Park in Belfast but weather eliminates this as an option. The Odyssey would be good, but capacity constraints mean it is probably too small for a fight of this magnitude. New York again is another option, but Mexican-American Santa Cruz does not seem keen on the Big Apple and cited Frampton’s travelling and Irish-American support as a factor which influenced the judges’ decision during the Summer. Santa Cruz’s home city of Los Angeles has been categorically ruled out, with new champion Frampton refusing to defend his home title in the challenger’s home city as a point of principle. Las Vegas is seemingly the most likely option. However, with Al Haymon and Premier Boxing Champions rumoured to be suffering from financial issues, some say that the O2 Arena in London or the Manchester Arena has become a contender

The When
The first fight between Frampton and Santa Cruz was announced over 13 weeks in advance of their showdown at the Barclays Centre. With flights and accommodation a major issue for The Jackal Army, the likelihood of the fight being hastily arranged for before the end of the year seem hugely unlikely – especially considering that Frampton (who prefers a relatively preparation) is currently not in fight camp. There is little doubt that the bout was intended for some time in December. Frampton restarted camp in London over four weeks ago, however with a December date now seemingly shelved, the 29 year old has been back in Belfast ticking over. Again, the shadow of Al Haymon’s supposed money issues hang over this whole period of uncertainty.

So What’s The Story?
Over the past few weeks the boxing rumour mill has spat out numerous dates, first December 3rd, the December 17th, now January 21st and 28th are the two whispers with the most volume.

Over the past few days both Shane and Barry McGuigan have promised the release of details very soon.

While nothing is certain in boxing, and we certainly wouldn’t be buying flights just yet, we would tentatively predict that the Carl Frampton v Leo Santa Cruz rematch will take place on Saturday January 28th at the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas.

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