Carl Frampton will defend his WBA Super World featherweight title in a rematch against the man he won it from; Leo Santa Cruz. The location of the fight may have shifted from the east coast to the west but the the action should pick up where it left off after a scintillating twelve rounds of championship boxing at the Barclays Centre in Brooklyn, New York City back in July. Get ready for Frampton vs Santa Cruz at the MGM Grand on January 28th.
STYLES MAKE FIGHTS
Viva Las Vegas. Only the fight capital of the world would be a fitting place to hold a fight of this magnitude and excitement. Carl Frampton and Leo Santa Cruz are two of the best fighters in the game and have boosted the profile of the featherweight division.
Sometimes in boxing you just get two fighters who’s styles gel perfectly. Styles make fights as the old addage goes. Often it is hard to predict what your going to get as a fan leading into a fight but I would be shocked if these two didn’t serve up another firecracker. They traded blow for blow in the first fight with both men having success.
FRAMPTON IN 2016
Frampton and his team headed by the legendary former champion Barry Macguigan enjoyed a stellar 2016 featuring in two huge fights. He triumphed on both occasions and to top it off he became a two weight world champion.
Frampton was overlooked by the BBC as a sports personality of the year contender just recently. I feel without doubt he deserved to be on the list. I’m sure he is much more bothered about collecting world title belts than gaining any universally recognised accolades outside of the ring but this will only add some extra fuel to his fire.
In many ways the tough night he had in El Paso in Texas when he was knocked to the canvas by the little known Alejandro Gonzalez Jr can be seen as a blessing in disguise. His apparent show of vulnerability would in hindsight, be the key to unlocking the door to the big career defining fights.
That knockdown was really overplayed. He saw the canvas and struggled to get to grips with the lanky, hard hitting Mexican in the early stages but ultimately he didn’t panic. He stayed calm, dusted himself down and ended up winning the fight by a long distance. Cream always rises to the top.
Frampton’s trip to the canvas was enough for Quigg to pounce and the fight that had been talked about for so long was finally signed, sealed and delivered. Frampton outscored domestic rival Scott Quigg in Manchester winning via way of split decision then decided to move up to the featherweight division in the footsteps of his idol.
THE FIRST FIGHT
The first fight back in July was a titanic encounter between the two men. It was a close fight but few disagreed that Frampton had done enough to shade the fight. Leo naturally thought he edged it but the sheer respect level shown after the fight was an indication that he knew that he had shared something special with his opponent.
Santa Cruz was dealing with personal matters in the build up to the last fight. He has since spoken candidly about how his father was diagnosed with cancer. This understandably could have affected him in training although you could never have guessed it as he still put in a great display in defeat.
THE MATCH UP
‘The Jackal’ is a dynamic fighter, a superfit individual, he finds good angles and punches very hard. Under the training of Shane Macguigan he has gone from strength to strength.
‘El Terremoto’ has superior height and reach and he will need to better utilise these natural physical advantages in this rematch. He has long lean arms and really whips his punches in hard to devastating effect.
However the Mexican machismo in him will just not allow him to be involved in a non entertaining fight. The loss last July went down as his first career defeat and his record now stands at 32W 1L with 18 knockout victories.
I think we could be looking at another razor close fight here. Should Santa Cruz win back his belt this could easily be made into a trilogy.