On Saturday, January 28, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, in a fight televised live on Showtime Championship Boxing, WBA Super World featherweight champion Carl “The Jackal” Frampton (23-0, 14 KOs), the phenomenal boxer-puncher from Belfast, Northern Ireland, defends his title against Leo Santa Cruz (31-1-1, 18 KOs), the former three-time champion from Rosemead, California, by way of Huetamo, Michoacán de Ocampo, Mexico, in a rematch of their fight over the summer.
Frampton won that bout by majority decision after 12 rounds, but it was close, especially in the first half of the fight. But that was then and this is now and the rematch is much anticipated and for good reason.
“I’m really happy,” said Santa Cruz during a recent teleconference call. “I’m happy to step back in the ring for the rematch. After the first fight, when I heard the decision and I got my first defeat, there was nothing in my head other than the rematch.
“I wanted the rematch because I knew I made some mistakes. I knew I wasn’t the best I could perform so I said I could really improve on things and I think I could get the victory next time. So, in that time, nothing has been in my head other than the rematch and I was very anxious and motivated to give another great show.”
Santa Cruz may have lost the bout, but he was dealing with family issues that have since been resolved.
“The first fight was a great fight for the fans that I love,” Leo added, “and I’m just happy and motivated to go out there and give another great fight and make it even better than the first one.”
Frampton believes he’s a historic fighter and it’s hard to disagree. He has held titles at two different weights and as much as he respects his opponent, he’s convinced that he has what it takes to defeat Santa Cruz a second time.
“I just wanted to start off with what Leo said,” stated Frampton. “I think that this is going to be another great fight. I think the last time it was talked about as one of the fights of the year. And I think our styles just gelled really well together. I don’t think it’s going to be any different this time.
“Whatever happens it’s going to be competitive up until it ends but I think that, what I’ve been doing this time in training camp, I feel like a fully-fledged featherweight. I was going into the unknown the last time I fought Leo, my first title fight at featherweight.
“But I feel like I’ve developed featherweight now, much stronger, bigger and punching harder. And I feel like at the end I’m going to get the win.”
This article was penned by the author who is not related to the WBA and the statements, expressions or opinions referenced herein are that of the author alone and not the WBA.