By Allan McGoldrick (@AMCGUK)
Leo Santa Cruz Vs. Carl Frampton hits our screens this Saturday night, live from New York’s Barclays Center in Brooklyn. It’s a must watch for any sports fan and If you’re not lucky enough to have a ticket, the fight will be down live on Showtime in the US and Boxnation in the UK.
Carl Frampton the undefeated unified super bantamweight champion is moving up in weight to challenge unbeaten WBA Featherweight World Champion Leo Santa Cruz.
Belfast’s Frampton, (age 29) with a record of 22 wins and 14 KOs, has vacated his Super-Bantamweight World titles to make the move up from 122lbs to the 126-pound division where he will challenge 27 year old Santa Cruz (32-0, 18 KOs) for the WBA Super World Featherweight Championship.
This latest chapter for Frampton comes after his February 2016 unification fight split decision win against former world champion Scott Quigg in Manchester.
Frampton trained and mentored by father and son team Barry and Shane McGuigan and promoted by Cyclone Promotions has set his sights on conquering a second weight division and will now fight for the same title Barry McGuigan previously held during his legendary career.
Santa Cruz is a dangerous champion and will enjoy a substantial height and reach advantage.
In August of last year, Santa Cruz faced three-division champion Abner Mares, in a bout that had been building for years. Against by far the best opponent of his career, Santa Cruz turned in the most complete performance of his career to win comfortably on points.
Santa Cruz recently this year stopped Kiko Martinez in the fifth round. An opponent Frampton has beaten twice. Santa Cruz inspired by his father and trainer Joses. Whom is fighting bone cancer and Santa Cruz is overjoyed his father could make the trip to New York. Although he’ll not be in his corner this time, but his brother Antonio will be.
Frampton will have to rely once again on his fantastic footwork and timing to win away from home. This only being the second time he has boxed in America, a tall order, but a win Manager Barry McGuigan reckons is achievable, Barry recently said…. “This contest has all the ingredients to be fight of the year both fighters are all action Leo’s long jabs and aggression v Frampton’s counter punching it’s going to be massive”.
This will be Santa Cruz’s third defence of the WBA belt, having moved up to the weight from super-bantamweight himself last year.
Fighters within both super bantam and featherweight divisions, will I’m sure, have a keen interest in this bout. The talent is rich between 122-126 pounds, with the likes of Rigondeaux, Quigg, Donaire, Selby, Russell Jnr, Cuellar all potential mouthwatering match ups. Making both these divisions very exciting.by