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Leo Santa Cruz: Frampton rematch will be better than first fight

Photo / Showtime
03
Jan

Three-division beltholder Leo Santa Cruz tells RingTV’s Dominic Verdin that his Jan. 28 rematch with Carl Frampton will be better than their Fight of the Year candidate first bout, won by Frampton.

“I’m going to come much stronger and with the perfect game plan this time,” says Santa Cruz (32-1-1, 18 knockouts), who sat down with RingTV during his camp for the Frampton rematch that takes place at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas and will be televised live on Showtime.

Santa Cruz discusses what went wrong in the first fight, how he plans to fight the rematch and then he breaks down the stacked featherweight division, giving his thoughts on his 126-pound peers, Joseph Diaz Jr., Oscar Valdez, Lee Selby and Abner Mares.

  • kiowhatta

    If this fight lives up to the first, then hopefully boxing fans can hope it will set the tone for 2017..a good way to kick off the year.
    The question is, is this the year we get to witness a well matched HW fight? I can’t remember the last one.

    • Barley mcgrew

      Lol. Let’s hope Klitschko comes to win and with plenty left in the tank – but Joshua still comes through commandingly (Fury had the right combination of size, bravado and courage against Wlad – who may well have far more left than fans assume). And I would love to see Parker in with Wilder – an either way fight for me. Then the winners square off – with the (IMO) hugely overrated, yet tricky, Luis Ortiz waiting in the wings. Happy days. Kudos.
      .

      • Giuseppe

        That win over Bryant Jennings and his PED use did wonders for Ortiz.

        • left hook

          Sure did. In his last 2 fights he has looked like an ordinary plodder. I think of David Tua and Samuel Peter who looked like world-beaters when an opponent stayed in front of them..but like turtles when lateral movement was involved.

          • Giuseppe

            Sooner or later someone is gonna talk about how Malik Scott wrote the ‘blueprint’ on ortiz.

          • left hook

            Ouch. Malik Scott and blueprint in the same sentence..

          • Barley mcgrew

            Lol.

        • Barley mcgrew

          Ha. Forgot about the PED’s. Astonishing how a such PED abuser stops a mediocre fringe-contender like Jennings – and then becomes the HW division’s much-feared, must-avoid ‘monster’ of choice almost overnight. And one who has looked the very definition of average ever since. Go figure.
          .

    • J Scorpio

      I assume you missed Dillian Whyte at war with Chisora then? Epic, truly epic.

    • J Scorpio

      I assume you missed Dillian Whyte at war with Chisora then? Epic, truly epic.

  • Joey Junger

    I usually try to pick winners by crunching all the stats, like Compubox and what I get from Boxrec.com, and then looking back at old fights, but sometimes my gut just tells me who’s going to win, and that instinct is usually right. I couldn’t believe, for instance, Molina was an underdog against Provodnikov. My spidey sense was tingling and I knew John was going to win.

    I got the same feeling going into this fight. My brain tells me momentum from the first win, plus having the “Clones Cyclone” in his corner, means Frampton wins. On top of which, I remember what Gil Clancy said about how if a guy becomes a champ and it doesn’t go to his head, he becomes automatically twenty-percent better as a fighter. Frampton doesn’t strike me a pub-crawler or a playboy, so I bet he brings his A-Game to this fight.

    Still, something is telling me Leo wins this one. The plus side is we get a rubber match if that happens. I see Mares as a legit threat to whoever emerges from this war, though. He’s rejuvenated himself, and looked good against heavy-handed Cuellar the other night.

    • Barley mcgrew

      Agree with every word. Everything points more towards Frampton. But like you – I have always had a sneaky feeling for Santa Cruz in this one. I hope Carl wins again though.

    • Ten Count Toronto

      Clancy’s theory is out of date. Today fighters win a minor belt they are more likely to get a swollen head, over-celebrate, cherry pick an easy fight or two and be unprepared for the next serious challenge.

      I’m hoping Frampton is an exception, and his willingness to do an immediate rematch and even do so in the US again encourages me that Frampton presumably understands that he’ll have to work at least as hard and bring the same form (if not even better) to stand a good chance of keeping his title.

  • Michel Desgrottes

    Thinking about flying out there for the fight, my boy gave me a voucher for xmas for a hotel, or save money stay local for degale fight, either way Frampton wins, carl the truth, one of my favorites

  • Shawn

    Excellent fight no question.

  • Cousin Strawberry

    Imo Frampton lost the fight but it was close. I think Leo will avenge his controversial loss this time around.

  • philoe bedoe

    This is Framptons fight to lose.
    He has all the tools to beat Santa Cruz again………….

    • Jack Rabbit

      Yeah I agree. Frampton just has the skill set and movement to beat LSC. LSC problem he’s predictable and doesn’t make any adjustments. The only way he wins is if Frampton tires and LSC wears him down in the later rounds, but I doubt it.

      • philoe bedoe

        Spot on………

  • Ten Count Toronto

    I’m excited about the rematch. It was an excellent fight to watch and I don’t mind 12 rounds of it at all. I tend to agree that it will be an even better fight the second time.

    To my eyes SantaCruz improved as the fight went on, going no worse than even up after the 6th. I though he had a slight ege in the second half, so theoretically if he fought all 12 rounds as he did the final 6, t could go either way,

    Of course it’s not that simple. Both fighters are in their prime, 7 months is not going to erode Frampton’s advantages in mobility, hand speed,1 punch power and overall talent, though SantaCruz’ learning curve won’t be as steep in the rematch, It could still take a few rounds to get into the right range & rhythm to get on mostly even terms.

    And Frampton himself might be even better, he might have new confidence in his stamina at 126, and from the experience of beating a world class international fighter. He might have always believed he could to that, but he knows it. That could give him the freedom to display even more quality offense causing Leo to pull back and re-asses just like he had to early int he first fight.

  • terryhealy

    frampton wins with his footwork. mexicans cant handle fighter withgood foodwork. Frampton can fight goin fowa
    rd and backwards. Frampton wins early thos time if he gets a opening

    • mike

      How did this post get past the screeners? There are no screeners I suppose. “Fighter with good foodwork!” Well, I suppose if Frampton brings some Mexican food to the fight he might be able to distract Leo long enough to get in some good punches.

      • terryhealy

        its not going to be a mexican stand off put it that way. its frampton countering and then catchin him, i say late stoppage for frampton

  • Cashtime

    As much as I like Cruz this is more likely to end the same. Frampton should be in with Rigo. He’s the only one right now who actually has a shot at beating him. Notice “a shot” only. But he would really make that matchup a sizzler.

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