Wednesday, June 19, 2024  |



Daniel Franco sees flaws in Leo Santa Cruz, hopes to make name off him

Fighters Network
Photo courtesy of Roc Nation.

Photo courtesy of Roc Nation.

Carl Frampton exposed a number of blemishes on Leo Santa Cruz’s facade, according to featherweight prospect Daniel Franco, and Franco hopes to take advantage of those shortcomings one day.

That was Franco’s take-away after watching Santa Cruz’s highly competitive majority decision loss to Frampton Saturday at Barclays Center. Franco (13-0-3, 8 knockouts) is just 24 and is still in the embryo stage of his career.

He takes the next step in his development when the Roc Nation fighter faces Marcello Gallardo (7-3-2) on the undercard of Andre Ward-Alexander Brand Saturday at Oracle Arena. But he already knows who he wants to make his name against in the featherweight division. And it’s not Carl Frampton.

“One of the guys that I was really looking forward to fight was Santa Cruz because he had a title,” Franco told on Tuesday. “But I think that Frampton exposed him a little bit. (Santa Cruz) is a great fighter and he has a lot of heart. But I did already see those flaws that he had and those habits that he did have. Frampton may have exposed them. If they have a second fight, great, but he’d be a great big name (for me) to fight on one of my breakout fights. Hopefully soon. We’ll see how everything goes.”

The Riverside, California product thought that Santa Cruz fought the wrong fight against Frampton, giving away his height to his 5-5 opponent. Franco is 5-9 and is tall for his division, similar to Santa Cruz, so he spoke from experience when he said that Santa Cruz didn’t use his height correctly.

“I thought that Santa Cruz didn’t use his attributes to his advantage,” Franco said. “He wasn’t standing the way he should have been standing. He wasn’t using everything that he had. Frampton was the shorter guy and Frampton was able to control the distance and that (shouldn’t happen) for someone as tall and as long as Santa Cruz, especially with the reach advantage that he had.”