FRAMPTON VS. SANTA CRUZ 2 RECAP BY VICTOR O. GARCIA & POST PRESS CONFERENCE
By: Victor O. Garcia RCM Head Video Boxing Reporter- Ringside
Las Vegas, Nevada (January 28, 2017) —After the first fight back in July of 2016, Carl Frampton (23-1, 14 KOs) quickly agreed to give Leo Santa Cruz (33-1-1, 18 KOs) a rematch when he defeated him via majority decision in a packed house at the Barclay Center in Brooklyn, New York.
The highly anticipated rematch was not as great as the first one but, the fight was still full of action. Leo certainly changed his game plan after learning from his first loss to Frampton. Santa Cruz definitely used his long reach to his advantage and showed how much his boxing skills have gotten better. His jabs were the key in this fight and he definitely placed them well on Frampton. Carl did not show signs of giving up his title that easy. He definitely came in strong in the middle rounds which were giving hopes to the thousands of fans that came to show support all the way from Belfast, Ireland.
After 12 action-packed rounds the fight came to an end and the judges gave the hard-earned victory to Leo Santa Cruz via majority decision. The judges scored the bout 114-114, 115-113, and 115-113.
“Before the fight I said I wanted revenge and I wanted to work hard. I went to the gym and I worked hard and I did what I had to do.” Said Leo.
When asked about a possible rematch, Leo’s responds was quickly and clear.
“Of course I want the rematch. I’m a man of my word and I said if I won I would give him the trilogy.”
Carl Frampton did seem a little disappointed with his performance but he still made it clear that Leo was definitely the better man of the night.
“It was a very tough fight. Some of the rounds were close. I really think Leo deserved it.
“He told me what he was going to do. The brawler was out-boxing the boxer. My fault. I’m sorry. We will have to do it again. We have to do it again.
“He was very clever and he used his reach. I think he deserved it. I’m being honest. I think he deserved it. But it was a very good fight. I think I can perform slightly better. No excuses.
Carl Frampton was also asked about a potential trilogy and he wants to take it back home to Ireland.
“Let’s do it again. I hope he’s a man of his word and comes to Belfast. I hope he does.”
A trilogy would be epic but, there are other big potential match ups for Leo Santa Cruz.
Abner Mares recently made a comeback and won the WBA World Featherweight Title when he defeated Jesus Cuellar. If an agreement can’t be made between the two teams of Frampton and Santa Cruz, don’t be surprised if a rematch and unification bout were to take place between Leo Santa Cruz and Abner Mares.
The fight started with an aggressive attitude from the champion Dejan Zlaticianin. Mikey Garcia kept his cool using the jab to keep Zlaticianin at a distance. Dejan was a little sloppy with his shots and his stance. Leaving himself open and Mikey quickly took advantage of it. The 2 ½ year lay-off didn’t seem like it affected Mikey Garcia in his last fight and most certainly in this title match. The fight came to an end after what most likely be a Knockout of the Year candidate. Mikey finished the fight strong and with a statement by leaving Dejan Zlaticianin laid out on the canvas.
“I want to thank God for this opportunity and I’m thankful Dejan my opponent is OK now. We never wish any bad on anyone in this sport and I’m glad he was able to get up and be OK.
“I wished him a great career still, and he said thank you. I told him he’s still a champion. Once a champion, always a champion.
“I think it was a great performance. I fought smart and I kept the distance and controlled the range. We had a great game plan; to stick to my jab and my left hand was going to be key and I needed to follow through with my right hand. I was able to connect and hurt him.
“I was always in shape and I was always active. I think the layoff allowed me to reignite my fire and my passion and bring back that love for the sport. And in that two and a half year layoff I always had the support of my loyal fans. I really appreciate the love and support of all the fans.
“He kept coming in and I saw the opportunity for the uppercut. He was hurt. When he turned back to look at me I knew he was hurt and I went for the overhand right. He was really hurt there and I saw it in his eyes. It was just the perfect time and perfect distance.
“I’m available to unify any titles. If we can get the organizations to come together and unify titles we would love that. Maybe move up to 140 pounds by the end of the year.”
After Zlaticianin was cleared from the hospital he had a few words to say in regards to his devastating loss to Mikey Garcia.
“I was just getting ready to pick it up a little bit and I got between the ropes and then he hit me with a good, hard punch.
“Mikey is a good fighter without a doubt. I never was able to get into the fight. I was pressuring and trying to break him down in the early rounds.”
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