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Frampton v Leo Santa Cruz: Carl officially welcomed to New York as he vows 'I want to create a legacy'

By Claire Williamson

Carl Frampton has vowed he wants to "create a legacy" as he was officially welcomed to American just weeks ahead of his showdown with Mexican Leo Santa Cruz.

It is just under one month until the Belfast boxer's clash with Leo Santa Cruz at the Barclays Centre in Brooklyn on July 30.

The Jackal's Army are expected to jet out to the Big Apple in their droves to see the WBA featherweight title bout.

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Frampton was officially welcomed to New York City on Thursday by former world champion and Brooklyn-native Paulie Malignaggi.

The Belfast boxer then held a media workout at Gleason's Gym.

'I want to create a legacy'

Carl said: "We're bringing a lot of lads from back home, and I also hope the Irish-Americans get to know my name, and everyone in Brooklyn as well. I expect about 1,500 traveling fans from Belfast. I think I'll have more support than Santa Cruz.

“This fight is huge for me because I really want to create a legacy. I know how people talk, and I think people will be talking about this for a very long time. I want people to remember me as a great fighter, that's all.

“I train very hard for every fight. No less or no more for Santa Cruz. We’re expecting a very tough fight with a lot of action.

"The last time I was an underdog was the Irish championships, when I was an amateur. You could have got me at 11:2, I was a massive underdog. I dropped him pretty early on, so the last time I was an underdog, a lot of people who knew me made a lot of money. It's going to be the same result this time."

The 29-year-old Belfast man officially relinquished his IBF World super-bantamweight belt in order to challenge Santa Cruz, who is already a three-weight World champion.

Should the Jackal triumph he would become the first Northern Ireland fighter to win World titles at two different weights - having become the first Irish boxer to unify World titles after he outpointed Scott Quigg at the Manchester Arena in February.

Frampton continued: “Moving up to 126 pounds was definitely the right decision for me. I’m a big puncher but I lost power coming down to 122 pounds. I’m going to be punching harder and be at my very best.

“I’m right on the door step of everything. I’m so excited for fight night, it’s going to be a truly special experience.

"It's important to be recognized in the States. This is where all of the great fighters from around the world end up fighting, and I really want to be recognized as a great fighter."





'History in the making'

Frampton's trainer Shane McGuigan said the fight is "history in the making".

"I wouldn't be taking on this fight it I wasn't extremely confident in Carl, even though he's coming in as the underdog. I don't think Santa Cruz has ever felt the power that Carl brings before. I think Carl can beat him comfortably if he continues to prepare well, and then steps into the ring and does what he's capable of doing.

“We’re finishing up camp now and making sure we’re 100 percent read. We have to be 100 percent to fight Leo Santa Cruz."

He added: “The transition coming over to New York to finish training camp has been great. We could have waited until closer to fight night but we want every single percent to our advantage.

“We’re still acclimatizing to the heat, the jet lag is no problem and we’re going to be ready on fight night.

"This fight is history in the making. It's a fight that can really put Carl on the map. It's always a huge opportunity when you're fighting for a title, against someone of Santa Cruz's caliber.”

As Frampton jetted off from Dublin airport he tweeted: "The next time I'm on a flight I'll be bringing a shiny new belt back home to Belfast. #AndTheNew #2WeightWorldChamp"

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