Watch: Carl Frampton and Leo Santa Cruz face to face in Belfast ahead of world title rematch
Watch the press conference as it happened.
Carl Frampton and Leo Santa Cruz came face-to-face in Belfast as the build-up begins for their world title rematch.
The Belfast boxer made history on July 30 in New York by becoming the first Northern Ireland boxer to win world titles at two different weights, when dethroning WBA World featherweight champion Leo Santa Cruz at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
Frampton was given a majority points decision by the three judges over 12 rounds.
The re-match has been confirmed for January 28, 2017 in MGM Grand Garden Area in Las Vegas.
To kick off the promotion Frampton and Santa Cruz held an open-to-the-public press conference in Belfast on Tuesday.
Another event is organised in Los Angeles on Thursday, December 1.
The Belfast event was held at the Europa Hotel where crowds of Frampton's fans were in fine voice as they welcomed the champion.
Frampton said: "The rematch is the fight we wanted.
“I enjoyed our first fight in New York. The atmosphere was fantastic and the fight lived up to the hype. On January 28th I will be better and I will win more convincingly. I know the way Leo fights, he throws a lot of punches and he is brave, but his style suits me. It has always been a dream of mine to headline in Las Vegas and I cannot wait to get out there and put on a great performance for the American boxing fans and the travelling support from Ireland and the UK."
Santa Cruz said from the moment their last fight ended his only goal was to "get my belt back".
“When I sat in the locker room afterward, I felt more motivated than ever to get back in the gym. All I've thought about since the fight was this rematch. There won't be any distractions in this camp. I'll be heading into the fight with a better game plan. I'm putting in 100 percent in training and I'm excited to get in the ring on January 28 to get my belt back.”
Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by Ringstar Sports in association with Cyclone Promotions and TGB Promotions, are priced at $504, $404, $304, $204, $104 and $54, and go on sale on Tuesday, November 29 at 5pm.
Tickets are available here
Frampton's all-action style has made him a firm favorite with boxing fans all around the world. The record breaking Northern Irishman is currently one of the best pound-for-pound boxers on the planet and on January 28 will, for the first time, take his legion of fans to the fight capital of the world, Las Vegas. The 29-year-old defeated Santa Cruz after conquering rival Scott Quigg in their 122-pound unification bout in February. Fighting out of Belfast, the Irish national amateur champion (in 2005 and 2009) became a world champion in 2014 when he defeated Kiko Martinez to earn a super bantamweight title. He made his U.S. debut in July 2015 when he defeated Alejandro “Cobrita” Gonzalez Jr. in Texas before unifying the title against Quigg.
The popular Mexican-American Santa Cruz fights out of Los Angeles and won a 126-pound title in a “Fight of the Year” grudge match against former three-division champ Abner Mares in August 2015 at STAPLES Center. He followed that up by stopping former world champion Kiko Martinez before taking the Frampton challenge. Prior to that, Santa Cruz won belts at 118 and 122 pounds while earning a reputation as one of boxing’s most active and exciting fighters. The 28-year-old also holds victories over Cristian Mijares and Eric Morel and has competed in world title bouts in 12 of his last 14 fights since 2012.
Belfast Telegraph Digital