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Cyclone line up blockbuster Belfast showdown for Carl Frampton with Santa Cruz

By David Kelly

Published 29/02/2016

Carl Frampton celebrates defeating Scott Quigg in Saturday nights World Super-Bantamweight unification clash at the Manchester Arena.
Carl Frampton celebrates defeating Scott Quigg in Saturday nights World Super-Bantamweight unification clash at the Manchester Arena.
Carl Frampton will be honoured by Belfast City Council as the City Hall is illuminated in green and white on Sunday evening.
Carl Frampton celebrates defeating Scott Quigg in Saturday nights World Super-Bantamweight unification clash at the Manchester Arena.
Carl Frampton celebrates defeating Scott Quigg in Saturday nights World Super-Bantamweight unification clash at the Manchester Arena.
Carl Frampton celebrates defeating Scott Quigg in Saturday nights World Super-Bantamweight unification clash at the Manchester Arena.
Scott Quigg is lifted up into the air by trainer Joe Gallagher after his IBF & WBA World Super-Bantamweight Championship bout against Carl Frampton at Manchester Arena
Carl Frampton during Saturday nights World Super-Bantamweight unification clash at the Manchester Arena.
Carl Frampton (R) connects with a punch on Scott Quigg during their World Super-Bantamweight title contest at Manchester Arena on February 27, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
Carl Frampton (left) and Scott Quigg during their IBF & WBA World Super-Bantamweight Championship bout at Manchester Arena.
Carl Frampton and Scott Quigg during Saturday nights World Super-Bantamweight unification clash at the Manchester Arena.
Carl Frampton (left) and Scott Quigg during their IBF & WBA World Super-Bantamweight Championship bout at Manchester Arena.
Carl Frampton (right) and Scott Quigg during their IBF & WBA World Super-Bantamweight Championship bout at Manchester Arena.
Carl Frampton salutes the crowd prior to the World Super-Bantamweight title contest against Scott Quigg at Manchester Arena on February 27, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
Actor James Nesbitt, former jockey Sir Tony McCoy and Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill watch the action at Manchester Arena.
Scott Quigg enters the ring prior to the World Super-Bantamweight title contest against Carl Frampton at Manchester Arena on February 27, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
Carl Frampton (centre) in the ring before his IBF & WBA World Super-Bantamweight Championship bout against Scott Quigg at Manchester Arena.
Scott Quigg (centre) in the ring before his IBF & WBA World Super-Bantamweight Championship bout against Carl Frampton at Manchester Arena.
Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill pictured at the Manchester Arena as they prepare to watch Carl Frampton and Scott Quigg during Saturday nights World Super-Bantamweight unification clash.
Gavin McDonnell (left) knocks down Jorge Sanchez during their Vacant WBC Silver & Eliminator Super-Bantamweight Championship bout at Manchester Arena.
Actor James Nesbitt arrives at the Manchester Arena wearing a Northern Ireland shirt to watch the World Super-Bantamweight Title Fight between Carl Frampton and Scott Quigg at Manchester Arena on February 27, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
Ryan Burnett from Belfast with Anthony Settoul from France during their Vacant WBC International Bantamweight Championship contest on the undercard of the Frampton Quigg World Super-Bantamweight unification clash at the Manchester Arena.
Paddy Barnes pictured at the Manchester Arena as they prepare to watch Carl Frampton and Scott Quigg during Saturday nights World Super-Bantamweight unification clash.
Ryan Burnett hits Anthony Settoul with a right on his way to victory in the Vacant WBC International Bantamweight Championship at Manchester Arena on February 27, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
Tyson Fury watches the action at Manchester Arena.
Tony McCoy watches the Ryan Burnett v Anthony Settoul fight from ringside at Manchester Arena on February 27, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
Marc McCulough, from Belfast, is defeated by Isaac Lowe from Morecambe after his corner threw in the towel during their Vacant Commonwealth Featherweight Championship contest on the undercard of the Frampton Quigg World Super-Bantamweight unification clash at the Manchester Arena.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 27th February 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Marc McCulough from Belfast is defeated by Isaac Lowe from Morecambe after his corner threw in the towel during their Vacant Commonwealth Featherweight Championship contest on the undercard of the Frampton Quigg World Super-Bantamweight unification clash at the Manchester Arena.
Barry McGuiggan pictured at the Manchester Arena as they prepare to watch Carl Frampton and Scott Quigg during Saturday nights World Super-Bantamweight unification clash.
Hosea Burton knocks down Miles Shinkwin during his victory in the Vacant British Light-Heavyweight Championship at Manchester Arena on February 27, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
Carl Froch pictured at the Manchester Arena as they prepare to watch Carl Frampton and Scott Quigg during Saturday nights World Super-Bantamweight unification clash.
Josh Taylor knocks down and stops Lyes Chaibi during his victory in the Super-Lightweight Contest at Manchester Arena on February 27, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
Carl Frampton's father Craig pictured at the Manchester Arena
Charlie Edwards from Epsom defeats Luke Wilton during their Vacant WBC International Silver Flyweight Championship contest on the undercard of the Frampton Quigg World Super-Bantamweight unification clash at the Manchester Arena.
Luke Wilton from Belfast and Charlie Edwards from Epsom during their Vacant WBC International Silver Flyweight Championship contest on the undercard of the Frampton Quigg World Super-Bantamweight unification clash at the Manchester Arena.
Luke Wilton from Belfast and Charlie Edwards from Epsom during their Vacant WBC International Silver Flyweight Championship contest on the undercard of the Frampton Quigg World Super-Bantamweight unification clash at the Manchester Arena.
David Teymur of Sweden celebrates his victory over Martin Svensson of Sweden in the Lightweight Bout during the UFC Fight Night at The O2 Arena on February 27, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Christopher Lee/Getty Images)
David Teymur of Sweden celebrates his victory over Martin Svensson of Sweden in the Lightweight Bout during the UFC Fight Night at The O2 Arena on February 27, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Christopher Lee/Getty Images)
Carl Frampton during the weigh-in ahead of his fight against Scott Quigg in the World Super-Bantamweight unification fight, at Manchester Arena.
Carl Frampton takes part in a public work out at Intu Trafford Centre
Happy at his work: Scott Quigg at last night’s public work-out at the Trafford Centre in Manchester
Raring to go: Carl Frampton and his coach Shane McGuigan take part in a public work-out at the Trafford Centre in Manchester last night
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 23: Carl Frampton takes part in a public work out at Intu Trafford Centre on February 23, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 23: Carl Frampton takes part in a public work out at Intu Trafford Centre on February 23, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 23: Scott Quigg takes part in a public work out at Intu Trafford Centre on February 23, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 23: Carl Frampton takes part in a public work out at Intu Trafford Centre on February 23, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)
Carl Frampton poses during a public work out at Intu Trafford Centre on February 23, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 23: Scott Quigg poses during a public work out at Intu Trafford Centre on February 23, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)
Carl Frampton takes part in a public work out at Intu Trafford Centre on February 23, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 23: Scott Quigg takes part in a public work out at Intu Trafford Centre on February 23, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)

Carl Frampton could be heading for a blockbuster showdown with World featherweight champion Leo Santa Cruz this summer at either Windsor Park or the Kingspan Stadium.

WBA featherweight king Santa Cruz retained his title with a fifth-round stoppage of former Frampton foe Kiko Martinez in California, just hours after the Jackal had ruthlessly turned back the challenge of Scott Quigg on Saturday night in the Manchester Arena.

Well done to Leo Santa Cruz and commiserations to my friend KikoMartinez. Fancy a summer showdown @leosantacruz2? I'm ready

— Carl Frampton (@RealCFrampton) February 29, 2016

Now Frampton wants a shot at becoming the first Northern Ireland boxer to win World titles at two different weights and a showdown with Santa Cruz would be one of the most exciting clashes in world boxing.

Jake McGuigan, the Head of Boxing at Cyclone Promotions, revealed that he has been in regular talks with the Santa Cruz camp over recent months about the possible showdown and straight after Frampton had beaten Quigg he was on the phone to America to reiterate his desire to make the fight.

Frampton has a tie-up with American promoter Al Haymon, as does Santa Cruz, so securing a deal is a realistic possibility.

Jake said: "I spoke to Al Haymon's man and said 'let's make the fight' and he agreed.

"The Santa Cruz team genuinely want to make the fight. We're on the same American TV channel which also helps. His dad was actually there to watch Carl in El Paso, as was Leo, and they may have gained confidence because Carl had gone down.

"We would love the fight for the summer in Belfast and I think we can make him an offer that can help us bring him here but whether it's the summer or later in the year it's the biggest fight out there for Carl.

"American fighters are coming to the UK and UK and Irish boxing is booming. It would be a natural outdoor venue fight."

Frampton, though, will come under pressure to make mandatory defences of both his belts with Shingo Wake the IBF's number one contender and Cuban legend Guillermo Rigondeaux will be waiting after a routine victory over British champion Jazza Dickens in Liverpool next month.

But the lure of a showdown with Santa Cruz in Belfast or New York would be too strong if his team can thrash out a deal - which could well mean a two-fight agreement with one in Belfast and the return Stateside.

Frampton said: "To fight at Windsor is a dream of mine and before I end my career I want that chance. Santa Cruz is the fight I would love, it would be a great fight but I've always said that I am happy to beat Rigondeaux and I'm the only one in the division who can beat him."

Meanwhile, Frampton's coach Shane McGuigan felt more than vindicated after winning the tactical battle with Quigg's coach Joe Gallagher.

"Carl did just enough every single round to prove he is the much better fighter," said Shane.

"He won the first five with ease. Joe Gallagher is not the coach he's cracked up to be. He came up with tactics that gave away the first five rounds, it's madness and why? Because he thinks a World champion is going to blow up - he's off his nut.

"We kept picking up rounds and Carl could have made the fight a lot easier for himself.

"There's no need for a re-match, the fact they had it as a split decision is laughable. Barry Hearn told me he had Carl five rounds up and Eddie Hearn had Carl three rounds ahead."

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