Frampton v Leo Santa Cruz: I’m going to shock the world, vows Carl
Jackal strong at new weight and set to be king of New York
Carl Frampton says he has no doubt about beating the odds and walking away with the WBA World featherweight title in Brooklyn, New York.
It’s unusual for Frampton to find himself as the underdog but that’s the case Stateside as he seeks to overcome World champion Leo Santa Cruz.
The tough, three weight Mexican world champion will walk to the ring in the early hours of Sunday morning as favourite to retain his title but the Jackal is adamant that he has the tools to spring a surprise.
“I believe I’m going to win this fight in style and I’m going to shock the world,” said 29-year-old Frampton.
“Three days out from the fight I’m full of energy, I’m sweating which is great because I’m usually dry as a bone at this stage before a fight to make 122lbs at super-bantamweight... I feel great.
“I’m not daft, I know that a lot of the American journalists think that Santa Cruz is going to win this fight, the bookies have me as the underdog, some of the media do too but I’m about to prove them all wrong, every one of them. It’s been a perfect camp for me. I’m feeling strong mentally and physically. I feel like my stamina level has increased with the new weight.”
Frampton's confidence is naturally shared by his coach Shane McGuigan who has guided the Belfast man to European and World glory.
McGuigan has been delighted with the Jackal's progress in training over the past three months and expects a performance from the former super-bantamweight champion to make the boxing world sit up and take notice of his talent.
Indeed, he is backing Frampton to break into the world's top 10 pound for pound fighters on the back of a victory over Santa Cruz.
McGuigan said: "I believe we're going to see the best Carl Frampton this Saturday. In my opinion a win over Santa Cruz will put Carl into the top 10 pound for pound fighters in the world.
"We've seen Carl at his best in the gym but he still has to show it in the ring. He needs to be pushed to show his best and Santa Cruz will do that. He's a guy who likes to take the fight to his opponent, to apply pressure, and that will bring out the best in Carl.
"Santa Cruz is seen as one of the most accurate, efficient fighters in the world and he's one of the biggest volume punchers, but he hasn't fought anyone of Carl's class.
"In his last fight Santa Cruz beat Kiko Martinez... Kiko's a great guy but he was past his best. The two defeats by Carl took a lot out of him and then he got stopped by Scott Quigg.
"Carl can take a shot and regroup and fire straight back - Santa Cruz isn't used to that. And even in that win over Kiko, Santa Cruz was wobbled a bit - Carl has a different type of power, his punches come with amazing speed."
The show in Brooklyn will also feature Coalisland's unbeaten middleweight Conrad Cummings in a six rounder.
Cummings is also trained by McGuigan, who believes that the 25-year-old is pushing towards a major title shot.
After a draw last year with Belfast's Fredo Meli, Cummings bounced back with two victories and McGuigan feels he is on track for a big fight before the end of the year.
"I think Conrad is two fights away from a British or Commonwealth title fight," said McGuigan.
"Conrad has really enjoyed this camp and he has had some good sparring over here in New York. He has looked very impressive at times - he is starting to listen more and I'm hoping for a good performance on Saturday.
"Then we can look to push him on and move towards a title shot."