Frampton v Santa Cruz: I want to win the rematch and then have a third fight in Belfast, says Santa Cruz
Leo Santa Cruz has revealed just how tough it was to prepare for his fight with Carl Frampton in the summer - and how hungry he is to take the WBA World title back to his home in Los Angeles.
Santa Cruz and Frampton served up a great encounter in Brooklyn with the Belfast man just edging it on points and now the Mexican seeks to put the record straight.
"I am really looking forward to this fight, it's going to be another tough fight and hopefully I win and then we can do the third fight to make the trilogy," said Santa Cruz at the Europa Hotel.
"I would like to come to Belfast to have the third fight. I was a bit nervous coming here, I wasn't sure how the fans would respond to me but they treated me with respect and I'm very happy and thankful about that.
"I know that in this second fight all the pressure is on me. The fight is near my home and I have to go and look for the win to get the title back.
"I have to make sure that I will be relaxed, I won't be nervous because if you get too uptight then things don't work for you.
"It will take the best performance of my career to get the title back... he's going to come with everything, probably even better than the first fight."
Most importantly for Santa Cruz, he will aim for revenge over Frampton with dad Jose in his training camp for the next eight weeks.
That is something he didn't have in the lead-up to the first encounter with the Jackal due to his father's battle with cancer.
"When my dad was told he had cancer and had to get chemotherapy, it was very tough. Every time I went to the gym, my head wasn't in the training. It was more about how he was doing and whether or not he would be able to beat it," added Santa Cruz.
"I was even thinking that maybe I'll wake up tomorrow and he won't be with us anymore and I started remembering things about when I started off and how he would take my hand as we walked to the gym.
"Thinking about those things really got to me, it got me depressed but now this camp will be nothing like that.
"My dad is going to be there with me the whole camp.
"He wasn't in the training for a month and a half, he was only there the last three weeks, so this time we are going to have a great game plan and I'll be ready to win back the belt."