Belfast Telegraph

Frampton v Leo Santa Cruz: Confident Carl jets off to New York ahead of WBA featherweight clash

'Next time I'm on a flight I'll be bringing a shiny new belt back home to Belfast'

By Claire Williamson

Carl Frampton is on his way to America as the countdown gets underway for his New York showdown with Leo Santa Cruz.

It is just under one month until the Belfast boxer's clash with Mexican 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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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 tweeted a picture as he jetted off from Dublin airport.

He said: "The next time I'm on a flight I'll be bringing a shiny new belt back home to Belfast. #AndTheNew #2WeightWorldChamp"

Speaking to ESPN as he headed off to the states Frampton vowed he won't make the same "mistakes" as his last fight in America where he was floored twice in the first round by Alejandro Gonzalez Jr before going on to beat him on points.

Frampton told ESPN: "I need to show the American crowd what I'm capable of.

"I'm better than that, I'm a better fighter than I looked in the first round when Gonzalez put me down twice. It was disastrous but I came back and boxed quite well after that and won on points comfortably.

"That was me at 70 percent and I really need to be at my best to beat Santa Cruz because he's the best fighter I've come up against."

With just weeks to go before the fight Frampton's opponent has unleashed fighting talk ahead of the clash.

He told Behind The Gloves: "I am going to go 100% ready and hopefully not leave it to the judges and I'm going to hopefully knock him out or if not win with a clear decision.

He added: "I'm going to bring the fight. Stay on top of him and chase him. I'm going to make him fight. "

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