Belfast Telegraph

Is Rory McIlroy the first to confirm he will be cheering Carl Frampton ringside as he takes on Leo Santa Cruz in New York?

Cyclone Promotions confirm fight for July 30 at Barclays Center NYC

By Claire Williamson

Is Rory McIlroy the first to confirm he will be ringside supporting Carl Frampton at his summer showdown with Leo Santa Cruz?

It comes as Cyclone Promotions confirmed reports that the WBA Super World featherweight title clash would take place on July 30 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.

On Friday night the Belfast boxer's manager Barry McGuigan revealed the agreement had been reached to hold the fight this summer.

The Belfast boxer himself then tweeted he will be challenging Mexican superstar Cruz for the WBA featherweight title in the Big Apple late summer.

Frampton makes the career defining step-up in weight to the Featherweight division having recently defeated WBA super-bantamweight champion Scott Quigg on February 27 in Manchester to become the unified champion.

Now Carl 'The Jackal' Frampton is determined to bring the title back to Belfast.

He said: "This is the fight I wanted and I’m one hundred percent confident that the belt will be coming home to Belfast.

"It’s the belt that my manager Barry McGuigan held thirty years ago and it’s fitting that I will have the chance to recapture this title. Santa Cruz is a strong and aggressive undefeated champion but his style is made for me.

"Myself and my team have been chasing this fight for a long, long time and that’s because we know we have the tools to beat Leo. He throws a lot shots and is a proven operator, it’s going to be a great fight.”

This is the second time Frampton will box in the USA having defeated Alejandro González Jr in Texas last July.

"It’s fantastic to be boxing in New York," he said.

“It’s an incredible city with a massive Irish community who I hope get behind me for this fight. There’ll be a lot of people travelling over from Belfast and the whole of the UK and Ireland as well so I’m expecting a good atmosphere on July 30.”

Three division champion Santa Cruz, 31 – 0 – 1 (17 KO’s), is coming off an impressive fifth round stoppage of Kiko Martinez in his last fight.

Santa Cruz (27) announced on twitter, “May the best man leave the Barclays Center on July 30 with the Belt!”

Ticket information will be released soon.


Meanwhile among those travelling to support Frampton is Holywood golfer Rory McIlroy who has already mapped out his route.

The World Number 3 will be taking part in the Baltusrol PGA Championship ahead of the fight.

It takes place from July 25-31 in New Jersey but McIlroy took to Twitter on Thursday to say he had planned his route of how to get from the PGA championship to the fight.

According to his calculations on Google maps, it's only 1 hour and 2 minutes away from Barclays Center.

All eyes will be on Frampton's ringside support following the well documented antics of James Nesbitt in Manchester in February.

The Cold Feet star dressed in a Northern Ireland shirt was a little incoherent when giving his reply to why he was happy to be at the Manchester Arena.

He said: "I'm here with a lot of people and they're saying 'You can't wear a football shirt' but I thought, I might be on... Carl's from Northern Ireland and he's doing a lot for Northern Ireland, Carl Frampton."

Cracking insight from ringside there... #FramptonQuigg

— Paddy Power (@paddypower) 27 February 2016

Soon after he was trending on Twitter with dozens of memes being created.

In a subsequent interview, Nesbitt took the response on the chin revealing he felt the effects the next day.

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