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Carl Frampton in title vow as he heads to New York for Santa Cruz fight

By Claire Williamson

Carl Frampton set off for America yesterday as the countdown to his match with Leo Santa Cruz in New York got under way.

It is just under a month until the Belfast boxer's clash with the Mexican at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn on July 30.

Fans of the Jackal are expected to jet out to the Big Apple in their droves to see the WBA featherweight title bout.

Frampton (29) relinquished his IBF world super-bantamweight belt in order to challenge Santa Cruz, who is already a three-weight world champion.

Should he triumph, he would become the first Northern Ireland fighter to win world titles at two weights, having become the first Irish boxer to unify world titles after beating Scott Quigg.

Frampton tweeted a picture as he jetted off from Dublin Airport, also writing: "The next time I'm on a flight I'll be bringing a shiny new belt back home to Belfast."

Speaking to ESPN, he vowed he would not make the same mistakes as his last fight in America, in which he was floored twice in the first round by Alejandro Gonzalez Jr before winning on points.

"I need to show the American crowd what I'm capable of," he said. "I'm a better fighter than I looked in the first round when Gonzalez put me down twice.

"That was disastrous, but I came back, boxed well and won on points comfortably.

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

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

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

"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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