Belfast Telegraph

Home Sport Boxing

My defining moment

Frampton: Beating Santa Cruz will make me a global star

By David Kelly

Carl Frampton says he is ready to make history and become a global superstar with victory over Leo Santa Cruz at the Barclays Centre in Brooklyn, New York in the early hours of tomorrow morning.

Former IBF/WBA super-bantamweight king Frampton can become the first Northern Ireland boxer to win world titles at two different weights by dethroning WBA World featherweight champion Leo Santa Cruz in a mouth-watering showdown.

"I think that this is going to be the defining fight of my career," said Frampton who is seen by many Stateside as the underdog against the three weight world champion.

"This is the one to make history and makes me the first ever Northern Irishman to win world titles at two different weights. You get rid of this guy who is a three weight world champion, the fights are huge.

"From here on in until the end of your career, every fight is a big fight, and I've been lucky enough to be involved in some massive fights.

"But this is the one that's going to take me from being a big enough name to a massive name.

"People that are involved in boxing in the States will know who I am, but the average guy, sports guy, doesn't really know who I am yet. But I want to change that.

"I want to become a big name out here in the States, especially on the East Coast, and I believe that I've got the platform now to do that, and if I beat Santa Cruz then people will take notice."

Frampton added: "It's getting a lot of exposure worldwide. And this is the one that makes me a superstar, I think."

While the Jackal naturally expects the toughest night of his exciting career, the 29-year-old Belfast man is convinced that his concussive punching - which shattered Scott Quigg's jaw during their February clash - will be the decisive factor.

"It's going to be a tough fight. I think that my distance control will play a big part in it... it's about getting his respect early in the fight," he said.

"I think that I have to hit him hard and hurt him in the first or second round to make him respect me.

"I think that when I start nailing him clean he won't be as willing to come forward and engage as he has been in previous fights," he added.

"But that's what I intend to do," said Frampton.

"Look, Santa Cruz is a type of fighter I've been craving my whole career, someone who comes forward and throws punches, that's what I feel that my style works best against," he explained.

"And I think that you're going to see my best ever performance here on Saturday night.

"I think that I can definitely punch faster.

"I have better feet than him. I think the main, the big, difference here will be how hard I punch, and it's all well and good coming forward and throwing a lot of punches when you are getting hit by guys who aren't big punchers.

"But when you've got a big puncher standing in front of you, you won't be as keen to come forward, and I think that that might be the case," said Frampton.

"I'm preparing for Santa Cruz to come all night and throw a hundred punches a round.

"But I promise you when I start hitting him hard, he'll think twice about coming in," he said.

"We've got a plan, we believe that plan A will work.

"But if it doesn't, you have different dimensions in the game. I can adapt mid-fight if I have to and just do whatever it takes to get the win."

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph