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Santa Cruz says he'll face Frampton in Belfast showdown

 

By David Kelly

We've been here before but Leo Santa Cruz is insisting that he has no problem in accepting a showdown with Carl Frampton in Belfast.

The comments back up those of top promoter Richard Schaefer, who last week told the Belfast Telegraph that with the right money on the table the Mexican would be willing to complete his trilogy with Frampton next year. Schaefer stated that "it has to happen in 2018".

But, Frampton's Cyclone Promotions team have expressed their disappointment that Santa Cruz had not backed up his previous statements about tangling with the Jackal in Belfast following their bout in January, which the Mexican won on points.

WBA World featherweight champion Santa Cruz, instead, has decided to make a voluntary defence and in October will clash for a second time with fellow Mexican Abner Mares in Los Angeles. Their first bout was hailed as a fight of the year contender in 2015.

Should he repeat his victory over Mares then Santa Cruz says he will be prepared to come to Belfast with Windsor Park the obvious venue for a showdown with Frampton.

Not only will he demand the biggest purse of his career but there is also the issue of his father Jose being sorted out with a visa.

Santa Cruz said: "I would love to go over there but it is not just up to me. It is up to my team and my promoter and also my dad, who can't travel because he has no visa right now.

"We're going to fix that first then I would love to go over there."

Santa Cruz admitted that he was shocked by events at the weekend in Belfast when Frampton weighed a pound over the 9st limit for his clash with Andres Gutierrez, which then had to be scrapped when the Mexican suffered injuries after a fall in his bathroom at the Culloden Hotel.

He commented: "I was surprised, moving up from 122lb to 126lb and him not making weight.

"If it had been me it would have to have been something big so I wouldn't make weight."

Frampton has said that he will address the issue of making weight and has been offered a shot at IBF World featherweight champion Lee Selby before Christmas.

• IT seems that ticket sales for the much-hyped Conor McGregor-Floyd Mayweather event in Las Vegas have not gone as expected with hundreds still available online.

By this stage promoters had expected the T-Mobile Arena to be sold out for the August 26 event.

"This is the challenge when pricing a one-of-a-kind type of event. No one knows what the demand will be," professor of sports business at Temple Joris Drayer said.

"In this case, it seems the promoters overestimated what people would be willing to pay - and how many of those people willing to pay thousands would actually attend the event."

A pair of the cheapest tickets can still be bought at a cost of £2,800. The event will be available via pay-per-view for $99.95 for HD in the States and for £19.95 on Sky Box Office.

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