Belfast Telegraph

Home Sport Boxing

Santa Cruz Snr: My boy should have beaten Carl Frampton

By Jonathan Bradley

The father of Leo Santa Cruz has insisted his son should not have lost Saturday's featherweight showdown with Carl Frampton in New York.

Frampton made history at the Barclay's Centre in Brooklyn, becoming the first Northern Irishman to ever claim world titles in two different weight classes.

Jose Santa Cruz, however, has claimed the result, given to Frampton by two judges with the other calling it a draw, should be in question.

"I'll tell you this - I did not see my son lose," he said. "If I had seen him lose I would have said it, so we want a rematch."

The dethroned champion is known for throwing huge amounts of punches, with Saturday's bout no different, and his father says that should have brought greater reward on the scorecards.

"I saw that Leo didn't fight his best and didn't use the defence he needed. His punches and his movement were a bit slow. I sent him out to box and he wanted to beat him up, but in the end he had to be a bit more solid.

"Many people have said they saw Leo win. If Frampton connected with two then my son hit him with three. Many of Frampton's punches didn't connect, although I accept that the ones that did were hard."

The elder Santa Cruz - who also acts as his son's trainer and overcame his ongoing battle with bone cancer to take his ringside spot - has called for a rematch as early as November.

"I think that if we get the rematch - and we are going to ask for it - I will tell my son he needs to train harder," he said.

"I don't like to make excuses, maybe they did beat us, but I am sure that Leo will win the title back. Of course we want a direct rematch, but now it could be in Los Angeles or in Las Vegas in around three months' time, in November."

Despite the protestations, Frampton's victory has captured the imagination of the boxing world and the Tigers Bay man could be on his way to being ranked the best pound for pound fighter in the world.

The well-respected Transnational Boxing Rankings, comprised by 50 journalists and record keepers, now have Frampton top of their flyweight rankings and view him as the seventh best pound for pound fighter in the world.

Former World champion and current Sky analyst Glenn McCrory has said Frampton is currently the best fighter at any weight in the UK, while Irish legend Steve Collins believes he is already one of the sport's best.

"Without a doubt he can be the best fighter to ever come out of Ireland, maybe even the best in the world right now," said Collin,s who enjoyed two-weight success of his own on the world stage in the 1990s.

The high praise comes as the Jackal becomes an increasing box-office draw.

Saturday brought in the stateside viewers with a peak audience of 549,000 on Showtime and an average of 480,000.

The numbers marked a 65% increase on Santa Cruz's last outing on the channel and was their third highest average audience of 2016.

No matter who Frampton chooses to meet next, the fight will offer a hugely lucrative payday for his opponent.

Aside from Santa Cruz's desired rematch, there is great interest in what would be a unification clash with Lee Selby.

The IBF featherweight champ ion was ringside in Brooklyn and Frampton expressed an interest in the fight.

A Showtime poll yesterday saw fans vote for Selby as the man they wanted to see Frampton tackle next and the Welsh star is already known to be keen.

"I said before I wanted the winner and Carl came through. That would be a massive, massive fight in the UK," he said.

"I want Frampton next, preferably before the end of the year. "He said before the fight he'd like to fight me and he said that in the ring after beating Santa Cruz.

"Boxing should be the best fighting the best and that's what I want to do."

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph