Belfast Telegraph

Carl Frampton would love to fight Leo Santa Cruz at Madison Square Garden on St Patrick's Day

By Carl Frampton

Leo Santa Cruz says he would be happy to face me at super-bantamweight and I can’t think of a better fight to go back to the States for next year.

St Patrick’s weekend at Madison Square Garden would be the perfect venue for a showdown with Santa Cruz who was in one of the fights of the year last weekend when he outpointed Abner Mares.

A fight between myself and Santa Cruz has been talked about for almost two years now and I hope it can be made. In beating Mares he became the WBC featherweight champion and before that he was WBC super-bantamweight champion and IBF bantamweight champion so to face him in New York would be a huge fight. We’re both linked to the American promoter Al Haymon who proved with the Santa Cruz-Mares fight that he is keen to make some very big battles.

When last weekend’s fight was first signed I thought Mares might be too strong but then as it got closer I fancied Santa Cruz and credit to him because after about two or three rounds he won most of the rounds and he boxed very well. But it was a very exciting fight because Mares didn’t take a backward step, he probably just tried too hard to overwhelm Santa Cruz early on and burned out a bit.

It was great for the sport to have such a fight and for it to get the biggest boxing audience on ESPN since 1998. It shows you how boxing is changing in the States, how the sport is reaching a bigger audience because of Haymon’s terrestrial TV fights and obviously ESPN is a very popular cable sports channel.

I love the way Santa Cruz fights. He just comes in looking to walk you down and I think our styles would make for a great fight and he knows it too. One day I will move up to featherweight but my team and I have agreed that for the next couple of fights at least I’ll be at super-bantamweight so Santa Cruz would have to drop down a division — which he has said he would do.

But in the meantime I am waiting to sort out my next fight and from what I can see it’s not looking like it will be Scott Quigg.

It’s all gone quiet again from Quigg’s promoter Eddie Hearn and there seems to be a lot of talk that he is close to signing to fight Nonito Donaire who may not be the fighter he once was but can still bang and could stop Quigg if he catches him clean.

Make no mistake, I’d love the Quigg fight next but he seems to be demanding too much — even more demands than before he beat Kiko Martinez.

I just can’t understand Quigg. He can make more money from fighting me than anyone else and even if he beats Donaire he’ll still not be a world champion.

Of course, if he does beat Donaire he’ll probably want an 80-20 split in his favour!

Thankfully my career does not depend on Quigg and big fights like the one with Santa Cruz can be made.

But I’ll have another big title defence before that can happen.

Belfast Telegraph Digital


From Belfast Telegraph