Cleat Geeks

Carl Frampton Stays Undefeated & Becomes a Two-Division Title Holder

In a battle of two undefeated fighters and potentially the fight of the year, Carl Frampton defeats Leo Santa Cruz. Frampton won the featherweight title in only his first fight at 126. Prior to Saturday nights fight Frampton(23-0,14 Kos) unified junior featherweight titles in February by beating British rival Scott Quigg.carl-frampton-leo-santa-cruz-boxing_3755292

Frampton’s big two wins makes him the second Irishmen to win titles in two weight classes.

“It’s a dream come true,” said Frampton, who was fighting in the United States for the second time. “I had the dream of winning a world title and I won it, but I never thought I’d win in two divisions. It was a tough fight. I wanted it to be a tough fight because I wanted a fight the people could remember. I respect [Santa Cruz] a lot. He was a true warrior.”

“It was a great fight. Last time I was here for a big fight, I was talking about a fight of the year. And then we just saw that. That was a fight of the year,” said Lou DiBella, who promoted Santa Cruz-Frampton and Thurman-Porter. “Frampton fought a brilliant fight. I thought Santa Cruz came on in some rounds. I wouldn’t have been surprised by anything. Frampton came in here and put on a show and Santa Cruz landed some bombs.”

The 27 year old Santa Cruz, was busy throughout the fight and fought tough. Even though it was clear he lost the fight, he landed some big shots. Frampton was just more accurate and had more power behind his punches. Frampton landed 242 of 688 punches (36 percent) compared to Santa Cruz connecting on 255 of 1,0002 punches (25 percent).

You have to look at Frampton and say this guy belongs on any pound-for-pound list,” DiBella said. “He is brilliant. The work rate in that fight was unbelievable. I say that’s fight of the year — a war fought at that high skill level. Classic stuff.”

Santa Cruz was disappointed in the results of the fight as he thought he won. He was surprised by the scorecards.  He came into the fight undefeated.

Judges Guido Cavalleri scored the fight 114-114, but he was overruled by Tom Schreck (117-111) and Frank Lombardi (116-112).

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“It was a tough fight from the beginning. We knew it was going to be a tough fight, but I thought it was close when I’m in there throwing,” Santa Cruz said. “Maybe the judges were hearing the crowd and thought that every little punch was scoring.”

“It’s hard to get your first loss, but now we’ll go back to the gym, we’ll get the rematch and we’ll win, and that loss will mean nothing,” said Santa Cruz, who was making the second defense of the vacant belt he won last August against Los Angeles rival Abner Mares. “I want to have a rematch in Los Angeles, but I’ll go to Belfast, too.

“He has a difficult style, but we know his style and can get him in the rematch. The crowd was cheering, and I think the judges saw that and maybe, without that, we would have had a draw or maybe a decision.”

Santa Cruz earned 1 million dollars double of what Carl Frampton earned (500,000).  Frampton now is arguably a top ten pound for pound fighter and expect him to get big payday fights in the future.

 

 

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