Frampton ready to further boost legacy starting with rematch success over Santa Cruz
Lee Gormley | 11 January 2017
Frampton sets sights on boosting legacy
During 2016 Carl Frampton secured his status one of Ireland’s greatest ever fighters and one of the world’s current pound-for-pound best, as he tamed long-standing rival Scott Quigg then overcame Leo Santa Cruz in New York.
‘The Jackal’ produced a solid performance in Manchester back in February last year to unify the super-bantamweight division with a points victory over Quigg on the latter’s home patch.
Just five months after that success, Frampton (23-0, 14 KOs) moved up to featherweight to tackle dangerous Mexican Santa Cruz and earned a majority decision triumph in what was arguably the fight of the year in the Big Apple.
With those successive victories the Belfast-born brawler has shot to widespread prominence in the sport and is aiming towards boosting his already cemented legacy with a rematch coup later this month before targeting a third division world title.
Frampton would become the maiden Irish fighter to reign supreme in three weight classes, but he is first 7/2 with Coral to knock out Santa Cruz in their highly awaited rematch in Las Vegas on January 29th.
Frampton seeking second Santa Cruz success
Following a thrilling win over Santa Cruz in his first outing at 126lbs last year, Frampton will take to the ring at the MGM Grand Garden Arena this month as the odds-on 4/5 favourite and 11/8 to prevail again by decision.
With the first bout having been a dramatic affair in New York, Frampton is highly confident he can gain another victory this time out but in more comfortable fashion.
“I’ve been working hard and sparring well and although I am 30, I feel I am getting better and if I take what I’ve been doing into the gym so far in with me, I am going to win the fight convincingly,” stated the Tiger’s Bay fighter.
“We’ll pretty much be in Las Vegas for a month. When I was over last time, when I fought him in New York, we went over a month early and we don’t fix what’s not broken.
“We are going to to it again; get used to the time difference, just get used to the surroundings and just soak it all up, enjoy myself when I’m out there for the big fight.”
“I want to be a three-weight world champion”
Frampton has left no stone unturned in his approach to the rematch in Vegas, having departed for the American state well before Christmas to set up camp with esteemed trainer Shane McGuigan.
The undefeated WBA ‘Super’ featherweight title holder already has one eye on making further history later in 2017, though, as he targets another belt at a third weight class.
“I want to be a three-weight world champion,” he declared. “That is the goal. It wasn’t necessarily at the start of my career, when you reach targets you set new goals and Steve Collins is the only other Irishman to hold world titles in different divisions, so I want to stand alone.”
Dubliner Collins reigned supreme at both middleweight and super-middleweight, while he is also well regarded for being the first man to beat Chris Eubank Snr in March 1995.
A third world title for Frampton, potentially at super-featherweight, would undoubtedly see him become Ireland’s best ever fighter ahead of the likes of Collins, but the Belfast brawler is first preparing for what could be another barnstormer with Santa Cruz this month.
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