Thursday 8 December 2016

Carl Frampton to fight Leo Santa Cruz in New York on July 30

Published 28/04/2016 | 14:21

Carl Frampton, pictured, defeated Scott Quigg in an all-British showdown in February
Carl Frampton, pictured, defeated Scott Quigg in an all-British showdown in February

Carl Frampton's challenge of Leo Santa Cruz for the WBA featherweight title will take place on Saturday, July 30 at the Barclays Center in New York.

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Frampton announced on social media last week that he would step up in weight to challenge the highly-rated Mexican warrior in the Big Apple, with the date announced on Thursday.

It is a bout that will set the pulses racing on both sides of the Atlantic with both fighters unbeaten. Frampton extended his record to 22-0 with a split-decision victory over Scott Quigg in February while three-weight world champion Santa Cruz has 32 wins from 33 bouts with one draw.

Northern Ireland's Frampton, who won the IBF and WBA super-bantamweight titles by defeating Quigg, will be bidding to win the same crown mentor and manager Barry McGuigan captured when he beat Eusebio Pedroza in 1985.

Frampton said: "It's fitting that I will have the chance to recapture this title.

"This is the fight I wanted and I'm one hundred per cent confident that the belt will be coming home to Belfast. Santa Cruz is a strong and aggressive undefeated champion but his style is made for me.

"Myself and my team have been chasing this fight for a long, long time and that's because we know we have the tools to beat Leo. He throws a lot shots and is a proven operator, it's going to be a great fight."

McGuigan is convinced his charge can extend his unbeaten record as a professional and become a two-weight world champion in the process.

"This is going to be a cracking fight," he said. "Their styles complement each other so well so the real winner will be the fans.

"It is going to be a tough fight for both men but I'm very confident that Carl will be able to impose his style on Santa Cruz and win this fight convincingly."

Frampton, who was stripped of his WBA super-bantamweight belt for failing to agree a bout against mandatory challenger Guillermo Rigondeau, announced he would relinquish his IBF title.

"I would like to say a huge thank you to the IBF for their professionalism during my time as their super-bantamweight champion," Frampton added. "I have been a proud IBF world champion for nearly two years and I one day hope to once again become an IBF champion."

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