Tuesday 6 December 2016

Frampton's ability to bounce back impresses Santa Cruz

Joe Callaghan

Published 29/07/2016 | 02:30

Leo Santa Cruz (pictured) says Carl Frampton is 'the best I’ve faced'. Photo: Getty Images
Leo Santa Cruz (pictured) says Carl Frampton is 'the best I’ve faced'. Photo: Getty Images

New York may make for new territory for both but Leo Santa Cruz and Carl Frampton find plenty of common ground here.

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Both pitch up in Brooklyn on Saturday night as undefeated champions.

The Jackal, an underdog for the first time in forever, admits this ranks as the toughest fight of his life.

Santa Cruz, when asked to shape up the challenger from across the Atlantic, echoed those sentiments, as he predicted a 'war' at the Barclays Centre.

"Carl Frampton, he has everything. Great footwork, great punches and power. He's undefeated. So he's the best I've faced," said the WBA super featherweight champion.

Hungry

"We've both come here hungry. We don't want to suffer that first loss so we're going to leave everything in the ring. We're going to roll with everything we have to make sure we don't lose."

Santa Cruz and Frampton came face to face for the first time on Tuesday atop the Empire State Building.

However the favourite has already watched Frampton in the flesh - 12 months ago when ringside in El Paso for the Jackal's Stateside debut.

That night Frampton was stunned to be downed twice in the opening round by Alejandro Gonzalez Jr. But it was the way he bounced back that impressed Santa Cruz so much.

"That's what a great fighter has to do," said the 27-year-old. "Sometimes when a fight isn't going [to plan] they adjust and they do what they have to do to take the fight.

"It's what makes you a better fighter. That's what we want - we want to fight the best and we want to beat the best. That's how you get recognised as a great champ."

Irish Independent

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