Friday 24 November 2017

Frampton wants Santa Cruz trilogy after losing WBA featherweight title rematch

Carl Frampton was beaten by Leo Santa Cruz
Carl Frampton was beaten by Leo Santa Cruz

Carl Frampton has called on Leo Santa Cruz to complete the trilogy with a final showdown in Belfast after losing his WBA featherweight title in Las Vegas.

Frampton was beaten for the first time in his career on a majority points decision at the MGM Grand as Santa Cruz regained the belt he lost to the Northern Irishman in July.

Santa Cruz is open to the idea of a decider and Frampton wants the fight in his backyard.

"I hope so, I hope he is a man of his word and we can do it in Belfast," he said on Sky Sports 1. "I have come to the States twice. We could do it four, five, six times. I hope we do it again.

"I am deeply disappointed but let's have a trilogy and have our names linked together forever and hopefully I can win 2-1."

One judge scored the contest at 114-114, but the other two gave it 115-113 in Santa Cruz's favour and the Mexican took a deserved victory.

It was a smart performance by Santa Cruz, who improved immeasurably from the first bout in New York last summer, and his tactics shocked Frampton.

"I think it was the right decision, I thought it was close," the Northern Irishman added. "He frustrated me at times, I didn't expect that game plan, the boxer got out-boxed by the brawler. I thought it was the right decision, I hope we can do it again, it was a close fight.

"I have got no excuses, I feel I want to say sorry, I feel like I have let everyone down. The best man won on the night. I am gutted. It was my fault."

Santa Cruz admits he had to fight against his instinct as well as Frampton.

"I worked hard and did what I had t," he said. "I fought a great fighter and let's make a third fight. He is a great fighter and a great counter-puncher. It was tough to change my style, in my head I wanted to go for it, but I was told to box him and that's what I did.

"I am a man of my word. We are both great fighters, we deserve it and let's go again."

Press Association

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