Boxing

Carl Frampton knows what to expect in Leo Santa Cruz rematch

Ryan Burnett hammered out a convincing points win against Ryan Farrag to successfully defend his British bantamweight title at the Echo Arena, Liverpool last Saturday night.

LEO Santa Cruz pushed Carl Frampton all the way when they fought at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York back in July.

Frampton took a majority decision (two went for him, one had it a draw) on the judges’ scorecards and, while he says he’ll prepare for another tough 12 rounds in their rematch early next year, ‘the Jackal’ feels capable of taking it out of their hands second time around.

“I would be confident (of winning) because the simple fact is that Santa Cruz can’t fight any other way and I’ve seen what he can do,” said Frampton.

“He talks about coming out and throwing more punches but he threw over 1100 punches in that fight. How can he throw any more? If he does, it’s not going to be a lot more.

“I think my distance control, my boxing brain and my punch power is what’s going to be the difference. Although it was a tough fight, I felt like I was controlling the distance well and he was falling short a lot of times and it was easy to get out of the road of some of his attacks.

“I could have been punishing him a lot more than what I was and I think I will in the next fight. I don’t like to make predictions but it could be a stoppage.

“I was making him miss but I wasn’t pulling the trigger quick enough in the last fight – you saw in the second round that I have the power to hurt him and that was a half-shot that hit him on the top of the head. I’ve got the power to hurt him and if I nail him clean it could be goodnight.

“But who knows? I’ll be prepared for a very hard 12-round fight like the last one.”

He added: “I genuinely enjoyed the fight – it was a hard fight and it was the most defining fight of my career to this point because of how I went about winning it.

“If this rematch gets done and the contracts get signed it doesn’t matter where it is in the world, it’s going to be good.”

If all goes according to plan in the Santa Cruz rematch, Frampton will set his mind to taking on IBF featherweight champ Lee Selby at Windsor Park next summer.

“It would be another unification fight and a huge fight,” he said.

“I’m in a very good position now and I feel that after the last couple of wins there’s a lot of people in boxing see me as the money fight in the weight division.

“There are endless options for opponents but as long as it’s a big name I’m happy to fight anyone.

“Abner Mares is an option, Oscar Valdez (WBO champion), (WBC champ) Garry Russell jnr… I was even mentioned with (WBO super-featherweight champ) Vasyl Lomachenko for a potential fight. That’s the sort of opposition I’ve been linked with since my last couple of wins and I think I deserved to be alongside those sort of guys.”

Barry McGuigan predicts success for Conrad Cummings (left) over the next 12 months. McGuigan says Cummings has progressed since his Celtic title draw with Alfredo Meli (right) last year

BARRY McGuigan predicts a “big year” for Coalisland middleweight Conrad Cummings.

Unbeaten Cummings (10-0-1) takes on experienced German Ronnie Mittag (29-2-1) for the IBF inter-continental middleweight title on November 18.

McGuigan, his manager, said: “Ronnie Mittag is no slouch, he has a good record but we have to push on with Conrad and that’s what we’re doing.

“The is going to be his year. We work season-to-season and from September 2016 to September 2017 is going to be a big year for Conrad Cummings.”

Cummings has shown glimpses of his potential throughout his fledgling career – the one draw on his record came against Belfast’s Alfredo Meli in November last year.

“If you look at his record, he has fought a number of unbeaten guys,” said McGuigan.

“In the fight against Meli I thought he won it by a round or two, but it was a close fight. Meli is a very good kid and I think he would give any of the best middleweights in the country a run for their money.

“Conrad lost his head after dropping him in the first round and he couldn’t be talked to. He had to mature and he has made great strides in that department.

“He’s listening, he’s sparring much more intelligently, he’s putting punches together and he’s moving his head and his feet better. He has to understand that he was a bit of a bull when he was an amateur but this is a much more subtle game, it’s a longer game and he has to play the longer game and learn it.

“Sometimes with fighters it takes more time than you think, but Conrad is really blossoming now, he has matured so much since the Meli fight.

“He’s definitely much better as a result of that. Situations like that can diminish you or make you a better fighter and it certainly made Conrad a better fighter.”

Tony Bellew celebrates victory over BJ Flores for the WBC World cruiserweight title at the Echo Arena 

DAVID Haye will knock Tony Bellew out if their war of words ever graduates to war in the ring, says Barry McGuigan.

McGuigan has no doubt that ‘the Hayemaker’, who is trained by his son Shane, would have too much power for outspoken Scouser Bellew who baited former heavyweight champion Haye from the ring after he beat BJ Flores on Saturday night.

“The last two guys you fought are working on nightclub doors, or they're putting the bins out. You’re gonna get smashed too,” claimed Bellew on Sky Sports.

“With 10 ounce gloves on, I’ll put you and your pathetic haircut to sleep. Brother, I’m the biggest payday you’ve got right now.”

Barry McGuigan doesn’t see much to back up the cruiserweight champion’s fighting talk.

“It was handbags at dawn with all the shouting and jumping up and down,” he said.

“It was just typical crass hype. Ultimately it’s a good fight but Haye is too powerful for him. Haye would knock him out unfortunately for Tony Bellew.

“Haye is not going to go down to cruiserweight, so Bellew would have to go up to heavyweight and there is only one winner there – you don’t have to be a rocket-scientist or an aficionado to see that.

“It would be great to see it happen, but Haye is a much more explosive and talented guy. He has still got the speed of a cruiserweight but he’s still a phenomenal puncher at heavyweight. He hits guys and he just destroys them.”

Anthony Joshua and promoter Eddie Hearn 

IT looks certain that Anthony Joshua will fight Wladimir Klitschko at the Manchester Arena on December 10.

It is understood an announcement will be made in the coming days to confirm the IBF heavyweight champion is making the second defence of his title against Klitschko.

Former IBF, WBO and WBA champion Klitschko would represent the most difficult fight of his short professional career, and a significantly greater challenge than any other previous opponent.

There remains a risk Joshua could lose his undefeated status and title to a heavyweight considered among the finest in history and that Matchroom's Hearn will be accused of making the fight too soon. The promoter is instead aware that is the chance they are taking.

“Terms are virtually there between the two now, there are plenty of things that have got to fall into place,” said Eddie Hearn.

“Tyson Fury's vacated the (WBA and WBO) belts; the governing bodies would love Anthony Joshua v Wladimir Klitschko to have the belt on the line.

“I don't think it is the right fight for Anthony Joshua, but isn't that what's exciting about it? You can't really win as a promoter because on one hand people are saying ‘You're putting him in too easy (past) fights', and then they're saying 'That's a bit early for him isn't it? What are you doing?'.

“It's a complete 50-50 fight. Freshness, sharpness leads you to Anthony Joshua, and then the experience says Anthony hasn't got a chance. It's definitely a jump too early, it's his 17th pro fight, he's never been in with anyone like Wladimir Klitschko, anyone with his experience.

“But I also believe Wladimir Klitschko has never been in with anyone like Anthony Joshua.”

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