Boxing

Frampton-Santa Cruz II looks set for January date in Las Vegas

Carl Frampton took a deserved points win when he met Leo Santa Cruz in July. The pair look set for a rematch on January 28 in Las Vegas
Andy Watters

CARL Frampton’s eagerly-awaited rematch with Leo Santa Cruz looks set for January 28 next year and the MGM Grand in Las Vegas is the likely venue.

The Irish News understands that the MGM -, the battleground for super-fights including Tyson-Holyfield I and II, De La Hoya-Mayweather, Mayweather-Pacquiao and many, many more - has been provisionally booked for the final weekend in January.

However, a return to New York - the venue of the first fight in July - hasn’t been ruled out either. New York-based promoter Lou DiBella, who works with Frampton’s US promoter Al Haymon, has the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, on hold for the same date.

Frampton, then the challenger, won a deserved majority decision in Brooklyn when he took on California-based Mexican Santa Cruz for the WBO featherweight title in July.

Santa Cruz threw a blizzard of punches – more than 1100 over the 12 rounds – but Frampton’s footwork and boxing brain kept him out of trouble and he landed the cleaner shots to become only the second Irish fighter to win world titles at two weights.

He had Santa Cruz in serious trouble in the second round and is confident he can stop him when they meet again early next year.

“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,” ‘the Jackal’ told The Irish News this week.

“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.”

He added: “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.”

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