Carl Frampton: 'I'll send my fans home happy'
Andy Watters is in Las Vegas for the Carl Frampton/Leo Santa Cruz rematch
CARL Frampton says he’ll send his traveling fans home happy by beating Leo Santa Cruz in their WBA featherweight title rematch on Saturday night.
Speaking at yesterday’s press conference a typically affable ‘Jackal’ looked fit and relaxed and predicted he was “extremely confident of getting the win”.
“I think that this fight won’t be too much different that the last one, I think our styles gel well together,” he said.
“Leo is a tremendous fighter and I have utmost respect for him. Both of us fight for our families and both of us will do whatever if takes to win - but the way things have gone in this training camp I am extremely confident of getting the win. I’m hoping to send all the traveling fans home very happy.”
The ESPN and Ring Magazine Fighter of the Year was joined by trainer Shane McGuigan who predicts that the rematch will “pick up from where it left off” in New York.
“I’m really looking forward to Saturday night,” he said.
“The first fight was such a finely-fought contest between two great warriors and over 36 minutes in the ring it was action-packed from start to finish and I think it’s going to pick up from where it left off. It’s going to be hard and exciting fight but one I believe that Carl Frampton is going to win.”
Meanwhile, Santa Cruz says Frampton will “run more” to hold onto his title and he expects Frampton to avoid taking him on toe-to-toe in the rematch at the cavernous MGM Grand Garden Arena.
Live from the press conference:
The Mexican’s best chance of winning will come if the fight develops into a tear-up but he predicts that Frampton will avoid that.
“I want to make it a great fight for the fans and I want to go toe-to-toe with him, but Frampton’s plan I think is that he doesn’t want to stay there and fight with me,” he said yesterday.
“I think he’s going to move because in the first fight he made the mistake of staying there and fighting with me so what I expect in this fight is him to move and try to run more.
“I’m going to be smart and I’m going to do what I have to do to win the fight. I always go out there and think about the fans and try to give them great fights, but this time I have to be smart and go out there and try to get the win.”
‘El Terremoto’ says he has had his mind fixed on vengeance since he lost his belt to Frampton at the Barclays Center, Brooklyn in July.
“When I got out of the ring after the first fight the only thing that was in my head was getting my belt back, getting revenge,” he said.
“I’ve worked really hard. I know Carl Frampton is a great fighter and I know it’ll be another tough fight but I’ll do everything I can and, even if it’s only by a point or two, I’ll get the win.”
Santa Cruz had his dad Jose, whose cancer is in full remission, by his side yesterday and he intends to raffle his gear from the fight with the proceeds going to a childrens’ cancer charity. He has fought at the MGM Grand Garden Arena six times previously but never as part of the main event.
“To be the main event here at the MGM is a dream come true,” he said.
“Since I was a little kid I dreamed of it but I never thought it would happen. Only the great fighters fight here so for me to come here is an honour, I can’t believe it.”