Shane McGuigan: Leo Santa Cruz doesn't have what it takes to beat Carl Frampton
SHANE McGuigan knows how Leo Santa Cruz has to fight to beat Carl Frampton – he just doesn’t think he can.
Frampton’s coach says Mexican challenger Santa Cruz needs to change his natural style to dethrone ‘The Jackal’ at the MGM Grand but, at 27, he doesn’t think that’s possible.
“What Leo Santa Cruz needs to do to win this fight is put his hands up, set an uncomfortable pace, work early on and try to get Carl to walk into a hard shot,” said McGuigan.
“I know he's going to punch hard but this something he hasn't had to do before.
“Now he suddenly has to change it, can he actually continue his punch output? Will he be exhausted after four or five rounds? This is all unknown and makes me even more confident because I know Carl doesn't have to change much, just refine a few things.”
McGuigan says Santa Cruz takes too long to get his power punches off to trouble Frampton.
“He layers his punches. He starts off feeling his way in,” he said.
“The double jab and right hand - there's not a lot of meat on those shots. If you saw his fight with Kiko Martinez, he can generate a bit of whip and have some power.
“He puts some power in at the end of his combinations.
“That doesn't work against someone like Carl who doesn't let you hit him with those fourth and fifth punches.
“I believe he is going to try and punch hard at the start of his combinations and stamp his authority early, focus on the positives and not the negatives from the first fight.”
Santa Cruz admitted that revenge has been on his mind since he left the ring at the Barclays Center, Brooklyn beaten for the first time in his career. He wants his belt back but McGuigan says that may count against him.
“Leo Santa Cruz has revenge in his head,” he said.
“He is so hungry and this could be his downfall.
“He is a Mexican guy who wears his heart on his sleeve and will go out on his shield. It's kill or be killed.
“He knows if he steps back, he'll be out-boxed.
“He's talking crap and trying to lead us up the garden path by saying: ‘I'm going to box you more and use the reach and distance’. He can't do that.
“How can a guy programmed to do things suddenly change? He is going to have to do what he does best, only a bit more and hope for the best.”
McGuigan added: “You can believe your own hype like Adrien Broner who loves himself, but Carl isn't that person.
“Like, he saw the billboard with him on it and he says: 'Oh look, there's Mikey Garcia on there' so it's a humbling approach.
“It's the same for me. This is just another sparring session.
“People don't see the hours we put in the gym, the years of blood, sweat and tears in the gym. Those are the days that build us for nights like this.”