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Santa Cruz still upset with loss to Frampton

Leo Santa Cruz is still upset about his crushing defeat at the hands of Carl Frampton (23-0, 14 KOs) on July 30 last month, and he’s having hard time with dealing with the setback for his career. Santa Cruz (32-1-1, 18 KOs) lost the fight by a 12 round majority decision by the scores 116-112 117-111, and 114-114. However, many boxing fans felt that Santa Cruz enough to retain his WBA Super World featherweight title.

They felt that at the very least, Santa Cruz should have been given a draw out of the fight, but certainly not a loss on his record. Frampton had the fans firmly on his side on the night at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.

It’s thought that the arena was packed with Frampton’s fans from the New York area, where there is a large Irish community. The question that some boxing fans have is whether the judges were influenced by the screaming of support for Frampton during the fight and scored the fight based on cheering rather than what was actually happening inside the ring. I personally had to turn down the volume on my television set in order to score the fight properly because the fans where deathly silent when Santa Cruz was nailing Frampton something fierce in the last six rounds of the contest. There would be silence and then a huge roar of applause when Frampton would land a simple shot. The judges clearly had a tough situation for that fight to score the fight with all the screaming from the pro-Frampton audience.

Santa Cruz, 28, wants to avenge his loss to Frampton in a fight that he hopes will take place in Los Angeles, California. This is where Santa Cruz’s fans are mainly situated. However, Frampton has made it crystal clear that he wants no part of fighting Santa Cruz in Los Angeles, because he feels that now that he’s the WBA champion, he should be able to choose where the fight takes place.

Frampton is interested in staging the rematch with Santa Cruz in either New York or Belfast, Northern Ireland. In other words, it doesn’t look like Frampton is going to be as generous as Santa Cruz was in giving Frampton the near hometown advantage by having the fight take place in New York rather than insisting that it take place in Los Angeles. Santa Cruz likely wouldn’t have ever gotten the fight against Frampton if he had pushed to have it staged in Los Angeles, unfortunately. However, it was a clear mistake by Santa Cruz to agree to fighting Frampton in New York, because he basically gave him hometown advantage. Santa Cruz should have told his promoters that he would fight Frampton in neutral venue in Las Vegas, Nevada or in Texas, but DEFINITELY not New York. In hindsight, it seems like Santa Cruz’s management royally blew it by giving Frampton the ability to call the shots in choosing the venue for the July 30 fight.

“The truth is it hurts to lose, it was very hard to have a loss in my career, but the words of the people who have been supporting me – it helped me out,” said Santa Cruz to ESPN Deportes. “I am more eager to come out there for a rematch. Many people tell me that the fight was very good, many tell me that I won, others tell me that it was at least a draw, but everyone has their opinion and we are soon going back to the gym to win the rematch,” said Santa Cruz.

Well, Santa Cruz is definitely going to be getting a rematch against Frampton for sure in this fight because he has a rematch clause with their previous fight. If not for that, Frampton would likely be long gone with Santa Cruz’s WBA title around his waist and a big grin on his face. Frampton has already said that he wants to fight IBF featherweight champion Lee Selby. It would be a big fight for the British fans, because Selby is from the UK just like Frampton. It’s also arguably a much easier fight for Frampton than it would if he had to fight Santa Cruz a second time or if he made the mistake of mixing it up with WBO champion Oscar Valdez or WBC champion Gary Russell Jr. I think it’s safe to say that Frampton will never fight those two guys, ever. Heck, Frampton could fight Russell Jr. and Valdez in the backyard of his own home, and I don’t see him winning. Those guys are very, very good. I have Santa Cruz rated well behind Valdez and Russell Jr. in the talent department. Santa Cruz is definitely a good fighter, but he’s very slow, limited and he makes mistakes like not pressuring his opponents enough like we saw in his fight against Frampton.

I don’t know how Santa Cruz could have messed up his fight strategy so badly for the Frampton fight, because he had the blueprint right in front of him to study in how to beat Frampton by looking what Scott Quigg had did to him in the second half of their fight last February. Quigg showed that Frampton cannot handle being backed up and hit over and over again with nonstop punches. Frampton does well if you fight on the outside give him time to throw his pot shots, and let him have lots of space. Frampton needs the pace to be slower because he gets tired because he’s carrying around a lot of body-building type muscles. Those types of muscles are made for lifting huge weights and/or fighting hard for four or five rounds before gassing out.

“I think we must come forward, be more aggressive,” said Santa Cruz. “The other time we waited a bit too much to see what Carl Frampton would do, but when I put pressure on him I feel he tired. So I have to go much further with coming forward and apply pressure from the first round and work hard to get him tired and finish him off.”

Santa Cruz needs to use all out pressure type attacking style against Frampton in the rematch, and he needs to stick to that style. It won’t help Santa Cruz if he abandons his pressure attacking style after six rounds, because that’s when Frampton generally fades.

Frampton is really little more than a six-round fighter when pushed hard. If you let Frampton fight at a slow pace, he’s a 12 round fighter. That’s why Santa Cruz needs to get on top of Frampton and let loose with his shots from start to finish for each three-minute round. It wouldn’t hurt if Santa Cruz focused his punches to the body of Frampton at least 50% of the time in their rematch.

Unbeaten IBF/IBO/WBA/WBC middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin shown in his fights that the best way to defeat a pure boxer is to throw to their body, because it keeps them from running because their midsections turns to rubber after getting hit hard there for a number of rounds. They literally have to stand still their legs get weakened from the body shots. Once they stop moving, Golovkin has them where he wants them. Santa Cruz needs to do the same thing by going after Frampton’s body and not letting up.

Scott Gilfoid

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