Frampton and Santa Cruz weigh-in ahead of Saturday’s showdown

Leo Santa Cruz and Carl Frampton go head to head after the weigh-in at the Barclays Center’s Resorts World Casino ahead of the WBA World title bout at the Barclay Centre, Brooklyn, NY on Saturday night. Leo Santa Cruz and Carl Frampton go head to head after the weigh-in at the Barclays Center’s Resorts World Casino ahead of the WBA World title bout at the Barclay Centre, Brooklyn, NY on Saturday night.
By David Mohan

CARL Frampton and Leo Santa Cruz both weighed-in comfortably under the featherweight limit of 126 lbs today ahead of their eagerly-awaited WBA featherweight title dust-up at the Barclays Centre in Brooklyn, New York tomorrow night.
‘The Jackal’ looked in incredible shape as he took to the scales, scaling 125.5lbs, one ounce heavier than the champion who was treated to a chorus of boos by the travelling Frampton support.
It has been noticeable this week just how those extra 4lbs have had a positive effect on the North Belfast man since switching from the super-bantamweight division with his demeanour extremely relaxed and even jovial at times given the struggles to boil down to 122 lbs gone and he is in bullish form ahead of the fight.
“I’m ready to go,” said the man bidding to become Ireland’s second and the North’s first two-weight champion.
“I’m looking forward to this. It’s a massive fight and I’m excited and I’m confident. I’m making this weight so much easier than super-bantamweight and I’m full of energy. I feel so much better mentally and physically and can’t wait to get going.”
It is obvious that Santa Cruz is the poster boy in the United States ahead of this fight with his image emblazoned on Corona bottles – Saturday’s sponsor who have ran a campaign honouring top boxers – and can therefore be considered the ‘house fighter’ come opening bell.
That would suggest that in a close contest, the Mexican may be favoured by the judges but Frampton believes the extra weight will translate into power and he feels he can make this count.
“I’m prepared to do whatever it takes to win,” he stated.
“I feel like I have the power to knock him out, especially at 126.”
Trainer, Shane McGuigan is also in confident mood.
He says he has noticed a difference in his man’s power over the last number of weeks in comparison to his last two outings and feels Santa Cruz could even be the one bullied tomorrow night. He feels ‘The Jackal’ can get it done on points, but also has a hunch that should Santa Cruz taste the canvas, the Mexican champion could unravel.
“Leo Santa Cruz – I don’t think he is that adaptable,” he opined.
“He’s probably more adaptable than Scott Quigg as he’s that little bit more skilled, but he’s nowhere near as adaptable as Frampton.
“It’s easier for guys to adapt that are on the back foot to go on the front. If we’re not getting success, we can go on the front and go to war, but I think this can be won at distance. If Santa Cruz goes down, he’s throwing the kitchen sink at Carl. Quigg tried it but tried it with big shots. Santa Cruz will do it with volume and that’s harder to get out of the way of, but if he starts getting hit with big shots, he could lose his distance and the fact he throws so many punches could be his downfall. I’ll know when Carl lands on him how the fight’s going to go.”
As for Santa Cruz, he has been boosted by the presence of his father and head trainer, Jose who has been battling cancer as Barry McGuigan paid a tribute at Thursday’s final press conference.
The champion is the betting favourite tomorrow night and while some have suggested he may be looking past Frampton, Santa Cruz says he is well aware this is going to be his toughest test.
“Carl Frampton is a great fighter with great skills. I really respect him, he’s one of the best but that’s what we want. We want to fight the best and in the ring it’s all business. We have to fight for our family and for the fans,” he said.
“I have trained hard in the gym for a hard fight. I know it’s not going to be easy, it will be hard and I will leave everything in the ring.
“I make so many sacrifices to get this far so I can’t fear nothing. I’ll do whatever it takes to get the win.”
It certainly sets up a mouth-watering clash that has the added intrigue of Frampton bidding to win the same WBA featherweight title his manager and mentor, Barry McGuigan claimed 31 years ago
“It would be nice as Barry won and lost that title,” noted Frampton.
“I don’t really believe in destiny, but Barry has guided my career and we have done our own thing. With Cyclone Promotions we went our own way so there will be some nice photographs when I take that belt.”
Frampton is fully confident he will indeed claim that title. There is just something in the New York air that suggests he will do just that. History beckons.