July 8, 2016
July 8, 2016
Carl Frampton

Amanda Westcott/SHOWTIME

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CARL FRAMPTON is reaching the final stages of training for a fight that he believes will define his legacy. On July 30 he boxes Leo Santa Cruz, the WBA featherweight champion at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn on Showtime. Frampton is already in New York to prepare.

“I wanted to finish off my camp here. I wanted to get some sparring with some top class Americans, good pro fighters. Last time I was in America, I went to Texas and fought, it wasn’t one of my best performances and I was only out there for a week. I’m giving myself more time to settle down and we’re doing it right,” he said. “I’d already been in 10 weeks before I hit New York. From start to finish it’s going to be 14 weeks, a pretty long camp. I’ve done a lot of rounds sparring with good opposition, guys that we think replicate Leo Santa Cruz’s style. We’ve got a couple of weeks hard graft left.”

The signs are that their two styles will blend for a thrilling contest. Santa Cruz is a relentless come-forward pressure fighter. Frampton has power but counter-punches well. “I prefer guys to come to me. Although I’m short in stature and quite chunky, I like to box off the backfoot. I like people to come on to me. Leo’s done that in all his fights, he’s aggressive, he’s got a Mexican heart. He keeps coming forward and that’s what I’m hoping for. I’ve been working on my inside game. I know that he brings a lot of pressure. At some point I’m going to have to stand and fight with him. Whatever it takes to win this fight I’m willing to do,” Carl said. “When Leo Santa Cruz is involved in a fight it’s always going to be exciting.

“Every boxer has vulnerabilities. If he gets hit with small gloves on, he’s going to be hurt. He probably looked at my fight with Alejandro Gonzalez and is thinking the exact same thing but believe me when I land on Santa Cruz’s chin, he’ll have never been hit like it in his life. We’ll see how he reacts. I don’t know if he’ll be as willing to come forward. I’m hoping he is but who knows?”

His grudge match with Scott Quigg didn’t come to life until the later rounds. He expects this one to be different. “This fight, I think, is going to be one that people talk about in 25, 30 years time,” Frampton said. “This is the one that people will remember.

“I think Santa Cruz wants this as much as me, willing to put it all on the line and that has all the ingredients for a great fight. I can’t wait. It’s going to be tough but I know I’m going to do it.”