February 20, 2016
February 20, 2016
Leo Santa Cruz

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FEATHERWEIGHT world champion Leo Santa Cruz cannot pick a winner out of Carl Frampton and Scott Quigg but wants to fight whomever prevails at the Manchester Arena on February 27.

Santa Cruz defends his WBA belt against Kiko Martinez – who has lost to both Frampton and Quigg – in Anaheim, California on the same night.

Like many, the 27-year-old is struggling to predict the outcome of Frampton-Quigg and also expressed his desire to face fellow 126lb leaders Lee Selby and Gary Russell Jnr.

“I see Carl Frampton vs. Scott Quigg as a 50-50 fight. It’s a tough fight for both of them. I think whoever catches the other guy first will get the victory,” he said.

“They both can hit and they both have great skills. It could go either way.

“It’s a very interesting fight between Frampton and Quigg. They’ve both been possible opponents for me and I hope that I do well that night and face the winner of that fight. I don’t care who it is, I want to fight them.

“I’m willing to fight whoever. I want the winner of Frampton-Quigg. If not then Lee Selby, Gary Russell Jr., Jesus Cuellar or anyone in the division. Hopefully next it will be one of those fighters.”

Spain’s Martinez has been stopped by Frampton in nine rounds, before being handily outpointed in their rematch, and Quigg blitzed him inside two sessions last year.

The crude 29-year-old is a heavy underdog against Santa Cruz, who has held world titles at bantam and super-bantamweight, but his aggressive style could make the fight exciting according to Leo.

“Martinez is a strong fighter who comes forward and always puts pressure on you,” he said.

“He never backs down and always comes to fight. That’s what we like about this matchup — it makes for a more intense fight.

“We’re going to give the fans an entertaining show. The fans are the ones who are going to win at the end of the night. I’m going to go out there and try to knock him out by the end of the third round.

“I think he’s going to be the aggressor because he’s shorter and has to fight that way. But I’m going to go forward and be the aggressor too. If that’s not working, I’ll box him. We’re going to do what we need to do to win the fight.”