Top five next opponents for Leo Santa Cruz next

Leo Santa Cruz
Esther Lin/Showtime
Jack Figg weighs up which direction Leo Santa Cruz should go in next

1. Carl Frampton

Although unlikely to take place on Frampton’s August return date, a third fight between the two featherweights must happen with the score one apiece. If Frampton comes through his summer opponent and Santa Cruz is willing to wait, this blockbuster rubber match could provide fans with a third thrilling contest.

2. Gary Russell Jnr

Russell Jnr is the current owner of the WBC world title. If this WBC and WBA unification bout took place it would give fans the opportunity to discover who is number one at 126lbs. With Santa Cruz’s latest win over Abner Mares the Mexican also picked up a WBC Diamond title, another component in helping this fight materialise.

3. Oscar Valdez   

The heritage of these two Mexican world champions could be the driving force for this potential WBO and WBA unification bout taking place. All Mexican match-ups have provided boxing fans with some of the best fights in the sports history and, due to the aggression and skills these two fighters own, this potential showdown would be highly anticipated. Although, Santa Cruz’s old friend Frampton currently holds the WBO Interim title, putting him first in line for a crack at Valdez.

4. Jesus M Rojas

Ranked number one in the WBA having won the interim title against Claudio Marrero in September 2017, Santa Cruz could find himself subject to a mandatory defence against Puerto Rican Rojas.

Leo Santa Cruz vs Abner Mares

5. Josh Warrington

Although unlikely due to Warrington having just won the title and potentially looking for a less challenging first defence, an IBF and WBA unification bout between these two could arise if promoter Frank Warren is willing to gamble on the momentum the Englishman has right now. Santa Cruz would be well accepted by British fans following his brace of fights with Frampton and a meeting with Warrington could promise another highly entertaining clash.


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