In the early hours of Sunday morning, Carl Frampton and Leo Santa Cruz battle it out in a Las Vegas rematch for the WBO Featherweight title that Northern Irishman, Frampton won from the Mexican last July on a points decision in New York.
The first bout produced a superb spectacle, with Frampton, who had gone up a weight division for the fight, taking plenty of early punishment from Santa Cruz, before slowly finding his range and gaining control of the ring.
Santa Cruz had never lost a professional bout until then, with his ferocious work rate usually getting the job done, however Frampton’s tenacity and technical abilities saw the fight go all the way, with two of the three judges favouring the Northern Ireland boxer, while the third scored it as a draw.
A rematch looked likely after the points decision, with Santa Cruz insisting he would even go to Frampton’s home town of Belfast, if it meant he got a shot at regaining the title. The rematch has certainly deserved star billing and where better than the MGM Grand in Las Vegas to host what is expected to be another amazing battle.
It would come as little surprise to see the bout go the full twelve round distance once again, but Santa Cruz is looking to avenge his disappointing loss in a truly convincing manner, with a change of tact for the fight.
In an recent interview, the Mexican said: “We’re going to go with a great game plan. It will be a really close fight but I’m hoping to get the victory.” alluding to said change of tactics from the Santa Cruz camp. Meanwhile Shane McGuigan, Frampton’s trainer, feels his fighter is in “peak condition” coming into the bout.
In the boxing betting, Frampton comes into Sunday morning’s fight as slight odds on favourite ahead of Santa Cruz, with bookmakers expecting another win by decision. It really is a tough one to call but If it does go all the way, Carl Frampton’s more technical approach should win through and help the Northern Irishman retain his WBO crown.