Leo Santa Cruz vs. Carl Frampton 3 unlikely for Belfast
By Scott Gilfoid: If Carl Frampton (23-1, 14 KOs) wants a third fight against WBA Super World featherweight champion Leo Santa Cruz (33-1-1, 18 KOs), then he’s probably going to need to agree to fight him in a neutral venue, because his father Jose Santa Cruz is against the idea of the fight taking place in Frampton’s home city of Belfast, Northern, Ireland.
Jose is worried that if Santa Cruz beats Frampton in Belfast, the judges won’t give him the victory. Jose doesn’t want his son to be potentially robbed of a victory. There are a lot of boxing fans who felt that Santa Cruz was already robbed in his first fight against Frampton when he lost a controversial 12 round majority decision on July 30 last year at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
The fight was technically in the U.S, which meant that the fans should have been on Santa Cruz’s side, but the crowd was filled with pro-Frampton fans. They cheered for Frampton the entire fight, and some boxing fans feel that the judges were unconsciously influenced by the cheering. Some would say that the first fight between Frampton and Santa Cruz was the equivalent of a fight in Belfast because of the pro-Frampton crowd.
The second fight between them on January 28 this year in Las Vegas, Nevada was more of a neutral venue type of situation, as neither fighter appeared to have the crowd completely on their side.
“It’s very important, he’s my father, he’s been there my whole life, my whole career,” said Santa Cruz to the Villainfy Media. “I always listen to my dad. If he says no, I wouldn’t go there. I do whatever he tells me to do.”
Well, you can’t blame Santa Cruz for listening to his dad, Jose, because he sounds like a wise father. For Santa Cruz to agree to fighting in Belfast after what happened in his first fight against Frampton in New York, it might be a problem for him. Frampton never repaid the favor by facing Santa Cruz in front of a pro-Santa Cruz crowd in Los Angeles, California.
If Santa Cruz were to fight Frampton in Belfast, it would be the second fight in which he’s fought in front of a large pro-Frampton crowd. What’s important about Santa Cruz not putting himself in the position where he could lose a controversial decision is the likelihood that he might not ever get a fourth fight against Frampton. If Frampton wins the third fight, he might say that he’s proven that he’s the better fighter of the two by beating him two out of the three times they’ve faced each other, even though this writer believes that Santa Cruz deserved the win in the first fight.
“My dad is scared that if I go over there, and even if I beat Carl Frampton, the people and the judges are going to be an influence,” said Santa Cruz. “No matter if I beat him, he thinks that even if I beat him I’ll have the victory taken away from me.”
Santa Cruz is the A-side now after beating Frampton on January 28 by a 12 round majority decision by the scores 115-113, 115-113 and 114-114. If Santa Cruz wants the fight in a neutral venue rather than Belfast, then he can certainly let Frampton and his management know that they’ll need to do that if they want to face him again.
There shouldn’t be any problems on Frampton’s part for a fight in a neutral venue. After all, Frampton had the crowd on his side in the first fight. The scoring for the second Frampton-Santa Cruz fight was also very controversial in the minds of some boxing fans, because Santa Cruz appeared to win the fight by a much wider set of scores than the ones handed down by the three judges assigned to the fight. I had Santa Cruz winning 10 rounds to 2. I couldn’t give Frampton more than 2 rounds no matter how hard I tried. He was getting out-boxed the entire fight.