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Santa Cruz ready for Frampton rematch

Carl Frampton, Leo Santa Cruz boxing photo

By Jeff Aranow: Former three division world champion Leo Santa Cruz (32-1-1, 18 KOs) expects to be fully ready for his rematch this month against WBA Super World featherweight champion Carl Frampton (23-0, 14 KOs) on January 28 on Showtime Championship Boxing from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The last time that Santa Cruz fought Frampton last July, he was out his dad, and it was just him and his brother. Santa Cruz says he got his game plan confused with him not sure which plan to follow – his father or his brother’s plan.

This time, Santa Cruz’s dad will be there with him, and he’ll have just one fight strategy when he steps inside the ring to face the 29-year-old Frampton.

Frampton won the last time he fought Santa Cruz by a 12 round majority decision by the scores 114-114, 116-112 and 117-111. The crowd was on Frampton’s side in that fight with the match taking place in New York, and some think that the outcome would have been different if the fight had taken place in Los Angeles or Texas. The Frampton-Santa Cruz rematch isn’t going to be in either of those places, but the audience will likely be more balanced with an equal amount of fans from both fighters.

“Since it was just me and my brother [for the first fight], we were practicing the wrong game plan and when we got to the fight, my dad had a different game plan, so we got confused,” said Santa Cruz to about his previous fight last year against Frampton. “My brother was telling to fight him one way; my dad was telling me to fight him another way.”

The 28-year-old Santa Cruz isn’t saying what the game plan will be for the rematch, but it’s very possible we’re going to see him fight the way he normally does by going after Frampton on the inside with nonstop pressure. That’s what Santa Cruz did in the second half of their previous fight.

Frampton had problems with Santa Cruz’s pressure as soon as he started to apply it, and it appeared to many boxing fans that the second half of the fight was a clean sweep by the American fighter. One judge reflected that with his 114-114 score, but the other two judges felt that Frampton was still winning rounds in the second half of the fight.

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