By Tom Sargent
Carl Frampton has called for a third fight with Leo Santa Cruz after the Mexican won their rematch at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas at the weekend.
Santa Cruz avenged his loss to Frampton in July and captured the WBA featherweight title in the process. The win means Santa Cruz is now a four-time, three-weight world champion.
Santa Cruz improved his record to 33 wins from 35 fights and handed Frampton the first loss of his career as a result.
The fighters wowed the 10,000 capacity crowd with brutal exchanges over the course of 12 rounds in a bout that lived up to their exhilarating first contest. Santa Cruz controlled much of this fight with his jab, using his considerable reach advantage to force Frampton into throwing counter punches. Frampton seemed uncomfortable in the early rounds, struggling to land anything telling on his opponent.
Frampton came forward more as the fight went on, targeting the body of his opponent. The two were then involved in compelling exchanges that had many scoring the fight closer than it probably was.
— Gareth A Davies (@GarethADaviesDT) January 29, 2017
A third contest is something that many people in the boxing world are calling for, as well on Twitter after being treated to two adrenaline-charged fights:
— Michael Conlan (@mickconlan11) January 29, 2017
Frampton told the Telegraph that he wants the third fight to take place in his home city of Belfast: “I hope so, I hope he is a man of his word and we can do it in Belfast,” he said. “I have come to the States twice. We could do it four, five, six times. I hope we do it again.
“I am deeply disappointed but let’s have a trilogy and have our names linked together forever and hopefully I can win 2-1.”
“I think it was the right decision, I thought it was close,” the Northern Irishman added. “He frustrated me at times, I didn’t expect that game plan, the boxer got out-boxed by the brawler. I thought it was the right decision, I hope we can do it again, it was a close fight.”
Santa Cruz also seemed to agree to a rematch immediately after the fight. He told Sky Sports: “I am a man of my word, we are both great fighters, we deserve it and let’s go again.”