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[author image=”https://www.the3pointconversion.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/2015-01-21-12.32.22-1-e1454992109579.jpg” ]Ryan Foley, [/author]
Leo Santa Cruz who’s 32-0-1 (18 KO) takes his aggressive Mexican fighting style by way Barclay’s Center against Carl Frampton who’s 22-0 (14 KO) putting his WBA Super World featherweight title on the line this Saturday night, live on Showtime 9 p.m. eastern. Santa Cruz has had a dedicated training camp and looks to put on a sensational show on Saturday as he looks to successfully defend his WBA featherweight belt against the underdog, Northern Irishman, Frampton. Mentally, Santa Cruz has been said to be in hyper focus mode for his third title defense as his father recovers from cancer treatment. Often times leading into a training camp, the distraction of a sick father would side track a fighter; not Leo Santa Cruz. Santa Cruz has used his father’s strength to build upon his craft and improve his strength and conditioning in camp to stay ahead of any game plan team Frampton can come up with.
Fighter Breakdown: Santa Cruz will be using his height and reach to keep the smaller Frampton, who is moving up in weight for this title fight, and look to land a high percentage of power punches throughout as he has been known to do in the past versus opponents such as Adner Mares and Kiko Martinez. Santa Cruz will be sure to keep the ring generalship in his favor as he can expect Frampton to be and stay on the defense often.
Frampton has been overlooked slightly in this fight buildup as he now looks to build on his name by dethroning Santa Cruz inside the world’s most famous arena Saturday night. Both fighters have had the same success versus Kiko Martinez at different weight-classes, so given the rare aspect of comparison for those fights will be able to be applied for Saturday night. The main difference within this fight is Santa Cruz is hitting his prime and Frampton hasn’t seen or felt the speed and power Santa Cruz provides. For Frampton to win this fight, he must stay away from the power of Santa Cruz and be able to move inside and out of the pocket while connecting with solid combinations and counters. Relentless footwork and head movement is key for Frampton in his upset attempt. As fans, we know anything can happen in a fight but for this technical matchup, Frampton may not need power within this fight as much as he needs accuracy. As the smaller fighter, he will have to beat the lengthy Santa Cruz to the punch and score his points with proper timing within rounds.
Prediction: Santa Cruz is hitting his prime and this may be his coming out party at Madison Square Garden, on the big stage via Showtime, as he defeats Frampton by a late round (10th round) knockout. Frampton will be able to handle himself early as he’s sure to see a rain of punches in the early rounds and throughout the fight. As Frampton trails in the late rounds, look for Santa Cruz to catch Frampton with a right uppercut as Frampton attempts to move inside for a KO himself knowing he’s down on points.
Tune-in as this should be an excellent fight!