Carl Frampton facing tall order against WBA champion Leo Santa Cruz

Carl Frampton has admitted he is facing a tall order against the WBA featherweight champ Lo Santa Cruz

Surely Carl Frampton knew what he was going into where reference is surrendered his super-bantamweight claims and immediately targeted the biggest, baddest opponent at 126 lb: the undefeated three-division champion Lo Santa Cruz.

However, the gravity of the assignment before the Irishman was never more striking than when the fighters came together for the conventional stare-down at the Dream Downtown hotel in Manhattans posh Chelsea neighbourhood. As Framptons see slowly craned upwards the scale of Santa Cruzs physical advantages three inches in stature, seven inches in reach was laid bare. Yet vital statistics are only part of the reason why the unbeaten Frampton, fresh off a parts win over Scott Quigg to unify the 122 lb entitlements in February, is a 2-1 underdog penetrating Saturdays yummy featherweight title contend at Brooklyns Barclays Center.

The wiry Santa Cruz( 32 -0- 1, 18 KOs ), a 27 -year-old Mexican moved southern Californian who hampered loops at bantamweight and super-bantamweight before outpointing Abner Mare in a thrilling scrap for the vacant featherweight buckle last August, has relied on remarkable pierce publication, a granite kuki-chin and apparently limitless funds of staman to overwhelm allcomers and emerge as one of boxings most exciting small men over the past few years.

Yet Frampton( 22 -0, 14 KOs ), who can become the first Northern Irishman to acquire macrocosm names in two weight castes, is self-confident he is endowed with the superpower and tactical capability that they are able to oblige the thresher before him to reconsider his standard procedure. Im of the preparations for Santa Cruz to come all nighttime and throw a hundred perforates a round, he said this week. But I promise you when I start making him hard, hell think twice about coming in.

Im faster, and I think that I is absolutely pierce faster. I have better hoofs than him. I think the main difference here will be how hard I punch. Its all well and good being put forward and throwing a lot of punches when you are getting hit by guys who arent big punchers. But when youve got a big puncher standing in front of you, you wont be as keen to be proposed, and I think that that might be the case.

Frampton, who can capture the WBA featherweight championship that his director, Barry McGuigan, propped three decades ago, belief limit of interval and piercing ability is likely to be the keys to the upset. Its about going his respect early in the fight, he said. I have to hit him hard and injured him in the first or second round to attain him respect me. Examine, Santa Cruz is a type of boxer Ive been craving for my whole busines, someone who comes forward and hurls pierces. Thats what I feel that my style is most effective against.

The 29 -year-old from Belfast has invested the past various weeks living and training in New Rochelle, a leafy outskirt 16 miles north of Manhattan. Since touching down on 4 July, he has finished off his groomings at Champs Boxing Club while spending off-hours mingling with the Irish communities in and about New York City. That, he feels, will translate to a partisan crowd in Brooklyn.

Well do about 1,200 here from back home, the UK and Ireland. Apparently, itll feel like a lot more than that. But weve picked up a lot of fans here in New York pretty early, he said. Theres a home announced Woodlawn in the Bronx: youd swear youre walking down a street in Belfast or Dublin. Its crazy. I didnt hear an American accent and I was there for about two hours.

Santa Cruz has long been one of most valued resources in Al Haymons portfolio: an iron-willed Mexican crowd-pleaser whose 5ft 7in chassis could accommodate ascents to super-lightweight, lightweight and even, he exposed this week, the profitable junior-welterweight division. Yet Frampton would be happy to play spoiler. The last-place season I was an underdog was against David Oliver Joyce in 2009[ at the Irish elderly championships ]. You could have got me at 11 -2. I ceased him early and I rendered him a sitting weigh in the latest round and won the fight quite comfortably. The last-place time, a lot of people who knew me made a lot of money.

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