Carl Frampton upsets Leo Santa Cruz for WBA featherweight designation

Frampton outpoints previously undefeated Santa Cruz to captivate WBA featherweight championship

Carl Frampton has always used to say hes wanted to be involved in memorable pushes.

On Saturday he got his wish.

The Belfast native withstood the oddsmakers and mesmerized a partisan crowd in capturing the featherweight entitle that his director, Barry McGuigan, acquired 30 years ago, overcoming three-division champion Lo Santa Cruz by majority decision in a wildly witty scrap at Barclays Center. Ringside magistrates Frank Lombardi( 116 -1 12) and Tom Schreck( 117 -1 11) had it for Frampton while Guido Cavalleri tallied it a 114 -1 14 depict.( The Guardian had it 114 -1 14.)

Frampton( 23 -0, 14 KOs ), attaining his entry at 126 lbs after unifying super-bantamweight titles against Scott Quigg in February, became the first Northern Irishman to captivate nature titles in two different load grades. And he did it as a 2-1 underdog against an uncompromising thresher of a magnitude puncher who before Saturday night had never known demolish as a professional.

Its a daydream is true, an elated Frampton added subsequently. I had the dream of prevailing a world title and I won it, but I never reputed Id acquire in two splits. It was a tough push, I wanted it to be a tough battle because I craved a fight the people could remember.

Santa Cruz( 32 -1- 1, 18 KOs) is three inches taller and enjoys a seven-inch edge in reach, but Frampton followed a note-perfect project designed to counteract those physical advantages. Distance control and affecting hard, he illustrated. I won the fight because I didnt lose control. I payed his respect early in the fight with my interval ascendancy and hard punching. I would love to take this serviceman to Belfast for a rematch and prove the people there what a great boxer he is.

Frampton had the crowd of 9,062 in his thrall from the moment he emerged from the tunnel to Galas Freed from Desire, a moment that inflamed a raucous sing-along that rang throughout the arena. Cheers immediately turned to boo when the champ Santa Cruz participated second.

From the opening buzzer specific actions settled into a familiar decoration. Santa Cruz moved forward in an attempt to walk down his adversary, while Frampton applied president shift and skillful footwork to rating with bars and move the champion miss. Santa Cruz was the most aggressive soldier throughout, but Frampton enlisted rounds early because he was more accurate and slicker defensively, at times inducing the Mexican-American seem flat-footed.

Occasionally Frampton stood in the pocket and sold hellfire with Santa Cruz, beating the crowd into a delirium. If it wasnt “the worlds largest” tactically sound approach, it certainly earned Santa Cruzs respect. I won it with my centre , not with my heading, Frampton afterwards quipped.

By the middle rounds Santa Cruzs disinterest in committing to the body attempt, where hed destroyed so many previous resists, was obviou. He could feel when Frampton appeared to slow ever so somewhat in the eighth and scaled up his drive rate.

Over the championship rounds Santa Cruz came on strongest, answering ever Frampton punch with two or three of his own. But just when it seemed the Irishman was on the fade in the final chassis, Frampton tapped into some countless modesty and fuelled back, hindering Santa Cruz at bay until the buzzer echo.

The CompuBox punch statistics offered quantitative context to the horrendous theater. Santa Cruz connected with 225 of a whopping 1,002 total perforates shed( 25.4% ), compared to 242 of 668 for Frampton( 36.2% ). A total of 402 of the 497 compounded landed punches were dominance shootings.

It was a tough oppose from the beginning, announced Santa Cruz, who made$ 1m for Saturdays opposed( or twice Framptons $500,000 purse ). We knew it was going to be a tough battle, but I thought it was closer when I was in there hurling. Maybe the judges were hearing the crowd and had considered that every little punch was tallying.

Its hard to get your first loss, but now well go back to the gym, well get the rematch and well triumph. And that loss will symbolize nothing. I want to have a rematch in Los Angeles, but Ill go to Belfast too.

Moving forwards Frampton could opt to try and coalesce the fractured 126 lb championship. At ringside on Saturday were both Gary Russell Jr, who nurse the WBCs version of the featherweight designation, and Lee Selby, who holds the IBF strap.

But while Lou DiBella, the promoter of preserve for Saturdays Premier Boxing Champions poster, was elusive as to whether there was an explicit rematch clause written into the contract, it seems inevitable that Frampton and Santa Cruz will meet again. You can talk about the other champions, but what maybe is bigger in this disagreement than a rematch between these two people? he responded. These guys were meant to fight each other.

When to ascertain whether a rematch would take place stateside or in an open-air stadium in Belfast as Frampton proposed, DiBella took a generally pragmatic tacking. I think its going to go where the most fund is. Thats what usually happens.

Among those in attendance were New York City FC midfielder Frank Lampard and pro golfers Rory McIlroy, Shane Lowry, Danny Willett and Darren Clarke, who made the short trip from Springfield, New Jersey, where the PGA Championship is taking place this week.

Read more: www.theguardian.com

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