- Carl ‘The Jackal’ Frampton has fought 23 matches since turning professional in June 2009, and he has a 100% winning record. He has won 61% of his fights by KO or TKO, and as well as being the current WBA super-featherweight champion, he has also held the IBF and WBA titles at super-bantamweight.
- Leo ‘El Terremoto’ Santa Cruz had his first professional fight in October 2006, and has won 32 matches from a total of 34, with one draw and a single defeat. The Mexican fighter has won 18 of his matches (53%) by KO or TKO, and his sole draw was way back in January 2007, so he had been unbeaten for almost a decade when Frampton took his title last June.
- Frampton’s victory over Santa Cruz last year came by majority decision, with the judges calling 114-114, 112-116 and 111-117 in Frampton’s favour. It was a fairly close fight, and Santa Cruz actually landed a few more punches that Frampton, but the Irishman was more accurate (over 36% of punches landed, compared with just over 25% landed by the Mexican) as well as more powerful, and that was enough to give him the match.
Frampton’s success in New York last year was well deserved, and it made him the first Northern Irish fighter to secure world titles in two weight divisions. Whilst we can’t take anything away from Santa Cruz for his proven ability, Frampton bettered him last time and there is no reason to expect the coming match to conclude any differently than it did in 2016. We will therefore side with Frampton to box just as well as he did last year and to defend his title successfully.
- Sports.net’s Top Tip – Carl Frampton to beat Leo Santa Cruz – 8/11
*Please note, odds may fluctuate in the lead-up to the fight.