The Big Question: Frampton vs Santa Cruz 2 - who wins?

Boxing Monthly
27/01/2017 1:47pm

Photo: Esther Lin / Showtime

Carl Frampton faces Leo Santa Cruz on Saturday night in an eagerly awaited featherweight championship rematch. We canvassed opinion among the Boxing Monthly online team about which man will prevail ...

I think the result of this bout ultimately depends on how Carl Frampton turns up on the night; I’m unsure that Leo Santa Cruz can fight any other way (at least he hasn’t posed any evidence so far). I think - much like last time - that Leo will barrel forward with fast hands and look to throw just as many, if not more, punches than last time. As much as the Mexican’s work isn’t always pretty, it is eye catching, and it just depends on whether Frampton can have enough success counter punching and establishing his jab to the extent where he’s winning rounds.

Either way, I can see another tough, close fight in which both men have to dig deep at some point to snatch victory. If I had to put my neck on the line, I’d say Frampton rises to the occasion and sets up a homecoming with Lee Selby later in the year. - Luke Byron

For me this fight isn't so much about Carl Frampton but more about Leo Santa Cruz. We know what Frampton will do - he'll control range with his footwork and attempt to pick off Santa Cruz coming in. He may exchange a bit as well but I know Shane McGuigan told him off for that last time so we could see less of that.

Santa Cruz, as the loser of the first fight, will know he has to make adjustments and he's already spoken about attacking the body more, I imagine in an attempt to take Frampton's legs out from under him. If he has success with that then we could see Santa Cruz get the 'W' but I strongly favour Frampton to once again outbox his opponent and get the decision by a slightly wider margin this time. - Callum Rudge

Who wins? Frampton - in an almost carbon-copy of the first fight. - Colin Harris

I was fairly adamant that Santa Cruz would win last time and was happy to be proved long. This time around, I don’t see any other result than a Frampton win. I do, however, see a different fight - Santa Cruz had most success first time around when he started using his reach advantage so I think he will try to establish that jab early doors. I also feel like Santa Cruz will try to double down on the pressure and volume punching that normally works so well for him at some stage during the fight. When that happens, Frampton’s spiteful and crisp counter shots will be telling and he will secure the win. - James Oddy

These two could fight each other every day of the week and it would look pretty much the same every time. It's a perfect style match-up - with the aggression and work rate of Santa Cruz against the more precise boxing of Frampton. Carl proved in the first fight that he could hurt Leo but said recently that his trainer, Shane McGuigan, wasn't too keen on him staying in the pocket and exchanging punches with the former champion because he was the superior technician.

Leo reminds me of a mini Margarito and he has a knack of drawing you into his kind of fight, and, like I've said above, I expect the return to be a carbon copy of the first war, with maybe Frampton moving a little more this time. I'm picking 'The Jackal' to win again on points, with maybe a chance he could stop Santa Cruz late in the fight. - Danny Winterbottom

I think Carl Frampton wins by a slightly larger margin than the first time. Through the first three quarters of the first fight he had a pretty solid lead but Santa Cruz's volume narrowed the margin down the stretch. I think Frampton has probably put more emphasis on his conditioning this time around and will be less shaky in the championship rounds, winning by a 116-112 type decision. - Mark E. Ortega

I'm going to play devil's advocate against the consensus that has emerged. On first viewing I scored the first fight a draw and I think these two men are extremely well matched. Santa Cruz's preparations were arguably affected somewhat last time by his father's illness and many believe the pro-Frampton crowd in New York was also a decisive factor in his victory. Compubox stats don't tell the whole story, of course, but by their count Leo even out-landed Carl overall in New York, albeit not in terms of power shots. I foresee another close fight and a tight, possibly much to be debated decision. Frampton will now be stronger at the weight than he was last time while Santa Cruz should be better prepared. I think it will be cagier affair, which Santa Cruz will edge on points courtesy of his long jab. - Luke G. Williams 

Final count: Frampton 6 Santa Cruz 1