In order for Frampton to pursue two-weight World title glory against Santa Cruz this summer, the Northern Irishman must vacate his coveted IBF super bantamweight crown due to mandatory obligations.
The Santa Cruz fight at featherweight made the most financial sense for the hugely popular Frampton but the 29-year-old undefeated Belfast native wanted to make clear his gratitude to the International Boxing Federation (IBF) ahead of his World featherweight title challenge.
“I’m delighted to be fighting Leo Santa Cruz for the World featherweight title but I would like to say a huge thank you to the IBF for their professionalism during my time as their super bantamweight champion,” said Frampton.
“I have been a proud IBF World champion for nearly two years and I one day hope to once again become an IBF champion. I wish Shingo Wake (the IBF’s mandatory challenger at super bantamweight) the very best in his championship fight.”