Coach McGuigan: Santa Cruz hasn’t faced anyone of Frampton’s calibre

Phil Jay 26/07/2016

Lucas Noonan

Shane McGuigan has been respectful to the achievements of Leo Santa Cruz in the build-up to Saturday’s clash but believes his man Carl Frampton represents a whole new challenge.

Santa Cruz and Frampton go head-to-heat for a version of the featherweight title in New York and McGuigan is fully confident his fighter can do what’s necessary to become a two-weight world champion.

“Leo Santa Cruz is unbeaten and there aren’t really any weaknesses from my perspective,” said McGuigan.

“He’s a phenomenal fighter, but I don’t believe he’s fought a fighter of Carl Frampton’s calibre, as an all-around fighter.

“I wouldn’t be taking on this fight it I wasn’t extremely confident in Carl, even though he’s coming in as the underdog. I don’t think Santa Cruz has ever felt the power that Carl brings before.

“I think Carl can beat him comfortably if he continues to prepare well, and then steps into the ring and does what he’s capable of doing.

“This fight is history in the making. It’s a fight that can really put Carl on the map. It’s always a huge opportunity when you’re fighting for a title, against someone of Santa Cruz’s calibre,” he added.

Frampton’s latest triumph came against arch-rival Scott Quigg in Manchester, England – a win that catapulted the Irishman’s reputation into the kind of huge events he finds himself in this weekend.

A win over someone like Santa Cruz, who has never been beaten and has a big reputation, can potentially open the door for ‘The Jackal’ to unify the belts even further with either WBC ruler Gary Russell Jr. or new champion Oscar Valdez in the coming months.