Santa Cruz respectful of Frampton, prepares for smart title defense
Featherweight world champion Leo Santa Cruz is taking nothing for granted despite being the favourite going into this weekend’s massive clash with Carl Frampton.
The Mexican-American warrior, who holds a 32-0-1 professional record, battles fellow undefeated Frampton in New York on Saturday night following the Irishman’s move up from a unified position at super bantamweight.
“I don’t think moving up in weight will affect Carl at all. He’s got a big frame and he’s a big guy. He is probably a little bit bigger than me. I know he had problems making 122 pounds, but this should be easier for him,” said Santa Cruz.
“I think he’s going to move and I’m going to have to be smart and not get caught. If I’m not feeling his punches, then we’re going to stand in front of him and exchange. I can also box with him if I need.
“I know I’ll have to use my jab and follow up with the right. We have a game plan and backup plans. We’ll be ready for anything.”
On what kind of challenge he expects from Frampton, Santa Cruz said: “He has great skills, great punches and he moves very well. It’s going to be a tough fight for me but I’m going to work hard to defend my belt.
“I see Frampton as someone trying to come and take away everything I worked hard for. I can’t let that happen. I’m going to do what I have to do to get the win.
“He’s a very skilled fighter. He has great power and I think it’s going to be an exciting fight. These are the kind of guys I want to fight. It gives me even more motivation to get in the gym and train hard.
“I can’t let him come over to the U.S. and get this win. We’re going to go out there and see if he can bring the best out of me. I’m going to be one-hundred percent ready.”