New featherweight champion Carl Frampton was in shock at the final bell on Saturday night after picking up a second weight world title at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
‘The Jackal’ used his power and skillset to take away the jab of previously undefeated Santa Cruz and seal a 117-111, 116-112 decision on two of the judges’ scorecards in New York.
In his post-fight interview with Showtime’s Jim Gray, Frampton stated that a second battle with Santa Cruz was an option, although he’d like it to happen in his hometown of Belfast, Northern Ireland.
“It’s a dream come true,” said Frampton. “I had the dream of winning a world title and I won it, but I never thought I’d win in two divisions. It was a tough fight, I wanted it to be a tough fight because I wanted a fight the people could remember. I respect him a lot. He was a true warrior.
“I had a good game plan. Shane was an unbelievable coach. He told me every time I came back into the corner that we could win this a lot easier. But I won it with my heart, not with my head and I got my hand raised.
“Distance control and hitting hard were the keys. I won the fight because I didn’t lose control. I earned his respect early in the fight with my distance control and hard punching. I would love to take this man to Belfast for a rematch and show the people there what a great fighter he is.”
Santa Cruz was obviously disappointed himself but hinted that he would prefer any return with Frampton to happen in California as the Mexican-American contemplates a first career defeat.
“It was a tough fight from the beginning,” Santa Cruz said. “We knew it was going to be a tough fight, but I thought it was close when I was in there throwing. Maybe the judges were hearing the crowd and thought that every little punch was scoring.
“He has a difficult style, but we know his style and will get him in the rematch. The crowd was cheering, and I think the judges saw that. Maybe, without that, we would have had a draw or maybe a decision.
“It’s hard to get your first loss, but now we’ll go back to the gym, we’ll get the rematch and we’ll win. And that loss will mean nothing. I want to have a rematch in Los Angeles, but I’ll go to Belfast too.”