Carl Frampton who sensationally defeated Leo Santa Cruz last year in the WBA Featherweight bout has lost the belt to Cruz in the rematch in Las Vegas on Saturday.
The fight was a thrilling display of boxing with both men looking for the win. The bought was fought at the MGM Grand and won on points by Cruz, with two judges scoring the fight 115 -113 in his favour. One judge scored it 114 -114. Many, including Frampton, felt it was a fair result.
The two fighters came out and both went for it with wild hooks. Cruz, however, was far more accurate and showed great improvements with his punching from the fight at the Barclays Centre last July. His relentless jab was extremely effective and he maintained a scoring advantage throughout the fight.
Frampton, the Northern Irishman, did manage to win a few rounds and finished particularly strongly in the twelfth round when he was looking for the knockout to retain his title. Cruz, the Mexican, however, was equal to him and held firm to retake the belt he lost last July.
Frampton admitted that Cruz was the worthy winner and hoped they could set up a rematch in Belfast. The last two fights between them being fought on American soil.
He said, “He frustrated me at times, I didn’t expect that game plan, the boxer got out-boxed by the brawler. I thought it was the right decision, I hope we can do it again, it was a close fight.
“I have got no excuses, I feel I want to say sorry, I feel like I have let everyone down. The best man won on the night. I am gutted. It was my fault.”
The scene is set for a third fight with Cruz saying, “I am a man of my word. We are both great fighters, we deserve it and let’s go again.”
Boxing fans around the world are no doubt already looking forward to it.