Frampton gets world title eliminator for the right to fight Santa Cruz
Carl Frampton could be only one win away from a crack at Leo Santa Cruz's WBC super-bantamweight title after Cyclone Promotions secured a final eliminator against number one contender Hugo Cazares. That bout will take place on April 4 in Belfast's Odyssey Arena and if, as expected, Carl successfully negotiates his way past the rugged Mexican veteran he expects to face Santa Cruz at some point in the summer.
"Hugo Cazares is a great fighter who has won two world titles at two different weights and he believes that he has another one in him at super-bantamweight," said Carl, at a packed Europa Hotel press conference.
"I’ve seen a bit of Cazares footage, he’s a wily old fox who likes to fight at a very slow pace. He’s a typical Mexican in that he can give and take a good shot but he tries to have everything his own way and I think I’m going to have to fight at a high pace to beat him.”
After a period of frustration waiting for the IBF and Kiko Martinez to decide what they were going to do regarding the Spaniard's next move it was clear to Cyclone Promotions that they would have to quickly move on and explore other avenues rather than risk being caught up in a spider's web of politics. Having a high ranking with the WBC (number two) meant that promoter Barry McGuigan was able to lobby for an eliminator while putting in some negotiation time with Golden Boy regarding a possible Santa Cruz blockbuster. All of these plans are of course dependent on Frampton first removing the threat posed by Cazares.
“We have had to work very hard to get this fight staged here, it was going to be in Mexico or the USA so we are thrilled to be bringing it to Belfast and it’s cost a lot of money!" chuckled McGuigan. "It’s a great statement for Cyclone as Hugo Cazares is a two-weight world champion, unbeaten as a super-bantamweight and Carl knows he’s up against it.
"Cazares is tough and has a great left hook, he is clever and difficult to nail properly so we need to put the pressure on him and make him fight. I don’t think Cazares will be able to last the pace and I think Carl knocks him out and I think he beats up Santa Cruz as well. We will move heaven and earth to get Santa Cruz over here."
Santa Cruz has made positive noises when asked about a potential Frampton scrap but the California resident will need to jump over his own title hurdle on March 8 when he defends against quality operator Cristian Mijares. 'The Jackal' respects the skills that the WBC title holder brings to the table but likened his adversary's style as similar to a smaller version of Antonio Margarito. That appears to be a fairly accurate comparison and the Cyclone team believe their man's superior footwork and ability to find punching angles will allow him to prevail when the boxers finally face off.
"Anytime Santa Cruz gets interviewed he mentions my name. I genuinely believe that Santa Cruz wants to fight the winner of me and Cazares and the winner will fight him in the summer. I want to be fighting in Belfast all the time, I’m fit to go already and I could do 12 rounds in two weeks' time so just think what I’ll be like come April," concluded Frampton.
Last edited by Steve Wellings; 01-30-2014 at 09:07 PM.