After two thrilling title fights between Leo Santa Cruz (33-1-1) and Carl Frampton (23-1), it only makes sense for the 1-1 gridlock to be broken with a trilogy fight. At least, that’s Frampton’s argument as he pushes for a chance to reclaim his WBA (Super) featherweight title.
The two first fought on July of 2016, with Frampton making his first title defense. They fought out of Brooklyn, and, as you would expect for an Irishman in New York, Frampton had the full support of the crowd. It was a nail-biter, with Frampton narrowly winning by majority decision. The bout was deemed a candidate for Fight of the Year and the pair wasted no time in arranging a rematch. Frampton proposed a fight in his hometown of Belfast, Northern Ireland, but the Santa Cruz camp was hesitant about the idea.
They settled on a Vegas fight, where Frampton would not have the crowd advantage. Still, the defending champ was the favorite coming into the bout. On January 28th, another exciting fight ensued and this time the victor was Santa Cruz, who won by majority decision. Once again, it was hailed as a potential Fight of the Year.
Naturally, Frampton is eager for a chance to reclaim the title and boxing fans would love to see a third fight to break the draw. Santa Cruz has not rejected the idea, but as champion he is keeping his options open.
Along with Frampton, he’ll have big-name fighters like Vasyl Lomachenko (7-1) and Nonito Donaire (37-4) interested in a title shot. He now has the power to negotiate a fight on his terms. Still, that hasn’t stopped Frampton from pushing for a fight in Belfast.
If a fight does take place, it will most likely be out of Mexico, where Santa Cruz is from, or Los Angeles, where there is a large Mexican population. And then there’s always the chance of a Vegas fight. But a fight in Belfast is looking increasingly unlikely.
Santa Cruz would be the slight favorite coming into the rematch, but given how close their two previous fights were, there isn’t much difference between them.
Will the fight take place? And, if so, where will it be held and who will win?
Here are the odds!
Cruz and Frampton Fight Odds:
Odds that Frampton v Santa Cruz III takes place by year-end 2017: 11/9
Odds that the fight is held in:
Los Angeles: 1/1
Odds to win:
Leo Santa Cruz: 23/27
Carl Frampton: 14/11
O/U on PPV numbers: 600,000
Photo credit: “Junior Moar vs Michael Walchuck” by Digital Arts Nomad, CC BY-SA 2.0 [http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0], via Flickr