Posts Tagged ‘Leo Santa Cruz’


Leo Santa Cruz Media Workout Quotes & PhotosFeatherweight Champion Battles Chris Avalos in Premier Boxing Champions on FOX & FOX Deportes Main Event Saturday, October 14 from StubHub Center in Carson, Calif.


LOS ANGELES (September 19, 2017) – Three-division world champion Leo Santa Cruz hosted a media workout Tuesday at the new Team Watson Boxing Club in Lake Balboa, Calif. as he prepares to defend his featherweight titles against Chris Avalos on Saturday, October 14 in the main event of Premier Boxing Champions on FOX and FOX Deportes from StubHub Center in Carson, Calif.

Televised coverage begins 7:30 p.m. ET/4:30 p.m. PT with four-time world champion Abner Mares defending his 126-pound belt against once-beaten Andres Gutierrez.

Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by Ringstar Promotions and TGB Promotions, are priced at $30, $50, $75, $100, $150, and $250 and are on sale now. To purchase tickets, visit HERE.

Also in attendance was lightweight Ivan Redkach, who trains with Santa Cruz and will compete in an undercard bout on October 14.

Here is what the participants had to say Tuesday:


“Now we both get another fight first, I’m pretty sure we will both win and the fans win by seeing us again as well.

“I always train the same way. I train really hard. I go out there like I’m going to fight the best opponent possible. My focus is there. You can never underestimate any fighter. Especially someone like Avalos. He has nothing to lose and everything to gain by beating me.

“Fighters like that are the most dangerous. They come really prepared and I can’t afford to lose. I am going to be focused coming into October 14.

“If we both get the win, I want the rematch with Abner in the beginning of the year. That is going to happen so I’m not concerned about both of us taking a fight first.

“I feel great and will be ready and prepared to fight 12 hard rounds on October 14.

“I know this will be a tough fight, every fight at this level is a tough fight.

“I am coming off of two hard fights and I wanted my body to rest, but I am always ready to get in the gym and prepare to do my best. I will never take a fight lightly and I won’t on October 14.

“The rematch will be a very tough fight like the first, it’s better for Abner and I
to each have a fight in-between.”


“I’m very excited to fight in Southern California on a big show against a tough fighter. I’m ready for October 14th.

“This is my third fight training with the Santa Cruz family and I love training with them. They’ve taught me a great deal about defense and about throwing combinations. I feel like it’s more of a ‘Mexican Style’ for me. I feel like they have helped me become a more entertaining fighter.

“This is really like a double hometown fight for me. I’ve lived in Southern California for eight years and I’ve been on a lot of Leo’s cards, so I will be in my second home with my second family.”

JOSE SANTA CRUZ, Leo’s Father & Trainer

“Avalos is a very tough fighter, if we fight Mares we want a tough fight first to get ready.” (more…)

Presented by Premier Boxing Champions Live On FOX &
FOX Deportes from StubHub Center in Carson, Calif., On
Saturday, October 14
Tickets on Sale Now!
CARSON, CALIF. (August 30, 2017) – Sensational three-division champion¬†Leo “El Terremoto” Santa Cruz¬†will defend his featherweight world title against¬†Chris Avalos, while four-time world champion¬†Abner Mares¬†defends his 126-pound championship against once-beaten¬†Andres Gutierrez¬†at StubHub Center in Carson, Calif. on a show presented by Premier Boxing Champions live on FOX and FOX Deportes on Saturday, October 14. Televised coverage begins at 7:30 p.m. ET/4:30 p.m. PT.
If Santa Cruz and Mares win their respective matches, they have both agreed to terms to meet in a highly anticipated rematch for the WBA featherweight title in early 2018.  Santa Cruz won a hard-fought, narrow decision against Mares in a 2015 Fight of the Year candidate that saw the two men go toe-to-toe for 12 fast-paced rounds and combine for over 2,000 punches thrown.  
Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by Ringstar Promotions and TGB Promotions, are priced at $30, $50, $75, $100, $150, and $250 and are on sale now. To purchase tickets, visit HERE.
“Leo Santa Cruz and Abner Mares are two of the best featherweight champions in boxing and to have them both fighting on the same card is a treat for boxing fans,” said Tom Brown, President of TGB Promotions. “Against Avalos, Santa Cruz will have the opportunity to demonstrate why he’s considered one of the most skilled and durable fighters in the division and in his first defense since winning the title Mares can expect a rugged challenge from Gutierrez, who has only lost once in his career and by a close decision.”
“This is going to be a jam-packed afternoon of can’t-miss action for boxing fans in Southern California,” said Richard Schaefer, Chairman & CEO of Ringstar Sports. “StubHub Center brings out the best in fighters and I expect that to continue when Leo Santa Cruz and Abner Mares defend their titles against two hungry challengers in Chris Avalos and Andres Gutierrez. Ringstar Sports, along with TGB Promotions, are looking forward to putting together an exciting card full of future stars and compelling bouts for the great fans at StubHub Center and watching on FOX and FOX Deportes.”
Santa Cruz (33-1-1, 18 KOs) established himself as one of the top featherweights in the world in matches against Mares and Carl Frampton. Cruz lost a close decision to Frampton in 2016 and avenged the loss with a decision victory on Jan. 28 in Las Vegas. The 29-year-old was unbeaten in his first 33 pro fights on his way to world titles at 118, 122 and 126-pounds. With a victory over Avalos, Santa Cruz, who fights out of Los Angeles, will cement his hold on featherweight supremacy and stay on the path to that showdown with Mares.
“I’m excited to get back in the ring,” said Santa Cruz. “I’ve been working hard in camp and it’s great to be back in the gym. Chris Avalos is a tough contender who’s fought the best in the division. I love my fans and I’m planning on giving them a great show. I never overlook any opponent, but my plan is to put on a great performance, and then give fans more exciting fights against Abner Mares and Carl Frampton. I’m ready to prove I’m the best featherweight in the world.
Fighting out of Lancaster, California, Avalos (27-5, 20 KOs) will be vying for a featherweight title for the first time. He came up short in his other world championship bout, losing the 122-pound world championship Carl Frampton via knockout in 2015. In his most recent bout, Avalos scored a TKO victory over Miguel Flores when the fight was stopped on cuts in the fifth round on July 18 in the main event on FS1 and FOX Deportes.


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Credit: Andy Samuelson/Premier Boxing Champions



Featherweight Champion Leo Santa Cruz

Puts On Promoter’s Hat For FS1 & FOX Deportes

Toe-to-Toe Tuesday Show On May 2


Unbeaten Rising Star David Benavidez Tests

His Mettle Against Porky Medina In 168-Pound

World Title Eliminator On FS1 & FOX Deportes

On Saturday, May 20


Undefeated Welterweight Star Errol Spence

Challenges Kell Brook For 147-pound Championship

In Sheffield, England in Premier Boxing Champions Action



LAS VEGAS (May 1, 2017) – The Premier Boxing Champions series will follow a very busy April with an extremely exciting month of May. The slate of shows will run the weight spectrum from featherweight to super middleweight.


“The Premier Boxing Champions series schedule for May has a slate of shows where several boxers get an opportunity to step up to world title matches,” said Tim Smith, Vice President of Communications for Haymon Sports. “With so much on the line those kinds of challenges typically lead to action-packed, fan-friendly matches.”


Kicking off the month is a thrilling 10-round lightweight clash between Ivan Redkach (20-2-1, 16 KOs) and former world champion Argenis Mendez (23-5-1, 12 KOs) on TOE-TO-TOE TUESDAYS on FS1 and BOXEO DE CAMPEONES on FOX Deportes from the Sportsmen’s Lodge in Studio City, California on May 2. Televised coverage begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT.


The show will be staged by featherweight world champion Leo Santa Cruz’s Last Round Promotions, and will include an 8-round junior featherweight match between Brandon Figueroa and Luis Saavedra and a 6-round bantamweight match between Antonio Santa Cruz and Arturo Torres. The show will be a family affair as Brandon Figueroa is the younger brother of Omar Figueroa and Antonio is the cousin of Leo Santa Cruz.


David Benavidez (17-0, 16 KOs), an ascending star, will meet former world title challenger Rogelio “Porky” Medina (37-7, 31 KOs) in a super middleweight title elimination match from Laredo Energy Arena in Laredo, Texas on May 20. Benavidez will face the toughest test of his career against Medina, a veteran who has already fought for a world title. The winner will get a shot at the 168-pound world champion.


Televised coverage will begin at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT with unbeaten 126-pound contender Jorge Lara (28-0-2, 20 KOs) taking on hard-hitting brawler Mario Briones (28-5-2, 22 KOs) in a 10-round featherweight match.


Unbeaten top welterweight star Errol Spence, Jr. (21-0, 19 KOs) will travel from his home in Desoto, Texas to take on Kell Brook (36-1, 25 KOs) in his hometown at Bramall Lane Football Ground in Sheffield, England in a Premier Boxing Championship match on SHOWTIME.


In other non-PBC matches of interest to boxing fans in the month of May, Gervonta Davis (17-0, 18 KOs) will defend his 130-pound world title against No. 1 contender Liam Walsh (21-0, 14 KOs) from Copper Box Arena in London, England on SHOWTIME on May 20.


On the same night Gary Russell, Jr. (21-1, 16 KOs) will defend his 126-pound world title against Oscar Escandon (25-2, 17 KOs) at MGM National Harbor outside Washington D.C. on SHOWTIME. In the co-feature Andre Dirrell (25-2, 16 KOs) will meet Jose Uzcategui (26-1, 22 KOs) for the vacant 168-pound championship. Additionally, Rances Barthelemy (25-0, 13 KOs) faces Kiryl Relikh (21-1, 19 KOs) in a lightweight world title eliminator.





Check it out:

Mikey Garcia Knocks Out Dejan Zlaticanin To Become Three-Division World Champion; VIDEO:
An Encore Presentation of Saturday’s SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING¬ģ Telecast Will Air Monday at 10 p.m. ET/PT on SHOWTIME EXTREME

Click HERE For Photos from Esther Lin/SHOWTIME


LAS VEGAS (Jan. 28, 2017) – Leo Santa Cruz reclaimed the WBA Featherweight Championship, executing a brilliant game plan to dethrone Carl Frampton in a rematch of their epic first fight in the main event of SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING Saturday in front of 10,085 raucous fans at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.

With the scores 114-114 draw, and 115-113 twice, both fighters now own a majority decision and promised to settle the score in a trilogy.

The fight picked up where the champions left off last July in Brooklyn with tremendous action and back and forth exchanges, but it became immediately evident that Santa Cruz had adjusted his game plan.  The three-division world titlist worked off the jab, fought with patience at range and picked his spots perfectly.  The brawler out-boxed the boxer.

Frampton (23-1, 14 KOs) was more aggressive in the second half of the fight and attacked on the inside, but his aggression opened him up to effective counter shots from Santa Cruz (33-1-1, 18 KOs).

Santa Cruz, who has made a living with trademark aggression and high volume output, was clearly more patient in the second fight.  He threw 884 punches, well below his division-leading average, including over 400 jabs.  Frampton, of Belfast, Northern Ireland, managed to throw nearly 600 punches, but he connected at just 22 percent.

As was the case in the first fight, the rematch was fought at times at a blistering pace, especially in the second half.  Frampton and Santa Cruz combined to throw 193 punches in the final round, 90 of which were thrown by Frampton, the most he threw in any round of the fight.

“Before the fight, I said I wanted revenge and I wanted to work hard,” said the 28-year-old Santa Cruz.¬† “I went to the gym and I worked hard and I did what I had to do.

“My head was telling me to go forward and pressure him, but my dad and corner were telling me to box him. That’s what I had to do. I always fight for the fans, but tonight I fought for myself too.”

Leading into the rematch, it became evident that Santa Cruz and Frampton were perhaps forever linked.¬† Santa Cruz had promised to earn back his title and grant Frampton a rematch, while Frampton didn’t shy away from expressing his desire to make their rivalry a trilogy.


“Of course I want the rematch,” Santa Cruz said after the fight.¬† “I’m a man of my word and I said if I won I would give him the trilogy.¬† Carl Frampton is a good fighter. ¬†Let’s make a third fight.”

The two-division titlist Frampton, who was the consensus 2016 Fighter of the Year, told SHOWTIME Sports reporter Jim Gray that Santa Cruz deserved the decision.

“It was a very tough fight,” said Frampton, who turns 30 years old next month.¬† “Some of the rounds were close. ¬†I really think Leo deserved it.¬† He told me what he was going to do. The brawler was out-boxing the boxer. My fault. ¬†I’m sorry. We will have to do it again. ¬†We have to do it again.

“He was very clever and he used his reach.¬† I think he deserved it. ¬†I’m being honest. ¬†But it was a very good fight. ¬†I think I can perform slightly better. ¬†No excuses.

“Let’s do it again. I hope he’s a man of his word and comes to Belfast. ¬†I hope he does.”


Mikey Garcia became a three-division world champion with a vicious third-round knockout of previously undefeated defending WBC Lightweight World Champion Dejan Zlaticanin in the co-main event of SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING.

The rousing and definitive victory marked Garcia’s return to boxing’s elite.¬† The Oxnard, Calif., native was an undefeated two-division champion when he entered a two-and-a-half year layoff due to promotional issues.¬† He returned last July on SHOWTIME with an impressive performance and made a statement on Saturday by capturing a title in a third weight class in just his second fight in three years.

Garcia (36-0, 30 KOs) kept Zlaticanin off balance and out of range with his jab, setting up powerful rights that repeatedly backed up his opponent.  The 29-year-old hurt Zlaticanin with a flush right uppercut in the final minute of the third, followed by a punishing and perfectly timed right that immediately knocked the Montenegrin out cold.  Zlaticanin remained on the canvas for several minutes before returning to his feet as a concerned Garcia paced the ring.

It was the first time Zlaticanin (18-1, 11 KOs), the most avoided fighter at 135 pounds, was ever hurt or knocked down.

“I’m thankful Dejan, my opponent, is okay now,” Garcia said. “We never wish any bad on anyone in this sport and I’m glad he was able to get up and be OK. ¬†I wished him a great career still, and he said thank you. ¬†I told him he’s still a champion. ¬†Once a champion, always a champion.




Who wins the Carl Frampton vs. Leo Santa Cruz rematch?


Frampton, the champ, is 23-0, (14 KOs).  Santa Cruz, the guy he won the WBA featherweight title from is 32-1-1, (18 KOs).


Listen in:





Carl Frampton vs. Leo Santa Cruz 2
Fighter Grand Arrivals & Media Workout Quotes & Photos
SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING & SHOWTIME EXTREME Action This Saturday, January 28 from the 
MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas
Click HERE for Photos from Esther Lin/SHOWTIME
Click HERE for Photos from Andy Samuelson/

Premier Boxing Champions



LAS VEGAS (January 25, 2017) – Fight week officially kicked-off Wednesday with fighter grand arrivals and media workouts before the Premier Boxing Champions event this Saturday, January 28 from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas and live on SHOWTIME.


Headlining the SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING card and Wednesday’s workout were featherweight world champion Carl Frampton and former three-division world champion Leo Santa Cruz, who meet in a rematch of their July Fight of the Year candidate. Televised action begins at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT with undefeated lightweight world champion Dejan Zlaticanin battling former two-division world champion Mikey Garcia.


Also participating in the workout were a pair of fighters who will be featured on SHOWTIME EXTREME beginning at 8 p.m. ET/PT. Featherweight world champion Lee Selby defends his title against former champion Jonathan Victor Barros while undefeated rising star David Benavidez takes on once-beaten Sherali Mamadjanov.


Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by Ringstar Sports in association with Cyclone Promotions and TGB Promotions, are priced at $504, $404, $304, $204, $104 and $54, and are on sale. Tickets are available at

Here is what the participants had to say Wednesday from MGM Grand:


“I think I’m going to get another win. I feel like I’ve been improving during training and I feel like I’m getting stronger and punching harder. If I have to go into the trenches again, I’m prepared to do that.

“This is my second fight at featherweight, so I think I’m getting more used to the weight. I feel more comfortable overall this time. Going into this fight, I have the psychological edge. I’m relaxed, excited and happy about boxing again.

“Me and Leo are both very motivated. I want to prove that the first fight wasn’t a fluke and that I’m a better fighter. I’m going to show that the awards I picked up last year are justified.

“I think if you look at Leo’s style, it’s exciting and it’s made him a three-weight world champion. The whole way through his career he’s fought with aggression. He has a high work-rate and he tries to bully opponents. I don’t think he’s going to do a lot different this time.

“If I can get a lead on the scorecards and make him desperate, that’s where I’m really going to capitalize.

“I believe that if I hit anyone in these weight divisions clean on the chin, they can go down and out.

“I believe that I’m going to face a very tough Leo Santa Cruz, as always. This is going to be another difficult fight, but if I make the adjustments I’ve had to in the gym, I’ll win the fight more convincingly.

“It’s great to see people already out here supporting me, but there are more coming. Most people arrive tonight or tomorrow. This is just a fraction and it’s going to be really exciting on fight night.”


“I’m very excited and happy to be here. I know that this is going to be another tough fight. This is what we want. We want to give the fans great fights and I think this is going to be another war. I’m looking to go in there and get my belt back.

“It’s a dream come true to be fighting back at MGM Grand. I’ve wanted to fight here since I was a kid. I never thought it would come true, but now that it is, I’m honored and excited to be fighting in the main event.

“It was very hard to lose for the first time. I was disappointed in myself and I knew I had let my fans down. I got a lot of great support thought and I felt a lot better. It motivated me to get to this fight.

“I have to be smarter in this fight. I need to be more patient. Frampton is a great counter-puncher so I think I need to counter the counter puncher. I’ll use my reach and do a little bit of everything to get the win.

“I think this will be even better than the first one. I’m more determined and hungrier this time and I think Carl Frampton is too. We’re going to come with everything we’ve got.

“I look at Carl Frampton and I see myself because I know that he is doing this for his family. This is what we do. Once we get in that ring, it’s all business. We respect each other outside of the ring.

“I can feel that it’s going to be a great atmosphere. This is where we want to be and these are the kinds of fights we want to be in.

“I know a lot of Irish people will be out to support Carl Frampton and I know the Mexican fans will be here to support me. That’s what I want. We both deserve support because we’re going to give a great fight for the fans.

“We want a trilogy. If I get the win, I will happily give him a third fight and make this a great rivalry that goes back-and-forth.



Carl Frampton vs. Leo Santa Cruz 2 & Dejan Zlaticanin vs. Mikey Garcia

Media Conference Call Transcript & MP3

Click HERE for MP3


Kelly Swanson    

Thanks everybody for joining us. What an exciting conference call we have today. We’re talking about Carl Frampton versus Leo Santa Cruz, the rematch, as well as Dejan Zlaticanin versus Mikey Garcia.


I just want to mention that SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING is Saturday, January 28 live on SHOWTIME. It’s a doubleheader presented in association with Premier Boxing Champions and live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.


Tickets are still on sale for that event which is promoted by Ringstar Sports in association with Cyclone Promotions and TGB Promotions and available at


Before we get into the fighters and what they have to say about the event, I would like to introduce Stephen Espinoza, Executive Vice President and General Manager of SHOWTIME Sports to talk a little bit more about the matchups.


Stephen Espinoza

Thank you Kelly. SHOWTIME again is continuing to deliver the biggest fights in the sport, the most important fights and the most meaningful fights. Coming off the December show in which we saw the featherweight title change hands with Abner Mares taking the title and a stellar show this weekend with a title unification fight, or at least an attempted title unification, and the emergence of a potential young breakout star in Gervonta Davis.


We’re thrilled to keep the momentum going with another stellar card. Our co-feature, it is a clich√© but it is absolutely true, this is a co-feature that really has the ability to stand on its own as a championship fight.


Dejan is a young man who won his world title in SHOWTIME, one of the most avoided fighters in the lightweight division, a guy no one wants to fight, no one other than of course Mikey Garcia who needs no introduction, has an A plus resume and is a pound for pound regular.


This is a great, stellar matchup of the all-out aggression and power of Zlaticanin versus the boxer-puncher in Mikey. It’s an intriguing fight. And our main event, truly needs no introduction, for me the Fight of the Year. After a title unification last summer, Carl Frampton moving up in weight to take on Leo Santa Cruz.


It was, no exaggeration to say it was all out action from the first bell to the last. And having spoken to both of these fighters, we don’t expect anything else. We’ve got a stellar SHOWTIME EXTREME card as well which is highlighted by another featherweight world title fight in Lee Selby making his defense. And other very strong supporting parts as well. We’re very happy that this fight is headlining in Vegas. It’s the kind of stage that this fight, this card deserves.


And it’s particularly great to see the featherweights back headlining in Vegas. It really harkens back to the golden era of Barrera and Morales and Pacquiao and Marquez when they were headlining Vegas. And I’m glad these very talented fighters are getting the spotlight.


Okay, thanks Stephen. We’re going to lead with the main event for this conference call. This fight was a 2016 Fight of the Year nominee by every outlet.


The first one took place in July at Barclays Center in Brooklyn and now they’re going across the country to fight in none other than the boxing capital of the world, Las Vegas.


First I’m going to introduce Leo Santa Cruz with a record of 32-1-1, with 18 knockouts. He fights out of Los Angeles, California and he’s a former world champion at 118, 122 and 126. Leo, would you like to make a couple of comments?


Leo Santa Cruz

Thank you very much for your introduction. I really appreciate it. I’m really happy. I’m happy to step back in the ring for the rematch. After the first fight, when I heard the decision and I got my first defeat, there was nothing in my head other than the rematch.


I wanted the rematch because I knew I made some mistakes. I knew I wasn’t the best I could perform so I said I could really improve on things and I think I could get the victory next time. So, in that time, nothing has been in my head other than the rematch and I was very anxious and motivated to give another great show.


The first fight was a great fight for the fans that I love and I’m just happy and motivated to go out there and give another great fight and make it even better than the first one. Thank you.


Thanks Leo. And now I’m going to introduce Carl Frampton. Mr. Frampton is 23-0, with 14 knockouts. He comes from Belfast, Northern Island. He’s a former world champion at 122 pounds, making him a two-time world champion.


He also became the first Irish fighter to win a world title at multiple weight classes when he beat Santa Cruz in July to win his featherweight world title. Carl, a couple words?


Carl Frampton

I just wanted to start off with what Leo said. I think that this is going to be another great fight. I think the last time it was talked about as one of the fights of the year. And I think our styles just gelled really well together. I don’t think it’s going to be any different this time.


Whatever happens it’s going to be competitive up until it ends but I think that, what I’ve been doing this time in training camp, I feel like a fully-fledged featherweight. I was going into the unknown the last time I fought Leo, my first title fight at featherweight.


But I feel like I’ve developed featherweight now, much stronger, bigger and punching harder. And I feel like at the end I’m going to get the win.



Leo, how has training camp been different this time around with your dad being there the entire time now that he’s feeling better?

Santa Cruz     

In the first camp, I didn’t have my dad with me. And me and my brother were doing something that we thought was going to be a good game plan.


But, you know, my dad is smart when it comes to that. My dad is the one who’s always watching boxing. He’s always watching different styles of different boxers and he knows how to fight like different styles.


And this time having him there in the gym with me, he’s telling me specifically like what punches I have to throw with Frampton, how to fight him and stuff like that. And he’s always there pressuring me. He pushes me and gives me that extra motivation and everything.


I’m pushing myself harder to train, to go out there and give it my all. We’re going to go with a great game plan to go out there and try to beat Frampton.


You know that he’s always there telling me how to beat him and now that I have him there, we’re going to have no problems when we get in the fight. Versus Abner Mares was one game plan and once we got over there, my dad wanted me to fight him a different way.


Since my dad wasn’t here, we didn’t come with a big game plan. We had one thing, we had trained one thing with my brother and then when my dad got there, he wanted us to train a different way. So we got confused. We got a little bit frustrated.


This time we are going to be, we’re going to go perfectly fine and we’re not going to have any problems.



How much better mentally have you been in this camp with your dad being there? And you’re not having that weight of his health hanging over your head?

Santa Cruz     

Big, big difference. In the first camp, I was, I think I was worrying more about him, about his health, how he was doing, if he was going to be able to go to the fight with me or if he was even going to wake up the day after tomorrow to be there with us because cancer is a very dangerous disease that you could be here with us then today or tomorrow you won’t be here with us.


Now thank God the cancer is in remission, in complete remission. But he’s doing a lot better and so my mind is clear and my mind, the only thing on my mind is the fight. That I want to go out there and do a great fight for all the fans. And hopefully it will be another Fight of the Year.



What would you say, maybe what ways could you improve?

Santa Cruz     

I’m going to go and fight the same way. But no, I could change it up. I like to go out there and make it exciting. That’s what the fans love. The fans love for a fighter to go toe to toe in a fight. And that’s why I always try, that’s why people say I only fight one way.


But the reality is that I could fight any way. I could adopt any way. I could box. I could move. But the truth is I don’t really like moving because I like entertaining the fans because, they go out there to see the great fights, wars, toe to toe.


But then they tell me that at the end of the day, you have to be smart. You have to fight for yourself and go out there and win. And I could do that. I could fight.


For this fight, I’m going to try to do that. I’m going to go out there and try to make it for me to come up with the big dream victory. And I’m going to go out there and everybody is going to be surprised at what I could do.



How do you keep yourself on an even keel from being excited to happy and looking forward perhaps to the BWAA banquet and getting the awards, and all that kind of stuff but also knowing that it would kind of really be depressing to have to have to kind of go to pick up your 2016 Fighter of the Year award if you’re coming off a loss to Leo Santa Cruz?


Yes, I’m not really thinking about that to be honest. I think that it might affect other fighters given all these awards and put pressure on them. And certainly, it puts a little bit more pressure on me especially going straight into the New Year in 2017 with such a difficult fight.


But I have said since I tuned professional is that I perform best under pressure. And what these awards are doing is simply filing your head full of confidence. I want to go out and prove that these awards are justified, that I deserved to be the Fighter of the Year last year.


I’ll have to take off two thirds in 2017. I’m going straight into the deep end. A rematch with a three-weight champion in Leo Santa Cruz is justified and that 2016 wasn’t a one off. I think 2017 potentially can be better than last year.



How do you get yourselves mentally prepared for that kind of battle again? Can you fight at that level and that kind of veracity once again knowing how tough of an appointment Leo is and how hard that first fight was?


Yes, I think so. I think once you’ve done it once, you always know you can do it again. And I was kind of, I didn’t know what I was getting myself into, really. If I’m being completely honest with you, I don’t think I could have fought at that pace at 122. Fighting at 122 was taking something from my performance.


I just felt like a better man at featherweight. So it was a bit of a risk for me to fight so hard from the start but I did and I was still punching at the end of the fight and I feel like the last round was close but I feel like I may have nicked the last round.


Once you do it once, you have it in your head you can do it again. And there are a few adjustments that I want to make in this fight to make things a little bit easier for myself. I’ve been trying different things out in the gym but I’m prepared for whatever Leo has to throw at me. I understand this is going to be a difficult fight.


But if I make that adjustments that have been, I’ve been working on in the gym, I think that I can make the fight a little bit more comfortable for myself.


If I have to go into the trenches, I’m going to do it. I’ll do whatever it takes to get this one.


I think with our styles it’s going to be another rumble. I think with Leo’s style in particular, he’s just, a typical Mexican fighter, a real warrior, non-stop, and he just tries to overwhelm opponents. And his style just works against a lot of people. And it can work against lesser opponents.


But I’ve got something different. I’ve got a lot of grit and determination. And I can give it back as good as the give it to me. So what I’m expecting, again, another exciting fight. I think that if we fight ten times, they’re always going to be good fights.


Leo are you prepared to do that again? And how do you get yourself psyched up for that kind of really hard, rough fight?

Santa Cruz     

Yes, I know that too. I am excited, because I love to give the fight. I love to give fights that the fans love, that they are always talking about, that they say was a great fight and everything. I get more motivated to go in the gym and train hard. The only thing I do is train harder, train harder and just motivate myself.


And when I’m in the gym training I do that extra push. Once I go up there I can do the same thing in doing the 12 rounds, a hard 12 rounds. If you train hard in the gym and you give it your best, once you go out there in the ring, you’re going to go out there and do the same thing.


The same thing. You’re going to come out like the things you’ve been working out and I have it in my head that’s how I always prepare my fights. I want to go out there and make the fans happy. I give a great fight for all the fans and at the end of the day, when I hear them talking about the fight, how great it was, that’s my reward. That’s my reward of going out there and preparing all this time.


I want to go out there and try to make it a better fight than the first one. Make it a rumble. And I think what I’ve heard from him is that he’d not going to stay this time inside with me. I think he’s going to try to move more and everything.


So in that case, like if he’s going to change it up, I could change it up too. I could box. I could stay on the inside. I could not lunge myself and everything and do things that are going to benefit him. I’m not going to fight his fight.


But once we’re up there in the ring, we’re going to see how he’s fighting, how we’re doing and my corner’s going to be telling me go on the inside and put pressure on him or just to box him and stay on the outside and reach. So, but, whatever he brings, I’m going to bring and if he wants to make it an action fight, I’ll make it an action fight.


We’ve got to be smart out there. And I’m going to go out there and of course I want to please the fans and I want them to go home happy. But at the end of the day I’m going to go out there and do what I think is best for me, what’s going to make me win the fight.


And if I have to box, I’m going to box. If I have to put pressure on him and everything, I’ll do whatever I have to do to get the win.



Carl do you still think you’ll feel like the A side when you walk into the ring with so many fans walking over to support you?


I think that in the arena we’re expecting, we’re probably expecting a little bit more than Leo from ticket, just from ticket sales and the feedback we’re getting back from the arena which is a credit that I support really. Those travel far and wide to see me.


And I would say it’s very expensive to get to Las Vegas from Belfast. And I’m expecting Leo to have more support this time in Vegas than he had in New York. Mostly, you can drive from L. A. to Vegas so he’ll bring a lot more support.


The atmosphere in New York was incredible. I think again it’s going to be even better. I think here’s potentially about 4000 coming from back home, Northern Ireland, the south of Ireland, England and Scotland and Wales coming out to support me. And I think 4000 will be sound like 8000 so it’s going to be a raucous atmosphere, that’s for sure.



Do you worry about being on the wrong end of a poor decision in Las Vegas though?


No, I don’t think you can. If I approach a fight and go into a fight thinking about those sorts of things then it’s not the right frame of mind and the right attitude to take. And I’m just hoping and I’m pretty confident that the judging will be fair. And I feel that it will be fair in Vegas.


It was a good fight, in New York. And it was a very exciting fight and I’m hoping that we get the fans out here in Las Vegas. And I’m confident we will.



Okay, thank you. My first question is for Carl. Carl, do you think that Leo’s tendency to want to braw plays into your hands?


Well potentially it does. I’m a fighter. If you look at me and my stature, I’m a short, stocky guy and people just look at me and just automatically think this guy’s going to be a brawler. But I prefer people to come to me.


And I prefer to box on the outside and I’m being honest. I can mix it up on the inside if I have to but I think that right through my career, I’m a professional. I’ve always preferred guys to come to me and Leo just keeps coming all night. So I think his sort of style, it’s an exciting style but I think that it’s tailor made for mine.


I’m ready for whatever style that comes from Leo. If I’m being honest, I think he’s trying to throw me a dummy. I don’t think he’s going to try to box at all. I think he’s just going to try and even put more pressure on him to come more relentless than he was the last time.


I think that’s their game plan and I think he won’t try to box me. I think that, I honestly think that that’s a mistake from their team because it makes the fight much easier for me.


People go to the body all the time. I’m ready for whatever it takes. You know, I feel like I’m developing. If he goes to the body, it gives me a chance to hit him to the head. So it doesn’t really matter.


I’m expecting a tough fight. He went to the body a lot the last time also and though I believe I’ll have an answer for anything that he shows up with.



Do you feel good about fighting in this venue as opposed to the first time being in New York?

Santa Cruz

Yes, of course. I feel more comfortable there in Vegas. I fought there many times. I think six times I fought there. And I fought on big cards. And there was a lot of people and that’s what I love. I love to hear the people cheer on for me and scream and motivate me. They give me that extra push.


When you don’t have folks cheering for you, like it happened there over in New York, it puts pressure on you and everything. I think it brings you a little bit down I guess but that’s nothing. But I am very comfortable and happy for the fight to be here in Vegas because it’s close to L.A. and I know a lot of people are going to come to support me and everything.


But also I know Carl Frampton’s going to have a lot of support because you know, they’re going to take this as a great advance to come in, the people from Ireland and everything, England. And they’re going to come here to get to know Vegas and take that as their vacation or something like that.


So I know he’s going to have a lot of crowd too and then it’s going to be, I hope that it’s fair. There won’t be any advantages for me or for him. So I hope it’s 50/50 and that we both have, get the same respect and everything from both sides.



Do you concede at all that the cards in New York were fair? Or do you think that you won the fight or that it should have been a draw?

Santa Cruz     

To me, I hadn’t watched the fight. I barely watched it this past week. I barely watched it and the fight I thought was a fairly close fight. I thought the fight was really, really close. It could have gone either way maybe it could have gone my way too like by one point or two.


But I don’t know if you see it that way, but in my opinion I think the fight was pretty close. It could have gone either way. And it was just a really hard entertaining fight that, in my opinion it was pretty close. It could have gone a draw or maybe even a point. It could have gone my way for a point or two.



Carl, with this victory, can you talk about the reception that you got when you went back home and are you even bigger now?


Yes, obviously, it was a big deed to become the first ever Northern Ireland man to win world titles in two different divisions. And I’ve always had great support from back home. But this time, you know, we went back and had to go to a reception that was maybe 6000 people to welcome me back home.


And yes with each fight, I seem to be getting more fans from back home and obviously I’m very, very grateful for that but I think a lot of credit has to go with the guys, like Leo Santa Cruz because people back home, they understand boxing. They want to see me involved and fight with great fighters.


So I think the fans enjoyed the last fight especially the ones, the ones that couldn’t make it out, they enjoyed watching it on T.V. And I think it’s important for me to continue to fight fighters of this caliber for the rest of my career.


Closing comments for Carl and Leo?


I’ll just keep it short and sweet. I just think that again it’s going to be a great fight against two great fighters. We’re willing to do whatever it takes to get the win and, you know, two guys with a lot to live up to here especially coming off the back of our last fight.


And I’m sure Leo will say the same that no matter what happens, this is going to be a great fight and one not to miss.

Santa Cruz     

Yes, my message to all the fans, to the media, thank you for making this fight. And I just want to let you know that this s going to be another great fight no matter who the winner is.


We’re doing this for our fans. We’re going out there to give the best fight and we’ll leave everything in the ring to make a great fight. And I know this fight is going to be even better than the first one.


So I encourage other people to watch it live in Vegas or they can watch it on SHOWTIME. And they don’t want to miss this fight because we’re both fighters that believe we’re going to go out there and get the win. And that makes it a bigger fight.


So I just want to tell you guys, don’t miss the fight. And thank you for all the support.


Thanks, I’m going to introduce the co-main event. First up, he’s 35-0 with 29 knockouts. He’s trained by his brother Robert out of Riverside California and they are hailing from Baja, California.


He has won world titles in two weight divisions and he had recently returned after a long layoff to stop former champion Elio Rojas in July and now he has the opportunity to fight for a title. So Mikey, you want to make a couple comments?


Mikey Garcia      

Well I’m very happy to be here. Very excited. Very grateful for the opportunity that’s been given. I’m ready to get back and get back what’s mine and get back where I belong. I think this is a wonderful fight and I think January 28 is only the beginning of this next stage of my career which will be the best stage of my career. (more…)


Irish Star & Undefeated Prospect Josh Taylor Prepare for Saturday, January 28 Showdowns at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas


Click HERE for Photos from Ryan Greene/Premier Boxing Champions


LAS VEGAS (January 17, 2017) – Undefeated featherweight world champion Carl Frampton hosted media at his training camp in Las Vegas Tuesday ahead of his highly anticipated rematch with former three-division world champion Leo Santa Cruz on Saturday, January 28 from the MGM Grand Garden Arena and live on SHOWTIME.


Televised coverage begins at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT with undefeated lightweight world champion Dejan Zlaticanin battling former two-division world champion Mikey Garcia.


Frampton was joined by undefeated prospect Josh Taylor; who’s 10-round super

lightweight contest is set to be featured as part of bonus coverage on SHOWTIME

EXTREME at 8 p.m. ET/PT.


Here is what the participants had to say Tuesday from Porter Hy-Performance Center in Las Vegas:



“This camp has been even better than the last one. I had a few problems with my hand during the last training camp but this camp has been brilliant. I’ve been able to put a lot of effort into every session.


“I’m hungry to prove that this wasn’t a fluke. I see some people talking on the internet that I got lucky last time or that Leo would have won with his father in camp the whole time. But I believe there is a lot more to come for me. I’ve been performing better this camp than ever before. I think I win this fight more convincingly.


“I think Leo is a confidence fighter. I think his pride has made him go straight back to the deep end again. He’s always been bigger than his opponents. At both bantamweight and super bantamweight he was bigger. Even though Leo is taller than me, I’m the bigger man. On fight night I’ll be heavier and stronger than him. He’s been able to bully opponents and wear them out, but he can’t do that to me. I think he’s making a big mistake jumping right back in.


“I got drawn in to Leo’s type of fight last time, which made it very exciting. Because of our styles, it’s always going to be a good fight. If it’s two wins to nil for me, I’d rather move on and fight someone like Lee Selby. I just want to be involved in big fights.


“Obviously, being from where I’m from, fighting in New York was a major appeal, and a lot of guys on the East Coast are attracted to an Irish fighter they haven’t seen before. So I got a lot of new support from the East Coast. We brought a lot of people across with us, as well. But now, to be fighting, topping the bill at the MGM in the fight capital of the world, it’s something I never really thought about when I was a kid or when I turned professional. I never really believed I could get to this. But it’s here, and I’m hoping that it can continue for a long time.


“We’re staying at Robert Guerrero’s training camp house, which is a big thing for me in itself. We drove past the MGM Grand and saw my face on the side. That was pretty surreal in itself. I just can’t wait to soak it up.


“This was a big fight enough in New York, now I think it’s going to be like New York on steroids. I can’t wait to soak up the atmosphere on fight week, can’t wait for all of my fans to get here, I think it’s going to be a real carnival atmosphere and people are going to enjoy it.”


“Fighting Leo Santa Cruz in the United States, a 3-weight world champion who a lot of people thought was going to beat me and beat me comfortably, that was a big deal. That was the real turning point of my career. And I think there’s more to come. I’m 30 in February, but I don’t feel any signs of slowing up.


“I genuinely feel like I’m getting better and I think Leo’s going to be in for a tough night here. If I can do what I’ve been doing here in the gym, perform like I’ve been performing in sparring, I’m hurting sparring partners, knocking sparring partners out. I feel like I’m developing, developing into a proper featherweight and I feel like he’s going to be in for a tough night.


“We’ve got a chef in the house that we’re staying at, cooking and preparing our food. We’re training at Shawn Porter’s gym here. It’s a great facility and they’re looking after us, Shawn and (Kenny) Porter. It’s nothing really to deal with apart from the time difference. I reckon it takes a day for every hour of time difference.”



“This is the first time I’ve been in Las Vegas and I’m definitely a little star struck by the strip and the big buildings. I’m really have a great time though and it’s a good experience. (more…)