sport

Santa Cruz targets Frampton

WBC world super-bantamweight champion Leo Santa Cruz has set his sights on Belfast's Carl Frampton.

The Mexican sensation was too good for Cristian Mijares in Las Vegas as won emphatically on points, and if 27-year-old Frampton (17-0 12KOs) can see off Hugo Cazares at the Odyssey Arena on April 4 then a meeting between the two super-bantamweights is on the cards.

"Carl's been saying he wants to fight me and I've seen him in a couple of fights," two-weight champion Santa Cruz told BoxNation.

"He's a great fighter, undefeated, he comes forward like me and throws parallel punches and pressures a lot. So I think it would make a really great fight for the fans.

"If he wins [against Cazares], it could be the next fight which happens. He's in an eliminator to fight me in his fight, so if our managers can work out something I think it can definitely happen next."

Santa Cruz (27-0-1 15KOs) has taken notice of Frampton as he has blitzed his way past a host of top line contenders in recent outings.

It is this exciting and crowd-pleasing style which Santa Cruz, 25, believes could make for an instant classic when the pair finally square-off in the ring, though he is not expecting it to last the full 12 rounds.

"I come forward; he comes forward, so there will be no running. I think it will be a fight where we are both in the middle of the ring, giving a war and I think neither of us is going to want to go back," he said.

"It could be 'Fight of the Year'. I don't think the fight would go the distance; it could finish before the 12 rounds the way that we will fight.

"I think he [Frampton] comes forward well, and is strong, always pressuring. But I think he drops his hands too much - I think that's one of the mistakes he does. I could catch him or I could work the body and finish him right there."

Frampton's popularity in Northern Ireland has seen him sell out arena-after-arena in his last few fights and Santa Cruz is open to crossing the Atlantic, possibly as early as this September.

"It doesn't matter to me where I fight him. It's up to wherever my manager and promoter think the best place is," he said.

"I'll fight him wherever. If they want me to fight him in Ireland, I'll come over and fight him in Ireland. If they want me to fight him here [United States], I'll fight him here. Wherever they make the fight I'm willing to battle him.

"I think the fight is likely for between September-November around those months. After this fight [against Mijares] I'll take a little break and get ready for those months because it's a big fight, so we have to have a little more time to get ready for it."