Santa Cruz Defeats Frampton, Calls for Trilogy

Same way of victory. Same score. But a different winner, and a new champion.

Leo Santa Cruz is the new WBA featherweight champion, defeating Carl Frampton for the title on Saturday night’s Premier Boxing Champions event on Showtime. The fight was close all throughout, mirroring the bout they had back on July 30 that proved to be one of the key fight’s of last year.

It may not be a surprise if this fight ends up being a candidate for Fight of the Year for 2017.

Cruz may have just taken a back-and-forth opening round due to utilizing his jab better. In fact, Frampton’s face was red already by the end of the first three minutes. Cruz followed it up by continuing to pace himself and use his jab smartly in the second round.

Frampton started to make adjustments in the third, getting a little better at getting on inside, but Cruz still threw a lot more punches. Frampton went to canvas at the end of round four, but the ref ruled it a trip. Both rounds proved to be difficult to score either way.

Frampton improved and found his distance some more in round five; meanwhile, Cruz worked the body, and he had the champion against the ropes near the end of the round. After another two rounds of practically even action, round eight saw Frampton getting sharper on the inside and making Cruz a little uncomfortable with the fight’s pace.

After an even ninth round, round ten saw Frampton land bigger shots, while Cruz showed better consistency. Clean body shots were thrown by Cruz in the 11th. The final round saw more of Frampton not landing his power shots cleanly, while Cruz threw fast shots that landed with full contact.

While one judge ruled the bout a 114-114 draw, the other two scored it 115-113 in favor of Cruz, giving him the title via majority decision — the same decision and score Frampton won with last summer.

Now, one has to wonder if a trilogy bout will come as a result of this ending.

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