Carl Frampton insists that size won’t be a factor when he faces Mexican world champion Leo Santa Cruz this Saturday night.
The Belfast boxing ace faces his biggest test to date when he steps in against the taller and rangier Santa Cruz, who has two-and-a-half-inches over him in height and a telling seven-inch reach advantage. However, former unified super-bantamweight world champion Frampton does not believe that going in as the smaller man will have any bearing on how the fight plays out.
“Most opponents I have faced have been taller than me. So I’m used to fighting guys that are taller than me. I had probably about 180 amateur fights and I came up against all different fighters,” said Frampton.
“My sparring partners are always taller than me. I like to spar big guys. So, I’ll be used to it. And what people haven’t really brought up and mentioned yet, is Leo Santa Cruz started his pro career at bantamweight. I finished my amateur career at featherweight.
“So I feel like on the night I’m going to be the bigger man, although he’s taller than me and he’s got a longer reach. I’m going to be physically stronger. I’m going to be stronger, I’m going to be punching harder I feel and I’m going to be in front of him,” he said.
The Ulsterman has also warned him that he is willing to leave it all in the ring to get the victory in what will be a defining fight in his career.
“I will be able to push him back if I want to do that. So this is something that I don’t think Leo has come up against yet,” Frampton said.
“I hope that he’s expecting a tough fight, because I’ve prepared very, very hard for this. I’m willing to put everything on the line and do anything really, to get the win,” he said.
Three-weight world champion Santa Cruz goes into the fight expecting it to be an explosive matchup.
The WBA Super champion puts his featherweight title on the line and is well aware of the momentum undefeated Frampton has behind him, believing this has the makings of a ‘fight of the year’ candidate.
“This fight it could be a fight of the year or a great fight like those I had against Abner Mares and Kiko Martinez,” said Santa Cruz.
“Carl Frampton is a great fighter. He has everything. He has great skills, footwork, great puncher, he has great power. So that being said, it’s a big fight, it’s going to be entertaining and what we’re going to do is we’re going to go out there and make it a great fight.
“We know that he’s undefeated. He hasn’t tasted defeat. I know he’s going to come with everything because he’s not going to want to let that all go. But that’s also more motivation for me, because I know he hasn’t lost and I want to be the first one to give him his first loss.