When these two met last July in New York, it was Carl Frampton who made not just the US, but the whole world take note.
Prior to the fight pretty much all the US boxing pundits had written of Frampton’s chances of defeating the then undefeated Mexican Santa Cruz.
12 gruelling rounds followed and Frampton was judged the winner and in the process, claimed the WBA Super Featherweight title and the accolades his victory deserved from the boxing fraternity.
On Saturday night, Santa Cruz will get his shot at revenge on the 29-year-old from Belfast as the two meet again at the MGM Grand, Las Vegas where this time it is Frampton who is defending the WBA Super Featherweight title.
Fight Record – Carl Frampton
2016 was quite a year for Frampton, World title winner and named ‘Fighter of the Year’ by ESPN, USA Today and Ring magazine were the highlights of a jammed packed year.
Not one to take the easy route Frampton also faced fellow Brit Scott Quigg in February 2016 and won by split decision to retain his IBF super-bantamweight title and claim the WBA Super-Bantamweight title from Quigg before stepping up to face Santa Cruz.
Frampton made his professional debut in June 2009 defeating Hungarian Sandor Szinavel with a Technical knockout after victory in the 2009 Irish Featherweight Finals.
Frampton remains undefeated ever since having won all of his 23 fights to date having won 14 of those by way of knockout.
Fight Record – Leo Santa Cruz
The 28-year-old Mexican is a former three weight world champion having held the IBF bantamweight, WBC super-bantamweight and the WBA (Super) featherweight titles at various stages in his career.
That is an impressive remit from a man who made his professional debut at the age of 18.
Highly thought off by the American media, Santa Cruz has come through some tough challenges including being taken to 12 rounds by fellow Mexican Abner Mares when he claimed the WBA (Super) featherweight title.
A successful defence of that title followed against Spaniard Kiko Martínez before suffering his only loss to date against Frampton last July.
Santa Cruz has had 34 professional fights having won 32 (18 by way of knockout) with one loss and one draw.
Another close fight is expected on Saturday night with not a lot to split the two.
However, Frampton does just edge it in the odds at 4/7 for the win with Leo Santa Cruz out at 6/5. Frampton won rave reviews for his performance last time out but Santa Cruz said after that his head wasn’t quite 100% in the fight after his father’s cancer was on his mind.