By Ryan Burton
LAS VEGAS - Leo Santa Cruz reclaimed the WBA featherweight title Saturday night with a majority decision over Carl Frampton.
In their second fight in six months, the 125-pound fighters thrilled the crowd with furious exchanges over a grueling 12 rounds, with Santa Cruz (33-1-1) avenging his only loss.
Using a punishing jab that often left Frampton (23-1) out of position, Santa Cruz held a 230-133 advantage in punches landed even as Frampton often effectively eluded blows. Santa Cruz delivered another flurry in the 11th round and withstood Frampton’s aggression in the 12th.
“I worked hard and I did what I had to do,” Santa Cruz said. “Carl Frampton is a great fighter. Like I said, let’s get a third fight.”
Judge Burt Clemens scored the fight 114-114, while Dave Moretti and Glenn Feldman had it 115-113.
“Some of the rounds were close, but I feel that Leo probably deserved it,” Frampton said.
Promoter Richard Schaefer of Ringstar Sports is open to the idea of doing a trilogy fight, but wants to sit down with both boxers to discuss the best option. Frampton wants Santa Cruz to come over to Belfast, Ireland for the trilogy bout, but it remains to be seen if that actually happens.
"They are both open to a rematch, but we have to sit down and see what makes sense," Schaefer said. "These are two truly great guys outside of the ring and made for each other inside of the ring. I'm very proud of both of them. It was a spectacular fight just like we expected. Put them in the ring 10 times and you will get that kind of fight 10 times."