By Ryan Burton

MGM Grand, LAS VEGAS - Three to four thousand Irish fans are expected to make the trip to Las Vegas this weekend to watch WBC featherweight champion Carl Frampton defend his WBC featherweight title against Leo Santa Cruz. The fight will be a rematch of their thrilling 2016 battle that was named Fight of the Year by some news outlets.

Irish boxing is at a very high point right now with Frampton at the top of the sport and Ireland is doing very well in combat sports in general with MMA star Conor McGregor dominating both MMA and boxing headlines. Frampton takes the comparisons in stride but agrees that McGregor is definitely at the top of the list.

"For combat sports probably (we are the top two) but I think McGregor stands alone. He is a huge name all over the world. He is a massive star who I admire a lot but I am pretty happy with what I am doing and the fan base I got," Frampton told

Frampton has a laid back personality that is nothing like the flamboyant McGregor. Frampton said that he has yet to meet the UFC champion but that McGregor reached out to him before some of his previous fights.

"We are completely different characters but McGregor is doing his thing and fair play to him. He seems to be great with it. And why not? I haven't met him yet. He has sent me a couple messages before fights to wish me luck. I am still looking to meet him," Frampton revealed.

McGregor is slated to accompany Irish Olympian Michael Conlan during his ring walk on March 17th, when the boxer makes his pro debut on St. Patrick's Day weekend at The Theater in New York's Madison Square Garden

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