Frampton: Santa Cruz Sees Mares Rematch as Easier Than Me

By Keith Idec

Carl Frampton feels Leo Santa Cruz is pursuing a rematch with Abner Mares over a rubber match against him because Santa Cruz thinks it’s an easier fight.

Santa Cruz has repeatedly stated that he’ll battle Mares again if they win their featherweight title fights Saturday night in Carson, California. The target date for the Santa Cruz-Mares rematch is sometime in March in Los Angeles, according to Richard Schaefer, whose company is co-promoting the FOX doubleheader that’ll feature Santa Cruz and Mares (7:30 p.m. ET/4:30 p.m. PT).

“He admitted in an interview that I’ve seen that Mares is an easier fight, so sometimes he says things that he probably shouldn’t,” Frampton told Sky Sports on Friday. “That’s probably the reason why.

santa-cruz-mares (1)

“He’s had two very difficult fights with me. He beat me, I beat him. Both close fights, both good fights, both pretty intense fights, and I think that he probably feels that it’s an easier fight with Abner Mares.”

Santa Cruz (33-1-1, 18 KOs) defeated Frampton (23-1, 14 KOs) by majority decision in their 12-round rematch January 28 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas to win back the WBA “super” world featherweight title. Frampton beat Santa Cruz by majority decision in their first 12-round bout in July 2016 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn to take the title from Santa Cruz.

The 29-year-old Santa Cruz also owns a majority-decision victory over Mares (30-2-1, 15 KOs), his Mexican-American rival from Southern California. Santa Cruz beat Mares more convincingly than he later defeated Frampton in their August 2015 fight for the WBA “super” world featherweight title at Staples Center in Los Angeles.

Northern Ireland’s Frampton still hopes to lure Santa Cruz to the United Kingdom, preferably his hometown of Belfast, for their rubber match. He isn’t opposed, however, to fighting Santa Cruz in the United States for the third time.

“I think there is more chance than ever of it happening in Belfast,” Frampton said. “But again, if I have to travel, then I’m up for that. I think with the new set-up I have at the minute [with new promoter Frank Warren], there’s more chance than there was say six months ago that it will happen this side of the water.”

However, Frampton added, “I loved it in America. That’s where everyone wants to be fighting. I love fighting at home. I do love fighting in Belfast, but I also have no objection to fighting in Las Vegas or New York again. I loved it both times.”

Frampton is scheduled to fight for the first time since losing to Santa Cruz on November 18 in Belfast. He’ll meet Mexico’s Horacio Garcia (33-3-1, 24 KOs) in a 10-rounder at SSE Arena.

On Saturday night, Frampton will pay close attention to the Santa Cruz and Mares fights.

Santa Cruz, of Rosemead, California, will encounter Chris Avalos (27-5, 20 KOs), of Lancaster, California, in the 12-round main event. In FOX’s co-featured fight, Mares, of Downey, California, will defend his WBA world featherweight championship against Mexico’s Andres Gutierrez (35-1-1, 25 KOs) in a 12-rounder.

Gutierrez was supposed to fight Frampton on July 29 in Belfast, but Gutierrez fell in the shower after their weigh-in July 28, sustained cuts to his chin and nose and damaged two of his teeth. Those injuries caused Gutierrez to pull out of their fight and the entire card was canceled.

Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by jonnyc420 on 10-14-2017

Mares vs. Frampton would be a good one. I think it would be a close one.

Comment by ShoulderRoll on 10-14-2017

And what exactly have you done since the rematch, Frampton? At least Abner Mares poses a threat and has a recent win on his belt against a world class opponent.

Comment by EdWins on 10-14-2017

sit down, he beat you twice bruh....

Comment by THC on 10-14-2017

For every name mentioned in this article, I'd like to see just one of them call out Rigo at 126. Selby can get it too if he wants. This clinical dance around Rigo is/has been fcuking pathetic.

Comment by AdonisCreed on 10-14-2017

I would like to see Carl Frampton vs Gary Russell Jr or Abner Mares!! I'm not to crazy about a trilogy with these guys. But if Santa Cruz decided to do one I wouldn't be TOO mad at it.

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (11)
Top Headlines Danny Garcia vs. Shawn Porter Purse Bid on Friday Jaime Munguia: Facing Canelo Would Be a Dream Fight For Me WBA's Mendoza Hopes For The Best With Celestino Caballero WBC Prez: Adonis Stevenson Must Face Gvozdyk, But... Photos: Leo Santa Cruz Putting in Work For Abner Mares Clash Canelo Set To Return To The WBC's Rankings in June Golovkin-Derevyanchenko: IBF Ruling is Expected Soon Naoya Inoue vs. Jamie McDonnell Showdown Lands on ESPN+ Photos: Naoya Inoue, Jamie McDonnell - Size Up in Japan Tiara Brown Inks Promotional Pact With Lou DiBella Stevenson-Jack Broadcast Peaked at 611,000 Viewers on Showtime Luis Nery vs. Jetro Pabustan is Finalized For June 9 in Tijuana Crawford vs. Horn: Pedraza, Shakur Stevenson Plan To Impress David Benavidez - Legal War Looms Between Sampson, Top Rank Whyte Questions The Courage of Pulev, Pressures Him To Sign Naoya Inoue Says The Goal is To Blast Out Jamie McDonnell Bellew: I Punch Harder Than Fury, He's Fighting a Cruiserweight Callum Smith: I'd Rather Wait and Fight Groves, Not Eubank Jr. Eric Molina Suspended By UK Anti-Doping For Failed Test Gilberto Ramirez vs. Roamer Angulo Lands on BoxNation News: Darragh Foley, Armin Mrkanovic, Thomas vs. Bunting Alex Saucedo Expects Big Crowd For Home Fight With Lenny Z Mayweather Certain Stevenson Will Fade in Jack Rematch, Too Bradley: Mikey Garcia is a Dangerous Fight For Lomachenko Josh Warrington vs. Carl Frampton Could Go To Neutral Territory Trainer: McDonnell Very Prepared, in Form For Naoya Inoue Wilfredo Vazquez Jr. is Alleged To Have Beaten Man at Gas Station Wilder Dares Joshua To Back Up "F*** Him Up Bad" Boast Jono Carroll Believes He Has The Edge Over Declan Geraghty Errol Spence: Tank Davis Would Smoke Lomachenko! Luke Campbell Hopes a Rematch is Finalized With Yvan Mendy Virgil Hill Discusses The 175 Landscape, Stevenson vs. Jack Coach: Pacquiao Punished Buboy, He'll Be Ready For Matthysse Tyson Fury Plans To Pursue a Medical Career After Boxing Celestino Caballero To Be Released From Prison Carlos Cuadras Leaves Rehab, Ready To Get Back in The Mix David Benavidez vs. Anthony Dirrell Ordered By The WBC Manager: GGG Avoided Derevyanchenko on 5/5 & They Know It Photos: Canelo Shows Off His Trimmed Down Physique Jaime Munguia vs. Liam Smith Talks Continue To Play Out

Latest Active Forum Threads