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 News: Lerena vs. Mann, Nico Hernandez, Sam Bowen, More Malignaggi: Danny Garcia wins 'close, tricky fight' with Granados Hearn: I Don't Believe We've Yet Seen The Best of Andrade Bob Arum: Al Haymon is Doing a Disservice to His Welterweights Andrade: I'm The Best Talent Out There at 154, 160, Maybe 168's Television Picks of The Week - January 18 UK News: Joyce-Tiffney, Archie Sharp, Danny Dignum, More Why Are So Many Boxing Fans Still Drawn To Adrien Broner? Kovalev Charged With Felony Assault, Allegedly Punched Woman Video: Malignaggi Breaks Down Canelo-Jacobs, Pacquiao-Broner Video: Memo Heredia Talks Pacquiao-Broner, Spence-Garcia Video: Badou Jack Ready For Marcus Browne Clash Video: Broner's Trainer Gives Take on Pacquiao Fight Video: Dillian Whyte Discusses Being a Free Agent, More Maurice Hooker Set For March 9 Defense vs. Mikkel LesPierre De La Hoya: Jacobs Worries Me; 2nd-Best at 160 After Canelo Roach: Pacquiao Hit Me To The Chest - Whole Body Went Numb! WBC: Jack-Browne Winner Will Be Mandatory To Gvozdyk Canelo-Jacobs: Venue TBD, T-Mobile The Current Frontrunner Photos: Warren vs. Oubaali, Ruiz vs. Tepora - Face To Face Photos: Badou Jack, Marcus Browne - Go Face To Face Jacobs Inks New Deal With Hearn, Three Fight Deal With DAZN Photos: Bryant Jennings, Oscar Rivas - Ready For Battle in Verona Photos: Terence Crawford, Amir Khan - Go Face To Face in NYC Ellerbe: Broner Beating Pacquiao is No Upset, This is 50-50 Fight Canelo Alvarez vs. Daniel Jacobs Finalized For May 4 Photos: Serrano vs. Voraberger, Doheny vs. Takahashi - Weigh-In Photos: Jorge Linares, Pable Cesar Cano - Ready For War Photos: Chris Algieri, Danny Gonzalez - On Point To Fight Photos: Demetrius Andrade, Artur Akavov - Ready For Battle Erislandy Lara vs. Brian Castano Tops Showtime Triple, March 2 Ricardo Quiroz To Face Jamaine Ortiz on February 23 Photos: Keith Thurman Putting in Work For Josesito Lopez Weights From New York City: Andrade 159.8, Akavov 160 Hearn Prepared To Win Purse Bid For Wilder-Fury Rematch Broner: Arum Offered Me $2 Million To Fight Pacquiao; F*** Him! Liam Smith vs. Sam Eggington Set Down March 30th Shohjahon Ergashev vs. Mykal Fox on February 15, ShoBox Anthony Yarde vs. Mehdi Amar Set For February 23 Khan: I Think a Brook Fight Is Still There, A Fight I'd Love To Have

Latest Active Forum Threads