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Old 31-07-16, 18:52   #1
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Boxing Irelands Carl Frampton Wins WBA Featherweight Crown

Carl Frampton Says Win was a 'Dream Come True' After Dethroning Leo Santa Cruz to Claim WBA Featherweight Crown in Brooklyn

  • Carl Frampton won on two judges scorecards while the other called a draw
  • The Belfast fighter inflicted a first career defeat on Leo Santa Cruz
  • Frampton began strong but Santa Cruz came back as the fight wore on

Daily Mail UK, 31 July 2016

Carl Frampton hailed his dramatic win over Leo Santa Cruz as a 'dream come true' after capturing the WBA featherweight title in Brooklyn. Stepping up a weight class, the former unified super bantamweight champion, who defeated Scott Quigg to do so back in February, edged a majority decision of 114-114, 116-112 and 117-111 in front of 9,062 wild fans at the Barclays Center.

Cheered on by golf star and fellow countryman Rory McIlroy, the Jackal emulated the feats of iconic mentor Barry McGuigan - who won this belt himself back in 1985, as he dethroned the Mexican to become the first Northern Ireland native to prevail in two different weight divisions.

Known as the Jackal, Frampton began strongly and had the champion backed up on numerous occasions

Despite landing fewer punches than his opponent, Frampton (23-0) said he had stuck to a strategy.

It's a dream come true,' said Frampton. 'I had the dream of winning a world title and I won it, but I never thought I'd win in two divisions. It was a tough fight, I wanted it to be a tough fight because I wanted a fight the people could remember. I respect him a lot. He was a true warrior.
'I had a good game plan. Shane was an unbelievable coach. He told me every time I came back into the corner that we could win this a lot easier. But I won it with my heart, not with my head and I got my hand raised.'

It was the first fight at featherweight and fifth title bout overall for the Belfast fighter, who made a strong start, a series of heavy punches backing the champion against the ropes in the opening four rounds.

But, after absorbing the initial barrage, Santa Cruz upped his work-rate and began to showcase his class, throwing more shots, as the pair traded, before tiring in the final rounds of a thrilling back-and-forth contest.
After suffering the first defeat of his career, Santa Cruz (27-1) welcomed suggestion of a rematch.

'It was a tough fight from the beginning,' Santa Cruz said. 'We knew it was going to be a tough fight, but I thought it was close when I was in there throwing. Maybe the judges were hearing the crowd and thought that every little punch was scoring.
'He has a difficult style, but we know his style and will get him in the rematch. The crowd was cheering, and I think the judges saw that. Maybe, without that, we would have had a draw or maybe a decision.

'It's hard to get your first loss, but now we'll go back to the gym, we'll get the rematch and we'll win. And that loss will mean nothing. I want to have a rematch in Los Angeles, but I'll go to Belfast too.'

In the final round both men gave it their all trading blows but it was ultimately Frampton who prevailed
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