Carl Frampton says he will take 4,000 fans to Las Vegas for Leo Santa Cruz rematch
By Tim Hobbs
Last Updated: 02/12/16 8:58am
Carl Frampton has warned Leo Santa Cruz he will be taking on Britain's best supported boxer in January, with at least 4,000 fans heading to Las Vegas.
The Belfast star has an upcoming rematch against the Mexican, who he beat in July to take Santa Cruz's WBA Super featherweight title and become a two-weight world champion.
Frampton has been left out of the voting for this year's BBC Sports Personality of the Year, despite defeating British rival Scott Quigg in a super bantamweight unification fight in February, and then winning the first meeting with Santa Cruz in New York.
On January 28, the 29-year-old will top the bill at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, against an opponent who lives in the neigbouring state of California.
Even if Frampton does not take anything like the 30,000 fans Ricky Hatton brought to America a few years ago, 'The Jackal' is looking forward to proving he currently has the biggest following in Britain.
"Las Vegas is obviously a bit closer to home for Leo and I'm sure he'll bring a lot of fans," he said on the media tour that included Belfast and Las Vegas.
"But I'm bringing at least 4,000 from the UK. Right now, I'm the most well-supported fighter in the UK. It's a great privilege for me.
"Headlining in New York against a great fighter like Leo Santa Cruz was a dream come true. Now I have the opportunity to go to Las Vegas, where Leo has fought a few times. It'll be his first time in the main event there as well and I'm just excited to get out there and feel the buzz of fight week."
Frampton edged a mixed decision at the Barclays Center in the summer to become the first fighter to beat 28-year-old Santa Cruz, a three-weight world champion.
Santa Cruz admitted he has "learned from the first fight that every little mistake really matters" and is promising to win back the WBA title at 126lbs, but 'The Jackal' is confident he will bring the belt back to Britain again.
"I believe he'll come up with a different game plan but I genuinely believe that I'll be able to deal with anything he brings to the ring," said Frampton.
"It's not going to be an easy fight, but I'll do whatever it takes to win and I believe I will. Leo Santa Cruz is a tough fighter with a solid chin.
"But I believe that if I hit any featherweight, or super featherweight, with a clean shot, that I can knock them out. If I'm a little bit cleaner, then I could knock him out. But I'll be prepared to go a hard 12 rounds.
"I believe if I use my brain a little bit more in this one, and don't get dragged into his fight, that I can win it more convincingly. But there will be times in this fight where I'll just have to bite down and fight for my life.
"I'm prepared for anything. I'm ready to keep this title in Belfast and then I'm going to return here for a show in Belfast in the summer."
Frampton's former British rival Quigg will be stepping up to featherweight for the first time to take on Jose Cayetor on the undercard of Anthony Joshua's second world-title defence, live on Sky Sports Box Office on December 10.
Watch Scott Quigg v Jose Cayetor on the undercard of Joshua v Molina, on December 10, live on Sky Sports Box Office. Book the event online here.