Leo Santa Cruz: Is 3rd Time a Charm?
By: Francisco Martinez
Coming off a masterful performance that surprised most, Leo Santa Cruz channels his focus into a good deed. Using his superstar status to round up the masses in a charity event for a great cause. A humble beginning to Leo Santa Cruz life a beginning he hasn’t forgotten. Having grown up with no car and using the bus as means for transportation and at times a bicycle. Leo Santa Cruz has not forgotten where he comes from even with now being the owner of a 300k Lamborghini that he bout straight from Floyd Mayweather Jr. himself. The always humble Santa Cruz gives as much to his fans when outside the ring to when he’s inside the ring.
Holding a charity event that rounded up hundreds of his fans to give them the opportunity to own a piece of history as he raffled away his fight gear from the night he avanged his sole defeat by the hands of Carl Frampton “Whatever I can do to give back to all the people who helped me out and also the kids with cancer. It’s really hard to pay the bills so whatever I can do is my pleasure and I’ll do it with my heart” acts of kindness that those who know Leo Santa Cruz will say it’s not something he hasn’t done before.
Contributions from the raffling would be donated to the W.B.C. Cares program & Padres Contra El Cancer. Both programs aim to aid the fight against cancer by offering emotional and financial support. A cause Leo Santa Cruz aids with his full effort and ability to give back as he proved it by donating his ring attire for the benefit of both organizations and children around the world who have fallen ill. Visit WorldBoxingCares.com & IamHope.org for more information.
As for the boxing side of things for Leo Santa Cruz the 126lbs class is one of the most stacked divisions in boxing today. Apart from Leo Santa Cruz and his 2x rival Carl Frampton veteran Abner Mares & Lee Selby along with Oscar Valdez, Gary Russel Jr. all wait in the wings to possibly face Santa Cruz next. Who’s the biggest draw out of the division. The King Of L.A. a name earned back in 2015 when he soundly defeated Abner Mares in front of 13k fans at the Staples Center. A 3rd fight between Leo Santa Cruz & Carl Frampton would be the most lucrative in the division however it’s not certain if that fight is possibly next with the terms of the venue in the 3rd fight seeming to be a sticking point for both camps. As Carl Frampton stated right after the 2nd fight with Leo Santa Cruz
“Let’s do it again…I hope Leo is a man of his word. He said if there was a 3rd time he’d come to Belfast” However in boxing things don’t work like that. There’s a negotiation process and the venue is just one hurdle to making a fight of this magnitude possible. Leo Santa Cruz won’t confirm that a 3rd fight is being negotiated as we speak unlike Carl Frampton and his team are claiming “Like I said I’m a man of my word. If it was up to me I’d go fight him over there right now, already but I have to talk to my team, my manager cause I just can’t say I’m gonna go. Who’s gonna make the fight? I can’t just make that decision but if it was up to me and my manager asked me if I wanted to go fight over there I would say yes. It’s up to my promoter and team” he goes on to say
“I would like to fight him right away but Frampton wants to fight in Ireland so if the fight is not made over there I don’t know if he’s gonna want to fight me over here so if he fights somebody else, I’ll fight somebody else. Maybe unify against Lee Selby. A rematch against Abner Mares. There’s Oscar Valdez, Gary Russell, whoever. I’m willing to fight whoever. I want to fight the best and give the fans a great fight”
Leo Santa Cruz is more than willing to travel across the pond but his team is not so sure if that’s a good idea. One of the key members in Leo’s team is head trainer and father Don Jose Santa Cruz. Who’s say has a lot of influence over Leo. Don Jose had this to say about the potential of his son facing Carl Frampton for a 3rd time in Belfast, Northern Ireland “No, he can forget about another fight. He can come here and we’ll fight but we won’t go over there. They took the fight away (from us) in New York so if we go over there with more of a reason they’ll take it again. He can come over here and we’ll do it but over there, no”
Don Jose Santa Cruz admits Abner Mares deserves another crack at his son if the 3rd fight isn’t possible with Carl Frampton “There’s Mares. Mares deserves an opportunity” he also adds his thoughts on how he feels a potential rematch would play out with Abner Mares “To be honest I don’t know. They have somewhat of the same style. If Mares fights clean they can make a good fight but if he’s dirty like the first 3 rounds (like the 1st fight) it’s going to be a ugly fight but I’ll prepare him (Leo) so that he isn’t able to grab, hug him”
Leo Santa Cruz added this to the talk of an Abner Mares rematch “He did look like a different Mares but like I proved already I can change my tactics. Once I get up there I can see what style to fight him with and I’ll make it easier for me. I don’t think the fight will play out differently. I’ll still come out victorious. If he boxes me I’ll do different tactics. We’re gonna go with the perfect game plan to beat him. We’ll work on different styles. If he boxes, we can fight like that. If he brawls, we can fight like that. Whatever he comes with we’re gonna have an answer”
Just 2 weeks removed from his masterful performance over Carl Frampton, Leo Santa Cruz makes it known all top 126 pounders are options and from the sounds of it the trilogy with Carl Frampton will have to take place somewhere in the U.S. as Leo’s father made it clear they won’t risk having another fight taken away from them. Hopefully both teams, Frampton & Santa Cruz can come to terms in making this trilogy happen as it would go down in history as one of the greatest 3 fight series in boxing.
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