The Godfather Part II, The Dark Knight, The Empire Strikes Back…no matter how great the original was, sometimes in life the sequel is just better. As a fight fan there are many great examples, Gatti vs. Ward, Pacquiao vs. Marquez to name a couple and it’s this type of fight we hope to see on Saturday night. Carl Frampton and Leo Santa Cruz served up a fight of the year contender that has us seriously excited for the rematch. Two warriors who don’t back down from a fight and simply want to prove to themselves and the world that they are the best. If you missed that fight, then you missed out…but…the fight gods have been good to you and this Saturday night you get a second shot.
If this fight is half as good as the first one then we’ll be talking about this for a long long time. SO…who’s gonna win? Well here are the key’s to the fight…
Leo Santa Cruz is a very good fighter and works very well behind a strong jab. Problem is, he doesn’t use it as often and as effectively as he could. He normally has a height advantage against most fighters but has the tendency to fight small and as a result not make the most of it. It was a mistake in the first fight and he can’t afford to make the same mistake again.
Whoever does the better job of setting the pace and tempo of the fight will win. Both fighters are at their best when they are applying pressure and can dictate the action. Neither fighter is used to taking a step back to anyone, and it’s a beautiful thing to see. Whichever man can impose their will on the other for the longest time, will see their hand raised at the end of the fight.
Carl Frampton is an excellent all around fighter but he has one glaring weakness, and that’s movement, specifically footwork. When you watch him closely he has a dangerous tendency to move consistently move backwards in straight lines. Couple this with raising his head and leaving himself exposed to counter punches out of a clinch, and you have a recipe for disaster. Santa Cruz isn’t a typical high mobility, move and hit with angles
Frampton especially, is comfortable working on the inside and can dominate. Santa Cruz is an equally capable pressure fighter who is also happy being head to head with another guy and going to work. The problem is Santa Cruz’s defence when fighting on the inside, his right side is always open and therefore is extremely vulnerable to left hooks. If Carl Frampton can consistently put together combinations in the clinch, then Santa Cruz will be in for a depressing evening.
FRAMPTON BY UD
While he has some obvious vulnerabilities which can be capitalised on, Leo Santa Cruz is not the type of fighter to be able to do it. Both men have similar strengths and will try to do similar things which means this fight will purely come down to execution. If it pans out like that then I believe Carl Frampton is a better fighter and will execute like it.
Whether I’m right or wrong, either way it will be one hell of a fight!