SHANE McGuigan claims Carl Frampton’s knock out of Hugo Cazares put the wind up Leo Santa Cruz, but warns once ‘The Jackal’ has ownership of the IBF title no super bantamweight will have an excuse to avoid him.
Cruz had said he was keen on a contest with Frampton, but his team have cooled on a WBC title defense against the Belfast puncher in recent weeks. Indeed they suggested the former European champion was not in their immediate plans.
Trainer McGuigan believes that Frampton’s recent stoppage of two weight world champion Hugo Cazares in Belfast earlier this year has a lot to do with that change in attitude.
“He is getting better and that’s why Santa Cruz didn’t want to come over. The Mexicans don’t take note unless you beat a Mexican,” McGuigan said.
“When he knocked out Kiko Martinez, they just thought it was any old opponent, but when he fought Cazares they stood back and took note. He is feared now in the super-bantamweight division but once we get that title, he is in a much better driving position.”
As Cruz wasn’t Frampton keen Cyclone Promotions had to divert attention away from the WBC belt and back to Kiko Martinez and the IBF strap. It was that or wait around till early next year to evoke their WBC mandatory status.
So a world title fight in a possible out door venue on September 6 against Martinez, a foe Frampton stopped to become European champion back in February of 2013, was announced yesterday.
Since loosing to the 27 year old popular Belfast pug, Martinez has gone on to win the IBF strap and defend it on the road twice-all three wins coming by stoppage. They suggestions are the Spaniard, who holds a first round knock out victory over Bernard Dunne, has improved since he last traded leather with ‘The Jackal’. However, Shane McGuigan disagrees.
“I don’t think he has improved. I think the best Kiko Martinez has been beaten by us and that just shows Carl’s level that night. He has tweaked a few things. He doesn’t rush in as much and doesn’t get hit as much. He has a good tight defence but Carl is so accurate with his punching and has such good distance control.”