Another fighter states desire for Frampton fight in Belfast

While José Santa Cruz may not be keen for his son Léo to travel to Belfast to face Carl Frampton, more fighters continue to state their willingness to make the trip to the Titanic City.

This time it is the turn of undefeated rising star JoJo Diaz [23(13)-0], the #8-rated fighter in the division.

The southpaw 24 year old told AleetBoxing that “I would love to go to Belfast, I would love to showcase my skills out there, gain some fans out there. I don’t mind travelling at all, as long as we all come to an agreement and the contract is signed.

“I’m not scared of anybody, I’ll fight anybody in the 126lbs division I want to make a name for myself. Everybody’s human, they bleed, they cry, they sweat just like me.”

A major stumbling block to such a fight would be Diaz’s promotional contract with Golden Boy, who generally do not work with Frampton’s adviser Al Haymon – although much stranger things have happened in the world of boxing before.

Frampton [23(14)-1(0)] has not fought in Belfast since February 2015, and intends to finally make his return, preferably at the Windsor Park football stadium, this Summer.

Santa Cruz reclaimed the WBA featherweight title from Frampton last month in Las Vegas. While he had previously promised a rubber match in ‘The Jackal’s’ home town, the recent signs are that he will renege on this pledge due to the wishes of his father (who believes that Santa Cruz would be at risk of an unjust judges’ decision should he travel to Belfast).

While hopes still remains for a Frampton-Santa Cruz Belfast battle this Summer, any deal would need to be made in the next day or so, with the WBA set to order a title defence for El Terremoto against Abner Mares – who holds the much-mocked ‘regular’ belt.

Diaz is the third fighter to openly state their willingness to travel to Belfast this Summer, after former WBA featherweight titlist Simpiwe Vetyeka and former British, Commonwealth, and European super bantamweight champion Kid Galahad.

Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: [email protected]