Carl Frampton was steadfast in his desire to face Leo Santa Cruz for a third time in his next fight. However, he seemed to temper that statement and suggest another option by saying he wants to fight in his home of Belfast in Northern Ireland next as a way to pay back his fans who have followed him on the road for his last four fights. Hopefully, Santa Cruz treks to Belfast for an immediate rematch, satisfying both those goals, he said.
“I want to fight Leo again, straight away,” Frampton admitted at the post-fight press conference from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on Saturday following Santa Cruz’s majority decision win to get back the WBA featherweight title. “I won the first fight. He won the second. Let’s just do it straight away,” he said, before taking a deep breath. “I want to fight in Belfast next,” he went on. “That’s what I want to do. I feel like I’ve been on the road for two years now. My fans are having to pay a lot of money to support me and I want to thank them. I would like to repay them with a fight at home and hopefully that can happen. But again, I think the decision was fair tonight. I think it was fair in the first fight (in July in Brooklyn). So let’s get it right and settle the score in number three.”
Santa Cruz (33-1-1, 18 knockouts) seemed open to the idea of going to Belfast for a third fight, but he also appeared amenable to fighting someone else, such as another titleholder, if the rematch with Frampton (23-1, 14 KOs) didn’t happen right away. So, the question remains if Santa Cruz would be willing to travel to enemy territory.
“I’m a man of my word and a true champion will go anywhere,” Santa Cruz said. “I know the crowd will be all for him and it’s going to be really hard. I’m willing to go over there. A true champion goes anywhere.” Moments earlier, however, Santa Cruz acknowledged, “If they want to make a trilogy, I’m up for it. But there are many options out there, too.”
If Santa Cruz decides to go to Northern Ireland, he wouldn’t have to worry about where to stay. Frampton cracked up the audience at the presser when he offered his home to Santa Cruz in the event he went to Belfast. “I came to the states twice now and Leo has said he would come to Belfast for a third time,” Frampton said. “I hope he’s a man of his word. He can come and stay at my house if he wants and we can get it on for a third time, and after that I would be happy to go to LA. Who knows? This could be three, four, five (fights). who knows?”