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  • By Miguel Maravilla Photo by Scott Hirano -

Leo Santa Cruz Talks Frampton & Last Round Promotions Card

Undefeated WBA featherweight champion Leo "El Terremoto" Santa Cruz (32-0-1, 18 KO's) of Lincoln Heights, California by way of Huetamo, Michoacan, Mexico is gearing up for his next challenge as he will be taking on undefeated former world champion Carl Frampton (22-0, 14 KO's) of Belfast, Northern Ireland. Santa Cruz vs. Frampton will take place next month Saturday July 30 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York live on Showtime Championship Boxing. We spoke with the champ about his preparation on upcoming fight with Frampton, and his fight card he will be promoting this Saturday night.

"This is a big fight against Frampton who is a very skilled fighter. Carl Frampton is one of the best," Leo Santa Cruz told Southern California "I am excited to be fighting in New York fighting in front of new fans its a new experience for me. There will be a lot of Frampton fans also but it will be only me and him in the ring," Santa Cruz added.

Training at his headquarters, the Who's Next Boxing Gym in Industry, California, Santa Cruz has been working with his brother Antonio Santa Cruz along with his other brother former world champion Jose Armando Santa Cruz.

"Everything is going great even with my dad not being here. I come here to the gym and train hard just like he tells me to. I have been getting good sparring for this camp," Santa Cruz said."My brother Antonio has been training me in the gym and my dad tells my brother at home what to work on in the gym. It has been different without my dad here screaming at us and telling us what to do, when he does its for our best," Santa Cruz added.

Camp has been different this time for the Santa Cruz brothers without the presence of trainer and father Jose Santa Cruz. His father was recently diagnosed with cancer and had surgery as he is currently in the process of receiving treatment for his illness. Limiting his role for this camp and preparation for Frampton as camp has been some what quiet without the demanding instructions of his dad.

"My dad is strong, he already had surgery and the next day he tried to walk because he is mentally strong. One thing my dad always said is, if you are weak in the head you wont achieve anything. Right now he is undergoing all his therapy," Leo Santa Cruz said. "My dad will be at the fight in my corner, they are giving my dad treatment now so he can be with me the day of the fight. The only thing I want is for my dad to be there," Santa Cruz added.

Coming off a fifth round stoppage of former world champion Kiko Martinez this past February in Anaheim, California, Santa Cruz battered Martinez as he successfully defended his WBA featherweight title for the first time.

"I always go out there and please the fans. That's why I got him in the first round, dropped him twice and I thought I was going to finish him but he got stronger. The next couple of rounds we were going toe to toe while it lasted till I got him in the fifth," Santa Cruz said.

Earlier that day across the pond Carl Frampton unified the WBA and IBF super bantamweight titles with a dominant performance winning a decision over previously undefeated Scott Quigg and breaking his jaw in the process at the Manchester Arena in Manchester, England.

"He has great skills and moves a lot. If he has to, he stays in there and punches. He has great power in that right hand and the left hook. He beat Scott Quigg, he said he could beat me but I will just do my training and work hard in the gym," Santa Cruz said. "I wanted to watch that fight but I was focusing on my fight but I was reading on it. I wont be the same as Scott Quigg, I will go out there and throw a lot of punches," Santa Cruz said.

Last year Frampton made his U.S debut winning a unanimous decision over Mexico's Alejandro "Cobrita" Gonzalez Jr. in El Paso, Texas. In that fight Frampton survived two, first round knockdowns as he rallied to win a decision. Seated at ringside that day was Leo Santa Cruz and his father as he gave us his thoughts on that performance.

"We were at the fight when he got dropped, I was like if I land those punches he wont get up but it's different being ringside and being in the ring," Santa Cruz said. "I think he had never fought a Mexican fighter, I think it was the first time. It was also the first time he fought in the U.S. maybe the time difference affected him," Santa Cruz added.

With camp underway and the fight taking place next month Santa Cruz will have double duties this camp as he prepares for Frampton and this Saturday, Leo Santa Cruz's, Last Round Promotions will be hosting their second fight card in Los Angeles at the Commerce Casino in Commerce, California featuring former world champion Giovanni Segura in the main event. Santa Cruz also spoke to us about his upcoming card.

"Giovanni Segura, a former world champion great fighter and puncher will be the main event. We also have upcoming fighters that will be fighting on the card. "Hopefully all the fans come support us I invite everyone to come watch the fights this Saturday, I will be there," Santa Cruz said.

Santa Cruz vs. Frampton will be a scheduled twelve round championship bout for Santa Cruz's WBA featherweight title.

"We are going to fight a smart fight be patient and stay in the outside, if the knockout comes it comes," Santa Cruz said. "Expect an action fight, a war, we are going to go toe to toe, and exchange power punches, we will give an action packed fight, may the best man win," Santa Cruz added.

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