New promoter, fresh outlook – Carl Frampton heads forward and wants that third fight with Leo Santa Cruz

Gennady Golovkin-Canelo Alvarez is not the only fight that needs a rematch. Featherweights Carl Frampton and Leo Santa Cruz, who are currently all tied up at 1-1, also need to fight again – in a rubber-match that could be as thrilling as it would be evenly fought.

Frampton, who lost his perfect record and his belt in his rematch with the Mexican warrior earlier this year, has had, by his own admission “A disastrous year” here in 2017. “The Jackal” not only lost his belt/unbeaten record, but he also split, quite surprisingly, with mentor Barry McGuigan. Now, however, the 30 year old who has won belts at two weight classes, is ready for a fresh start.

Under new promoter Frank Warren, Frampton, 23-1(14) will return to action against a TBA in Belfast on November 18 (“It can’t be a mug,” Frampton told The Belfast Telegraph when talking about his upcoming fight) and then, all being well, Frampton will get the big, big fights next year. And although there are plenty of options out there for Frampton in 2018 – Lee Selby, Gary Russell, Oscar Valdez and Josh Warrington being amongst the big name possibilities Frampton has listed for himself – there is one man Frampton really wants: Santa Cruz.

“Santa Cruz is the fight I want because I feel I have a score to settle,” Frampton told The Belfast Telegraph.

Indeed he does, and how much do we want to see Frampton and Santa Cruz settle their rivalry! The first fight, which took place in New York in July of 2016, was a great fight, a genuine FOTY candidate that saw both men go to war in a dandy that was won by the Irishman via majority verdict. The return fight, which took place in Las Vegas this January, saw Santa Cruz fight a smarter, more intelligent fight as he out-boxed Frampton to win a close decision of his own; also a majority verdict.

Fans simply need to see the final installment of this trilogy next year, and there really is no reason to think it won’t happen. Santa Cruz, 33-1-1(18) must first get past Chris Avalos next month, and then win his return with Abner Mares (targeted for next year) while Frampton must put a result in his win column against TBA in November.

Then, finally, these two featherweights will go to war again in their ultimate decider. This fight is not going to go away!