Lets take a look back at the Carl Frampton vs Leo Santa Cruz 2 full fight – from start to finish.
It was expected by many to be another coin flip of a fight and our own Peter Wells predicted that Santa Cruz would edge a close encounter over 12 rounds.
In the end, Peter proved to be on the money.
Going into to the bout I wasn’t sure what adjustments Santa Cruz might be able to make technically but to his credit, he fought a smarter fight second time around.
Having said that, even though he won a majority points decision in Vegas, Frampton gave a brilliant account of himself again.
The sportsmanship between these two great athletes after the fight spoke volumes on why so many in boxing were looking forward to the bout.
Indicative of the quality of the fight too of course, yet again, but in the end, the right man got the nod I thought.
The first round started off with a more strategic focus from Mexican Santa Cruz then the first fight, accompanied by a superior punch output – saw him win the first round well.
The second continued in a similar vein with Santa Cruz using effective straight punches.
The third was more competitive, I thought Frampton edged it. He showed some nice left hooks and managed to start to close the distance a bit on the longer Santa Cruz.
I couldn’t split them in the fourth round.
Frampton started to work Santa Cruz’s body but the Mexican’s jab controlled much of the round again. Tough one to score.
Santa Cruz by the fifth had shown he had learned from the first fight in terms of measuring distance against Frampton and won another round on my card.
Frampton pushed the pace in the sixth round and had some success with that left hook that he was trying a lot of up to this point.
The Jackal just scraped the round for me but it could have done either way.
Round 7 was another competitive affair. Santa Cruz’s accuracy was on display here, but not his usual work rate, while Frampton tried to push the pace again.
The fight had really come alive by the 8th with both men letting go full blooded shots.
Frampton seemed like he was able to walk down Santa Cruz here and for aggression and power shots landed, I’d give him the round.
Round 9 was a big one for Santa Cruz who landed a terrific left hook on the Irishman.
What a fight this was in Vegas. Fans certainly got their money’s worth.
Santa Cruz showed versatility in the 10th by turning counter puncher for a change, nailing Frampton on the way in at times.
Santa Cruz’s superior punch output was enough to give him the 11th for me and in general, I had him up in the fight because of this incredible work ethic but also more polished display than the first fight.
Frampton knew he needed to finish big and he closed the last round out strong in a thrilling three minutes.
But it was too little too late.
What an amazing fight though. Two guys who left it all in the ring.
A rubber match, dream trilogy fight in Belfast later in 2017 now awaits.
I think it’s fair to say that everyone will watch this fight again.