Carl Frampton def. Leo Santa Cruz by Majority Decision (114-114, 116-112, 117-111)
The battle between undefeated champions lived up to the hype, as Leo Santa Cruz and Carl Frampton delivered a fight of the year candidate tonight in Brooklyn. Their fight was all-action from the opening bell to the end, with both men being willing to throw down.
The difference came very early in the fight, as Frampton executed a terrific counter game, avoiding Santa Cruz’s high-volume offense and landing stiff counters in return. In round 2, he visibly hurt Santa Cruz, staggering the champion and nearly sending him down. The first half of the fight was mostly Frampton, to the point that Santa Cruz was far in the hole on the judges’ cards.
In the back half, things shifted to more straight exchanges, often with both men standing center, biting down, and just throwing. Sometimes Santa Cruz won those, sometimes Frampton, sometimes neither, making a lot of the rounds very tough to score. Those later rounds brough Santa Cruz back into it, and made it a draw on one card, but it wasn’t enough for the win.
With that, Carl Frampton is the WBA Featherweight champion, likely setting up a big UK unification fight with Lee Selby. His record extends to 23-0, while Santa Cruz tastes defeat for the first time, dropping to 32-1-1.
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