Carl Frampton vs Leo Santa Cruz II - Highlights
This night at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, the Mexican Leo Santa Cruz took his revenge on beating Northern Ireland's Carl Frampton in points at the end of a spectacular match, sure candidate for the award of "fight of the year". Santa Cruz has thus regained the WBA Super Featherweight that Frampton had ripped six months ago in Brooklyn.
The majority verdict that awarded the Mexican was as narrow as possible (114-114 and 115-113 twice the licenses of three judges), but it is flawless on the merits and also shared in the scores, since the fight was more balanced than the previous.
The initial round was the worthy preamble to the fireworks that would have animated the whole of the match development: the last thirty seconds, especially, were marked by frenetic exchanges that would become the norm. The second round was rather more tactical, just a pause for reflection expecting a third, which Frampton led widely.
The fight began to turn in the fourth round, when the Northern Irish sinned of security lingering in the guard of the rival with the hands lowered: Santa Cruz trimmed two effective shots and finally put him to the mat on the closing gong. The knockdown seemed caused by a left hook, but it was not of this opinion, the referee Kenny Bayless, who attributed it to a slip of the champion and not arranged to punish it with the count.
The fifth round was going on and off, while the later ones were the prerogative of the Mexican, comforted by the positive results of its strategic choices. Frampton began to suffer too many shots and the Mexican began to always take a greater advantage in scoring. At the beginning of the tenth round, the match seemed to have a clear master in the Mexican.
But the tenth round showed a Santa Cruz obviously fatigued, unlike Frampton. The Mexican relied pride to raise the remaining energy in the last two rounds, knowing they would be decisive. In the eleventh round Santa Cruz came out the winner by the exchanges, with Frampton visibly nervous.
The last, however, was consumed an exciting fireworks display, which saw the two contenders lavish one unspeakable effort in an attempt to win the match. At the closing gong, it was nice to see the two boxers hug right away, as if to witness each other's value. And it was equally good to see Frampton applaud the verdict that declared the loser: a gesture of chivalry ever more infrequent and therefore even more valuable.
Most likely there will be a third fight between the two, tonight gave us a great show!
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