Santa Cruz interested in Frampton

After defending his title against Cesar Seda, Leo Santa Cruz has his eyes on Carl Frampton. Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

SAN ANTONIO -- After Leo Santa Cruz retained his junior featherweight title for the first time, outpointing Puerto Rican southpaw Cesar Seda on Saturday night in an exciting fight at the Alamodome, he came to ringside and told those of us on press row that was interested in next defending against Carl Frampton, the top contender from Northern Ireland.

That was music to my ears because I happen to think that is a fantastic fight. Both are hungry, exciting fighters who always give the fans a good show. And you know that any fight with a top Mexican fighter against a top Irish fighter is going to have their fans in a lather.

Santa Cruz mentioned Frampton because Frampton called him out before Saturday’s fight.

“I think I beat him,” Frampton said before the fight. “I don’t know if I stop him or if I beat him on points. He’s very easily hit. He reminds of a smaller version of Antonio Margarito, and you saw what Manny Pacquiao did to him. Pacquiao is obviously a world-class fighter, an amazing fighter and probably my favorite fighter, but it’s movement.

“People with that sort of style, they can’t really seem to deal with movement, and if you’re moving around them and hitting them hard while you’re doing it, that’s what’s going to be their downfall and I can certainly do that.”

Although Frampton (17-0, 12 KOs) draws big crowds in Belfast, he said he would be willing to come to the United States to challenge Santa Cruz for his world title.

When told that Santa Cruz (26-0-1, 15 KOs) had expressed a desire to fight Frampton, Barry McGuigan, the Hall of Fame former featherweight champion and Frampton’s manager, said simply, “I love it.”

Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer, Santa Cruz’s promoter, said it’s a fight that he would be interested in making and that he will address the possibility in the coming weeks when it’s time to discuss Santa Cruz’s next bout.