This past weekend was a major one for the lower weight classes as Leo Santa Cruz defeated Kiko Martinez in defense of his WBA title at Featherweight, and Scott Quigg and Carl Frampton clashed to unify the IBF and WBO titles at Super Bantamweight.
A lot of what will happen next will hinge on Guillermo Rigondeaux´s next fight, as the Super Bantamweight standout faces James Dickens at the Echo Arena in Liverpool this coming March 12th.
After his win over Quigg, Frampton appears to be in the best position for his next fight as he can apparently pick and choose opponents. Quigg will need some time off to recover from a reported broken jaw.
Leo Santa Cruz will try to lure Frampton for a major fight in the United States under the Premier Boxing Champions banner. Frampton has fought in the United States one time in the past, a successful title defense against Alejandro Gonzalez Jr this past July in Texas, and his management team knows that conquering the American market can be very lucrative.
But British promoters may want to keep Frampton on the British Islands for a defense or two of his unified IBF and WBA belts, and if that is the case, Rigondeaux could prove to be his next opponent. That the Cuban is making his UK debut later this month could make the deal a whole lot easier to make. The fact is that Britain is a strong market for boxing and Frampton may very well find his best payday will come if he stays at home.
Santa Cruz and Rigondeaux have a history as well, as both men have been talked about as potential rivals for years.
This past weekend as Leo Santa Cruz prepared for his bout with Kiko Martinez his father and trainer Jose Santa Cruz left no doubt about their disdain for Rigondeaux in an interview taped by Univision in the Spanish language.
Santa Cruz stopped a reporter short when asked about the technique of Rigondeaux “You think he is technical? Who says he is technical? You? He does not have any technique. What he has is a ton of fear in himself. All he does is run.”
He continued “I have nothing against the young man, but when he is presented with a real hard fight, a complicated fight, he does not fight, he runs. He is a baby chicken in the ring”.
Santa Cruz went on to add “ïf they fought, the minute Leo hit him the first time, we would not see him the rest of the fight”.
So assuming Rigondeaux gets by his March 12th date with Dickens, it will be interesting to see which way Carl Frampton turns for his next big fight. Rigo or Leo? Despite the rhetoric from Jose Santa Cruz, those two will likely avoid each other until one of them dispatches Frampton.
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