Leo Santa Cruz won a majority decision victory against Carl Frampton in their highly anticipated rematch, re-claiming the WBA featherweight title at the MGM Arena, in Las Vegas, Nevada.
At the end of the night’s affairs, the judges at ringside scored the contest 114-114, 115-113 (twice).
In an exciting opening round, Santa Cruz worked well from behind the jab, keeping Frampton at bay and refusing to get drawn into a war.
The second round was close, but managed to keep the pace of the first. Santa Cruz used his jab to keep Frampton at a distance, whilst Frampton was able to find more success and repel attempts from Santa Cruz to get inside.
When we moved into the third, the tempo started to slow. Frampton was able to find slightly more success, but Santa Cruz outworked the man from Northern Ireland with accurate punching and landed a fantastic counter when backed up by Frampton toward the end of the round.
Early in the fourth, Frampton was able to move Santa Cruz back and by the end of the round, the pair were stood trading power punches in a scenario that is much more favourable for Frampton.
In the fifth round, Frampton was able to unload a nice combination early on, whilst Santa Cruz continued to fight well behind the jab. As the round drew to a close Frampton landed a nice shot but Santa Cruz retaliated well.
In the sixth round, Frampton found more success with his combinations, and although Santa Cruz seemed slightly tired he was able to land a body shot that hurt Frampton.
As we moved into the seventh round the contest got up close and personal. Santa Cruz started to breathe quite heavily during the round and Frampton’s right eye began to swell.
The eighth round was fought at close quarters with Santa Cruz finding the best of the action, catching Frampton with some wonderful counters.
In the ninth round, both fighters stepped their game up. Santa Cruz, in particular, was able to land some big shots and caught Frampton with some wonderful counters in an all out brawl at the end of the round.
Going into the tenth round, the brawl continued. We saw another good exchange between the two fighters, however, once again, Santa Cruz seemed to have the edge.
As we entered the championship rounds, Frampton went on the attack, targeting the body of Santa Cruz, who kept his defence tight and moved well. Both fighters let their hands fly during the round and both were able to land some good punches.
The final round was another close one. It began with an embrace, but when the bell rang both fighters unloaded for the entirety of the round. When it is was all over, the two warriors embraced once again.