Leo Santa Santa Cruz earned a majority decision win tonight in his rematch against Carl Frampton in front of a rowdy crowd at the MGM Grand to reclaim the WBA featherweight title.
Judge Burt Clements scored the bout 114-114, but Dave Moretti and Glenn Feldman scored it 115-113 in favor of Santa Cruz.
This rematch certainly lived up to the hype. In July, Frampton earned a majority decision win over Santa Cruz and handed him his first defeat.
In their first fight, Frampton baited Santa Cruz into a brawl and proved that he was the more explosive and technical fighter. Frampton has the shorter reach, but he used his footwork and head movement to bully his way inside and land those snappy, explosive punches. Santa Cruz tried to beat Frampton at his game, and it cost him their first fight. Frampton was just too slippery, fast, and crafty for Santa Cruz.
Tonight, the tables turned when Santa Cruz handed Frampton his first loss. Both put on a spectacular performance. We hoped that Santa Cruz would fine tune his strategy in this rematch. Otherwise, the outcome wouldn't have been any different. Santa Cruz has a different set of strengths, including a height and reach advantage, which proved to be very beneficial factors in tonight's performance. Instead of being roped into another war, Santa Cruz used his reach and jab more effectively and maintained his distance from Frampton. Also, he landed some beautiful shots to the body. Frampton's footwork is on a superior level, but as the rounds progressed, he seemed to slow down. Santa Cruz did a great job of following up his jab with power shots to the body, which seemed to impact Frampton.