Tonight at 10 pm ET on Showtime, we’ll have live coverage of a world title doubleheader, headlined by Carl Frampton and Leo Santa Cruz rematching in the featherweight division.
Frampton (23-0, 14 KO) defeated Santa Cruz (32-1-1, 18 KO) last July at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Tonight, they meet again at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, with the WBA "super world" featherweight title once again on the line.
In the co-feature, Mikey Garcia (35-0, 29 KO) looks to claim the WBC lightweight title in a fight against titleholder Dejan Zlaticanin (22-0, 15 KO). Garcia has held belts at 126 and 130, and wants to make it three world titles this evening.
There will also be live fights on SHO Extreme beginning at 8 pm ET. David Benavidez (16-0, 15 KO) will meet Sherali Mamajonov (14-1, 7 KO) in an eight-round super middleweight bout, and Josh Taylor (7-0, 7 KO) will face Alfonso Olvera (8-2-1, 3 KO) in an eight-round junior welterweight fight. The originally scheduled fight between Lee Selby and Jonathan Victor Barros was canceled on Friday when Barros was denied a boxing license in Nevada.
Wil Esco will be here with live coverage for the main card at 10 ET. Join us!
ROUND BY ROUND
Round 1: Santa Cruz comes out trying to utilize his length on Frampton. Frampton jabs to the body and comes back with a hook to the head. Santa Cruz unleashes a four punch combination. Feels like we're picking up right where the last fight left off. Frampton backs up Santa Cruz to the ropes. There's definitely some visible tension in the ring. Santa Cruz using his jab and punching in combination. Frampton returns the favor. Both fighters exchange combinations. I'm giving the slight edge to Santa Cruz. Santa Cruz 10-9.
Round 2: Both men come out a little more respectful of each others power to start the round. Santa Cruz making an obvious adjustment in this fight in that he's not stalking Frampton, he's making the shorter Frampton come to him and using his longer arms to dictate range. Nice right hook lands for Frampton. Santa Cruz responds with a nice jab. I'm going with Santa Cruz again. Santa Cruz 10-9, 29-18.
Round 3: Frampton comes out feeling like he has to press Santa Cruz a little more to change up the momentum. Santa Cruz continues to lay back and make Frampton step to him, cutting him off with a long jab. Frampton dodges a three punch combination from Santa Cruz. Another jab lands for Santa Cruz. Santa Cruz is effectively using distance which I think continues to give him the edge. Close round but I'm still leaning towards Leo. Santa Cruz 10-9.
Round 4: Jabs come early and often from Santa Cruz, and effectively so. Frampton lands a nice body shot. Both men get to big exchanges and it's Leo Santa Cruz who backs out to get back to boxing distance. Santa Cruz is fighting very disciplined. Frampton hits the deck but it's ruled a slip. I still like Santa Cruz. Santa Cruz 10-9, 40-36.
Round 5: Frampton lands a good combination on Santa Cruz. Frampton really has to turn the tide to get back into the fight. Frampton looking like he's starting to figure out a little something with feints to get in position to hit Santa Cruz, then retreats when Santa Cruz wants to retaliate. Santa Cruz comes with a late rally which nearly nicks the round for him. But I'm going to go with Frampton, 10-9.
Round 6: Hard left hook to the body lands for Santa Cruz, Frampton then returns his own. Another liver shot lands for Santa Cruz, and then another. Santa Cruz making a concerted effort to go to Frampton's body this round. Santa Cruz continues to whip left hooks to Frampton's body. Frampton now trying to throw right hooks to Santa Cruz's body. Santa Cruz staring to breath heavy in this round, something to keep an eye on going forward. Santa Cruz goings on the attack again to end the round. Santa Cruz 10-9, 59-55.
Round 7: Frampton lands a nice right hand counter over Santa Cruz's jab, he probably should've started that sooner. Both fighters get into another short skirmish where they exchange combinations. Santa Cruz going to work with volume punching. Santa Cruz using more lateral movement than he usually does and it's paying dividends. The Santa Cruz jab is making a huge difference in this fight, along with Santa Cruz not giving up his height and reach advantages. Nice right hand lands for Santa Cruz. Santa Cruz 10-9.
Round 8: Frampton really needs to make an adjustment in this fight. Frampton getting a little more aggressive and trying to get into Santa Cruz's wheel house. Right hook to the body lands for Frampton. Both fighter's take turns throwing shots, most of them partially blocked. Frampton pushes Santa Cruz to the ropes and then the two get into exchanges. I'm going with Frampton for his effective aggression. Frampton 10-9, 74-78.
Round 9: Trainer Shane McGuigan tells Frampton that he's down one round before round 9 kicks off. Santa Cruz's long and straight punches proving to be a problem for Frampton. Both fighters again exchange punches at center ring. Jab, jab, jab from Santa Cruz. Santa Cruz continues to turn it on to end each round. Santa Cruz 10-9.
Round 10: Frampton continues to look to land his left hook but it frequently falls short. Santa Cruz continues to lay back for the most part and left Frampton walk into punching range. Frampton gets Santa Cruz to the ropes and lands a good left hook. Frampton having a difficult time coping with Santa Cruz's tactics in this fight. Frampton leaps forward with two punches that don't land clean. Santa Cruz 10-9, 98-92.
Round 11: Frampton seems to know he has to come on strong late. He's getting increasingly aggressive with coming forward. Leo pumps the jab while Frampton tries to keep Santa Cruz on the ropes. It's surprising that since it's been Santa Cruz who has been laying back that he's still managed to throw so many more punches than Frampton thus far. Frampton rips a few hard hooks to end the round which edges it for him. Frampton 10-9.
Round 12: Quick hug from both fighters to open up the last round. Santa Cruz back up and circling the ring, seemingly to run out the clock. Two body shots land for Santa Cruz. Frampton needs a knockout to win on my card. Frampton throws a flurry while Santa Cruz ducks and weaves. Both fighters find their way back to center ring and trade shots, much to the crowd's delight. More straight shots land for Santa Cruz, that's been the difference since Round 1. Santa Cruz 10-9. I have the fight 117-111 for Leo Santa Cruz.
DEJAN ZLATICANIN vs MIKEY GARCIA
Round 1: Both fighters meet at center ring, Zlaticanin presses forward to try to close distance on the taller, longer Garcia. Zlaticanin runs into a jab, then a straight right. Garcia is using his technical ability to keep Zlaticanin on the end of his punches. Garcia continues to poke Zlaticanin with his jab. The first round shows that Zlaticanin is going to have a tough time getting past the size disadvantage against a very sound boxer. Garcia lands two consecutive hard jabs. Zlaticanin couldn't get much of anything done. Garcia 10-9.
Round 2: Garcia comes out pumping the jab a dozen times, maintaining distance against the shorter fighter. Zlaticanin tries a straight left to the body which looks to fall short. Garcia throws a couple 1-2 combinations on Zlaticanin. Garcia sneaks in another jab right through the guard. Another hard 1-2 lands for Garcia. Zlaticanin whiffs on a big right hook. Garcia shoots a right uppercut on Zlaticanin. Garcia is in complete control early. Garcia 10-9, 20-18.