Following Carl Frampton’s first loss, where he lost his WBA world title to the man he’d originally won it from, Leo Santa Cruz, there was some criticism of Frampton’s approach during the fight as well as the instructions he was receiving in the corner.
Leo Santa Cruz made visible alterations in his approach to the fight, utilizing his height and reach advantages — combined with a good jab — to keep Frampton from closing the distance without paying a price. But that Frampton wasn’t able to make the necessary adjustments to turn the tide in the fight led to English broadcaster Johnny Nelson suggesting that trainer Shane McGuigan wasn’t giving Frampton useful advice in between rounds.
McGuigan, though, tells the Belfast Telegraph that was in fact giving Frampton proper direction, but that it was just an off night from Frampton.
"I know that Johnny Nelson gave me some stick but I know what I was saying in the corner, I know the advice I was giving and what I wanted Carl to do.
"It's very disappointing. I thought the problem was that Carl's feet were not very fast, he was a little bit off. He lost the first round badly and after that I felt he was knocked completely off his game plan," said McGuigan.
The trainer would continue by saying that he directed Frampton to make better use of his speed rather than loading up on shots on the inside, but that Frampton wasn’t able to successfully pull it off and became too predictable during the fight, which Santa Cruz used to his advantage.
"We had a great camp so it's strange. In the changing room he seemed a little bit drowsy… he was very calm and he knew what he wanted to do but didn't implement it in the first round and then just forced everything and it just shows how tough a guy Carl is, a gritty guy that he can keep digging deep.”
McGuigan finished by saying that although it wasn’t Frampton’s best performance, things would’ve been different if he utilized more head movement and noted that Frampton didn’t perform as he had been during training camp. Either way, McGuigan believes Frampton definitely has what it takes to win a third installment.