Carl Frampton loses Santa Cruz rematch

It's the first loss of the Belfast fighters career

Carl Frampton loses Santa Cruz rematch

Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Presseye/William Cherry

Carl Frampton lost his WBA (Super) featherweight title in the early hours of Sunday morning after a majority points loss against Mexican Leo Santa Cruz.

In a result that was almost the exact opposite of the opening fight between the duo in New York last July, one judge scored the fight as a 114-114 draw, with the other two giving Santa Cruz the win 115-113.

The Las Vegas crowd were treated to a pulsating fight, with both men living up their their 2016 Fight of the Year. Neither fighter scored a knockdown, but Santa Cruz's stronger start to the fight, gave him a lead on the judge's scorecard that he would not relinquish.

Magnanimous in defeat, 'The Jackal' who suffered the first defeat of his career, said the the better fighter won the bout, with both men saying they would be willing to have a deciding match, to settle the trilogy.

"I hope Leo is a man of his word", Frampton said in the ring, after the fight. "He said if there was a third time, he'd come to Belfast. I hope he does".

After reclaiming his title, Santa Cruz said he was not happy with his performance, claimed he could have "put on more pressure".

"I'm a man of my word", the Mexican added, when asked about a potential rematch. "Let's do it again".

Frampton returns to Belfast after suffering the first loss of his career, but with his reputation enhanced internationally.