Bernard Dunne: Santa Cruz's 'aggressive tactics' beat Frampton

The former WBA super bantamweight champion gave his thoughts on Carl Frampton's defeat last weekend

Carl Frampton, Boxing, Las Vegas, MGM Grand, Leo Santa Cruz

Image: ©INPHO/Presseye/William Cherry 

Bernard Dunne says he found it difficult to find faults with Carl Frampton's performance during his defeat to Leo Santa Cruz in the early hours of Sunday morning, but pointed out the Mexican's aggressive tactics may have been enough to unsettle the champion.

Frampton came up against Santa Cruz for the first time since he won the WBA featherweight title back in the summer of 2016, when a decision victory in New York was enough to make him a two-division world champion.

The rematch didn't go to plan for the Belfast fighter and Dunne told Monday night's Off The Ball that he found it tough to pick holes in Frampton's performance. He added that his coach in the corner, Shane McGuigan, did what he could to steer him in the right direction.

"To be honest I thought I heard a lot of good things coming from Shane," he said. "He was telling Carl to use fast hands and not to go looking for the big shots.

"The one round where he thought he probably lost that round, he was maybe trying to get Carl to be more active, more aggressive and to go forward.

"I think it's hard to fault him. You can tell your fighter everything you want him to do but when you're fighting at that level, it's very hard. Santa Cruz is a helluva fighter and he was fantastic on Saturday evening."

Dunne cited Santa Cruz's aggression as the main difference between the first and second fight, explaining that the 28-year-old had done his homework after his decision defeat.

"He came out of the blocks and made sure not to make the mistakes he made in the first fight when he went behind and then he had to start chasing. Carl just picked him off after that. He didn't make that mistake on Saturday and tactically he was superb.

"Santa Cruz was quite aggressive. OK, he wasn't standing toe-to-toe with Frampton and leaning in with his head and trying to swing away, but he was very aggressive technically. I don't think he stood off, I think he brought the fight to Carl and won it with crisp sharp shots."