Frampton v Santa Cruz: Carl Froch says Frampton 'in no real danger of losing'

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Frampton v Santa Cruz: Belfast man ready to emphasise dominance over Mexican in rematch
WBA featherweight world title bout: Carl Frampton v Leo Santa Cruz
Date: Saturday, 28 January Venue: MGM Grand Hotel, Las Vegas Start: From 04:00 GMT (Sunday)
Coverage: Live commentary on BBC Radio 5 live and BBC Radio Ulster, plus live text commentary on the BBC Sport website and BBC Sport app

Carl Frampton is "in no real danger" of losing his WBA world featherweight title in Saturday's rematch with Leo Santa Cruz, says former super-middleweight world champion Carl Froch.

Santa Cruz, 28, believes he can avenge Frampton's points victory from last July when the duo meet in Las Vegas.

However, Froch says Belfast's Frampton, 29, will again prove too strong.

"I expect a better Santa Cruz but I just think Frampton is just that little bit special," said Froch, 39.

Carl Frampton (left) lands a punch on Leo Santa Cruz during his win over the Mexican in July 2016
Frampton's win over Santa Cruz last July came five months after his triumph against Scott Quigg

Frampton 'gets better and better'

Frampton's growing status in the sport after his outstanding 2016 was emphasised as he was officially handed the Ring Magazine boxer of the year honour in Las Vegas on Thursday.

Froch says the award was well deserved after a year in which Frampton also beat England's Scott Quigg in a world super-bantamweight unification contest.

"Every fight Frampton has, he gets better and better and learns a little bit more," added Froch.

"He tweaks his style slightly, improves his defence, his offence and his foot movement.

"He's got Barry McGuigan around him and Barry's son Shane in the corner and the whole set-up is getting things right."

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I hold psychological edge over Santa Cruz - Frampton

Frampton to 'overcome Santa Cruz reach again'

Santa Cruz has vowed to up his game, with the Mexican's influential father and trainer Jose having played a full part in the build-up to Saturday's fight after battling cancer prior to the New York contest.

Froch believes the former three-weight world champion will attempt to utilise his height and reach advantage much more effectively than six months ago, but that Frampton will be ready to counter this.

"Carl is able to adapt and cope so well," he said. "He manages to get his feet in and just get out of way of the shots enough so that he is still in range to land his counter punches."

"When you have got somebody who is giving you head movement and timing shots well and being deceptive with his style and being quick with a high work-rate, it's difficult to use your reach.

"If you fall short with the jab and hit clean air, it's tiring and you get counter-punched. Santa Cruz might try and get behind his jab and box a bit more but I don't think he's going to have enough to beat Carl Frampton.

"It's going to be another barnstormer and a really, really tough fight, but I think Carl Frampton is in no real danger of losing."

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