BOXING: Carl Frampton loses to Leo Santa Cruz - but third fight on the cards

Carl Frampton in the ring with Leo Santa Cruz

Carl Frampton in the ring with Leo Santa Cruz

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Carl Frampton insists he wants a rematch with Leo Santa Cruz after losing his WBA featherweight title to the Mexican on Saturday night in Las Vegas.

Frampton suffered the first defeat of his professional career as Cruz won on points to regain the title.

Carl Frampton in the ring with Leo Santa Cruz

Carl Frampton in the ring with Leo Santa Cruz

After a thrilling fight which saw one judge score it 114-114 and the other two 115-113, both Cruz and Frampton said they wanted a third fight.

Frampton said: “It was avery tough fight, I feel Leo maybe deserved it.

“I want to apologise to the travelling support. The best man won.

“I am gutted, but we have to do it again, it is 1-1, we have to do it again

Carl Frampton in the ring with Leo Santa Cruz

Carl Frampton in the ring with Leo Santa Cruz

“It was a good fight, I feel I can perform slightly better than that.

“I hope he is a man of his word. He siad if it was the third time he would come to Belfast.”

Barry McGuigan supported his fighter’s call for a rematch adding: “I would love to see that happen.”

Cruz, who said he wanted revenge after losing the first time around to Frampton, said he was happy to give Frampton a third fight.

“I wored hard for this, I want a third fight. I will be happy to give it to him.”

Cruz put in a thrilling display in their rematch in Las Vegas.

The Belfast man stunningly took Santa Cruz’s belt in July, but the Mexican deservedly regained it with a majority points decision at the MGM Grand that ends Frampton’s unbeaten record.

One judge scored the contest at 114-114, but the other two gave it 115-113 in Santa Cruz’s favour and the two fighters are set to slug it out once more to complete the trilogy, possibly in Belfast.

The tone was set with an explosive round as both men came out swinging wildly, but it was Santa Cruz, improved massively from the Barclays Center fight last summer, that connected with the most and he shaded the second round as well.

Frampton began to find his range, but Santa Cruz was relentless with a productive jab and he continued to outscore the champion through the middle rounds of the fight.

Frampton won some rounds back and finished strongly in the 12th in a bid to claim a knockout, but Santa Cruz held firm to take the belt and hand down a first defeat in 48 fights to his opponent.