Staff Predictions | Carl Frampton vs. Leo Santa Cruz 2


All photos by Esther Lin/Showtime

On Saturday, January 28, 2017, undefeated Featherweight world champion Carl “The JackalFrampton (23-0, 14 KOs) takes on former three-division world champion Leo “El Terremoto” Santa Cruz (32-1-1, 18 KOs).

This will be a rematch of Frampton and Santa Cruz’s firefight from July of 2016.

Also on the card will be Lightweight world champion Dejan Zlaticanin (22-0, 15 KOs) making his first title defense against former two-division titlist Mikey Garcia (35-0, 29 KOs).

The eagerly anticipated night of action will take place from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas and air live on Showtime starting at 10:00 pm, EST/7:00 pm, PST.

Read on for Round By Round Boxing‘s staff predictions and let us know who you think will win each bout.

Round By Round Boxing Staff Predictions - 2020

NameWinLossTotal FightsWin Percentage
Alex Burgos3360.5
Hans Themistode4260.66666666666667
R.L. Woodson4150.8
Robert Contreras6061

Dejan Zlaticanin
Mikey Garcia


Liam Brady, Graphic Designer/Staff Writer

I think this fight will highlight the difference between a good fighter, and an excellent fighter, with Mikey Garcia being the latter.

Dejan Zlaticanin is crude and obtrusive with his attacks, but I do not think he will be able to walk Garcia down, like he has with his other opponents.

Instead, I think Garcia will impose himself more, due to his superior power, and better refinement as a fighter. I see Garcia countering Zlaticanin a lot, whose shots can be wild and predictable.

Once Garcia has found his rhythm, and he starts landing more frequently, it will be a matter of time before the wheels come off for Zlaticanin.

I say Garcia via stoppage, in the middle rounds, with an enthralling performance.

Prediction: Garcia


Chris Nicastro, Staff Writer

While I don’t think Dejan Zlaticanin is anyone to be overlooked, I see Mikey Garcia taking care of business here.

You can just feel that he’s hungry for this and that he wants to be THE guy at both 135 and 140. I think he’s got the skills, but it is his fight to lose.

I think Garcia takes it with maybe a few bumps on the road here and there.

Prediction: Garcia


CJ Halloran, Staff Writer

Mikey Garcia all the way. Don’t even need to explain myself for this one. I got Garcia by seventh-round knockout.

Prediction: Garcia


Mike Burnell, Staff Writer

In just his second fight since January of 2014, Mikey Garcia finds himself in a title fight with WBC Lightweight champion, Dejan Zlaticanin of Montenegro.

While the southpaw Zlaticanin is the newly minted belt holder, facing challenger Garcia is a huge step up in class regardless of Garcia’s potential ring rust from the aforementioned layoff.

In a fight in which someone’s 0 must go, don’t expect the time off to affect the 29-year-old former champion as he takes over after the second round and systematically breaks down and stops Zlaticanin in nine.

Prediction: Garcia


Alan Garcia, Staff Writer

Mikey Garcia’s resume isn’t filled with top level fighters. It seems like most of his career has been made up of names no one really seems to know. This fight is no different.

The thing about fights that have a marquee name on the headlines, instead of two names, is that the outcome is very predictable. Usually the unbeknownst fighter is the sacrificial lamb.

This fight is easy to predict. Garcia wins by knockout. And as long as Garcia keeps fighting irrelevant fighters, his career will be at a standstill. The round in which Dejan Zlaticanin gets knocked out will be up to how good his skill level is.

Prediction: Garcia


Joseph Rodriguez, Staff Writer

Mikey Garcia is coming into this fight with something to prove, having fought once in the last three years.

Garcia will use the first four rounds to figure out Dejan Zlaticanin, then begin to open up with the left hook on route to a TKO stoppage.

Prediction: Garcia


Alex Burgos, Editor-in-Chief

Mikey Garcia is facing a buzz saw in Dejan Zlaticanin. But, the buzz saw is only one tool, and Garcia has tons more in the shed.

I like Garcia to get over some rough spots early on and stop Zlaticanin in the mid-to-late rounds.

Prediction: Garcia

Carl Frampton
Leo Santa Cruz 2


Liam Brady, Graphic Designer/Staff Writer

It has to be said, I did pick Leo Santa Cruz in the first fight. I thought his work rate, pressure and reach advantage would overwhelm Carl Frampton, who, at the time, I thought, didn’t have enough power at Featherweight to dissuade Santa Cruz.

But, boy, was I wrong. It was a hellacious fight, and we are lucky enough to see a rematch, which is cathartic, considering we have had a recent barn burner (Badou Jack vs. James DeGale) which won’t be getting a sequel.

For this fight, I am picking Frampton. As exemplified in my recap for the first contest, Frampton’s speed and counter-punching was pivotal in the early rounds, in conjunction with his footwork, which enabled him to get out of harm’s way, and nullify Santa Cruz’s straight-lined attacks.

I am confident in believing Frampton has the ability to evolve more, and offer more, as a fighter in the second fight, as opposed to his foe.

He has more layers to his game, and has shown he can box, as well as brawl. Santa Cruz’s inability to adapt, or be diverse, will be a major factor. Though, like the first fight, I do see him winning the latter rounds due to his pressure, as Frampton’s work rate will most likely depreciate, again.

Nonetheless, Frampton, I believe, will win a competitive points decision yet again, which will be facilitated by his boxing ability winning him the early rounds.

Prediction: Frampton


Chris Nicastro, Staff Writer

Last time I picked Leo Santa Cruz and this time I’m picking Carl Frampton, so naturally Santa Cruz is probably going to win.

I’m not sure there’s much Leo can do to take this one this time around. I thought his volume would give Frampton troubles, but Frampton was able to limit the volume with some great counter work.

I see that happening again.

Prediction: Frampton


CJ Halloran, Staff Writer

I got Leo Santa Cruz for this one. He’ll have home advantage here, plus he’s got arguably more motivation in the fight than Carl Frampton.

It will be an incredible fight like its former, but if he can keep to the outside, I got it going to majority decision for Santa Cruz.

Prediction: Santa Cruz


Jack O’Connell, Staff Writer

Leo Santa Cruz has promised to fight smarter in this rematch. My only question is what can he do better?

He’s a brawler at heart who’s best coming forward and throwing a tornado of punches.

Carl Frampton, on the other hand, has more than one gear he can switch to. When he needs to box, he can–effectively.

When he needs to brawl he can match Santa Cruz punch for punch.

I see another competitive fight that will end just a little bit wider this time for Frampton. Frampton by decision.

Prediction: Frampton


Mike Burnell, Staff Writer

When Carl Frampton defeated Leo Santa Cruz via majority decision in a thrilling bout in July of last year, a rematch was a natural.

There were exciting exchanges, flush shots and various changes in momentum throughout and it’s an excellent bet that this clash will be a shootout as well.

Santa Cruz is the longer fighter and enjoys a 69″ reach to Frampton’s 62″ which he will use in hopes of controlling the distance with his jab.

While that is an advantage for the Mexican fighter, Santa Cruz likes to fight and it’s easy to envision him exchanging with the shorter Irishman, which suits Frampton.

This one is definitely worth looking forward to watching and it can be anticipated that it to lives up to the expectations.

In the end an inspired Santa Cruz will have his hand raised as he emerges victorious via razor thin split decision over 2016’s Fighter of the Year.

Prediction: Santa Cruz


Alan Garcia, Staff Writer

In a much anticipated rematch, Carl Frampton and Leo Santa Cruz will be battling it out once again. In their last encounter, Santa Cruz (favored to win), lost his undefeated streak and his championship title belt along with it.

The Irish fighter, Carl Frampton, pulled off a big upset against the come-forward Mexican brawler. Frampton began landing short power shots on the inside as soon as the bell rang. With the pace Frampton was fighting at, he was able to stun Santa Cruz. He kept consistent pressure through the fight, which became the key to his victory.

This rematch taking place right away, is a good example of how two boxers should behave. Unfortunately, most fights in need of an immediate rematch don’t always come into eminent fruition. Hopefully this type of courage encourages an expected Light Heavyweight fight to take place later this year (the way it should be. With this fight, or any other fights deserving of an immediate rematch).

This fight is a little tricky to predict for a few reasons; Frampton showed that he can hurt Santa Cruz, so he will be looking to do so again more tactfully. Santa Cruz, knows that he can get hurt by the Irish fighter, so I would assume Santa Cruz should be looking to establish his pace on the outside and try to outbox Frampton.

The tricky thing is that Santa Cruz doesn’t know how to fight on the outside. He’s a brawler not a boxer—reminiscent of Antonio Margarito.

If Santa Cruz fights long and boxes on the outside, giving Frampton angles and setting up punches with his jab, Santa Cruz wins. If he falls back into the same inside game like he did in their first fight, the Mexican fighter will lose the fight once again.

Prediction: Santa Cruz


Joseph Rodriguez, Staff Writer

This fight will be the Round 13 continuation of the first fight.

I think Leo Santa Cruz will use his height and reach to setup the jab more effectively. His volume and improved accuracy in this fight will result in a split decision win.

Prediction: Santa Cruz


Alex Burgos, Editor-in-Chief

I have to say I love that these two guys are fighting again. Regardless of who wins, I think we’ll get a great scrap.

I think Carl Frampton has all the advantages going into this fight. Size, the 1-0 series lead and just overall skill. I really like Leo Santa Cruz, but he’s a one-trick pony and I’m convinced Frampton is comfortable dealing with his pressure.

Frampton is a better technician so he’ll land combinations and move-and-out all night, giving Santa Cruz a target that is very difficult to get multiple punches off against.

I like Frampton–and his army–to make it known early on that this is no home-field advantage fight for Santa Cruz.

I’ll take Frampton by decision.

Prediction: Frampton

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