STEVE BRENNER AT THE MGM GRAND
Barry McGuigan was not in the mood for false promises. Carl Frampton, the Northern Irishman he reveres like a son, had just fallen to the first defeat of his 24-fight career and had the WBA featherweight title won so brilliantly six months ago in New York wrestled from his grasp by Leo Santa Cruz, the man who was felled on that raucous Barclays Center evening.
No one was begrudging the Mexican his moment of triumph. Santa Cruz was excellent, unleashing to perfection a game plan which forced Frampton to abandon his preferred counter-punching role and instead act as the aggressor.
FROM STEVE BRENNER , LAS VEGAS
Carl Frampton stands close to greatness. The glitz of Las Vegas can easily blur minds yet Frampton’s razor sharp focus has shone like the lights on the strip.
This is his first defence of the WBA featherweight crown he took so gloriously in New York last July from Leo Santa Cruz ,the Mexican three-weight world champion who will stand in the opposing corner on Saturday night aiming to avenge the first defeat of his 34-fight career. With an estimated 5,000 fans from Frampton’s native Northern Ireland here to roar him home, the stakes have rarely been higher.
STEVE BRENNER, NEW YORK
James DeGale’s nose was broken, some of his teeth were missing and he was being treated for a perforated eardrum after 12 epic rounds. But as he recovered in hospital, the words of Floyd Mayweather would have increased the burning sensation in his ears.
While the Londoner was being patched up at the end of a brutal WBC-IBF super-middleweight unification bout against Badou Jack that ended in a rare majority draw, Mayweather was holding court deep into yesterday morning.
EXCLUSIVE FROM STEVE BRENNER IN MIAMI
James DeGale jumps up and takes off his shirt.
It’s Saturday night in iconic South Beach, Florida. An organic food cafe is serving dinner for his close-knit team after another day of training.
It was pretty quiet. Until now.