Barry McGuigan is starting to think that Leo Santa Cruz’s team are ‘underestimating’ Carl Frampton before their July 30 showdown in New York.
Three weight world champion Santa Cruz - who is the favourites with the bookmakers - will defend his WBA Featherweight title against Frampton and McGuigan is starting to think that Santa Cruz’s team are not taking his fighter seriously.
“I think they might be underestimating Carl and I hope they are.
“Santa Cruz is a big favourite over here to win the fight and that suits us down to the ground.
“I think they are also trying to convince Santa Cruz that Carl doesn’t hit that hard.
“But I have thought long and hard about this fight - and it will be the toughest fight of Carl’s career - but I am convinced he wins and wins well.
“And this will be fight for the fans. Carl’s fight against Scott Quigg was more of a tactical battle - and Quigg was wary of Carl’s power and wouldn’t engage.
“But Santa Cruz will come to fight and he may come at Carl from the first bell - or he may take a round or two to weigh him up - but this will turn into a tear-up,” he added.
And McGuigan - a former WBA Featherweight World champion - knows that Santa Cruz will test his fighter at the Barclays Center in New York.
“He is a fantastic fighter. He throws up to 150 punches a round, he can punch, he is brave and he is a better boxer than people give him credit for.
“He is a three weight World champion and you don’t do that if you are not a great fighter.
“This is without doubt Carl’s toughest fight to date but I think it is the perfect fight for him.
“And I believe we will see a stronger and harder hitting Frampton at featherweight.
“The extra four pounds will make a huge difference to Carl and we will see that on the night,” he added.
And McGuigan says they arrived in New York early to acclimatise and to let the American public get to know his fighter.
“We got here about four weeks before the fight to let Carl acclimatise to the conditions, but it is no-where near as warm as it was in El Paso.
“We have had him out and about and he loves all the attention. He thrives on it and he is enjoying the whole experience.
“It has also been a great experience for Conrad Cummings and Josh Taylor as they are getting hard sparring and they are learning loads from the experience.
“They also see the attention that Carl is getting and they want to get to that level,” he added.