Michael Conlan on course to fight former Carl Frampton nemesis

Michael Conlan on course to fight former Carl Frampton nemesis




Michael Conlan could be on course to confront former Carl Frampton nemesis Leo Santa Cruz.

WBA ‘Super’ world featherweight champion Santa Cruz is being lined up to fight the winner of Conlan’s showdown with Leigh Wood.

Santa Cruz hasn’t defended his featherweight belt since beating Rafael Rivera in February 2019, but has fought twice in the interim, moving up in weight for fights against Miguel Flores and Gervonta Davis.

The 33-year-old is now expected to return to 126lbs after being handed an ultimatum by the WBA who set a deadline for Santa Cruz to confirm his featherweight title plans.

Boxing writer Dan Rafael expects Santa Cruz to have one tune-up fight before meeting the winner of Conlan vs WBA ‘regular’ world champion Wood who are expected to meet in March.

Rafael tweeted: “I was told by the WBA that @leosantacruz2 responded to its inquiry and said he plans to return to 126. WBA said it will allow him to take 1 fight (presumably a tune-up) & then he will defend the title.

Leo Santa Cruz

“He will be ordered to confront the @itsLeighWood@mickconlan11 winner. ”

Frampton – who retired in April – became a two-weight world champion when he beat Santa Cruz in New York in the summer of 2016, but the Mexican exacted revenge seven months later by winning the rematch in Las Vegas.

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