BOXING: Carl Frampton will light up Las Vegas - Eamon Loughran
Former WBO welterweight World champion Eamon Loughran is convinced that Carl Frampton will retain his WBA featherweight World title in Las Vegas in the early hours of Sunday morning.
Frampton will be looking to defend his belt against three weight world champion Leo Santa Cruz in the MGM Grand after ripping the title from the Mexican in New York at the end of July.
That summer fight in New York was a barnstormer and Loughran - who defended his World title five times - says he can only see one winner.
“I see Frampton stopping him about round ten or 11. It will be another great fight, but I see Carl stopping him late on.
“Moving up that four pounds from super-bantamweight to featherweight has helped him.
“Losing that extra four pounds was draining him and featherweight suits him better.
“He will not be weight drained like he had been at super-bantamweight and he will be stronger, fresher and more confident because of it. I see him stopping Santa Cruz,” said Loughran.
And Loughran believes the result in the first fight - when Frampton won on points - will have affected both boxers very differently.
“Frampton will have got great confidence from that win and he knows that he can hurt Santa Cruz, he will also know that he can stay pace wise with Santa Cruz for 12 rounds.
“He will also have watched the first fight back again and he will have noticed what he had done wrong and learn from that.
“Santa Cruz will know that Frampton can hurt him and he was beaten the last time out. He will be trying to convince himself that the first fight was close, his father was ill, which meant he took his eye off the ball.
“He will be telling himself he can do more and get the win - but I don’t think so.”
And Loughran believes Frampton will just have too much for his rival.
“Santa Cruz fights the way he fights. Carl can change and adapt and he is a class act. He always seems to have another gear when things get close.
“I am a huge fan and Las Vegas will suit him. When it matters - he delivers. He will light up Las Vegas.”