In an excellent bout, Carl Frampton (23-0, 14 KO) traveled to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, to take a majority decision from WBA featherweight champion Leo Santa Cruz (32-1-1).
In the process, Frampton took Santa Cruz's title and became a two-division champion. Here's a look at the scorecards, per ESPN Boxing:
ESPN Boxing @ESPNBoxing
And @RealCFrampton takes the belt from @leosantacruz2 with a majority decision 116-112, 117-111 and 114-114. #SantaCruzFrampton2016-7-31 03:48:25
From start to finish, this was an action-packed fight. Both men came to fight, and there were few lulls in combat over the 12 rounds.
Showtime announcer extraordinaire Mauro Ranalo described the action as only he can, per Premier Boxing Champions:
"These guys are throwing punches like millenials take selfies." -@mauroranallo ... (Well done, sir) #SantaCruzFrampton2016-7-31 03:06:38
The two men threw almost a combined 1,700 punches in the fight. Here's a look at the punch stat numbers from ShoBox:
SHO Stats @SHOStats
#ShoStats: Total Punches Landed/Thrown thru 12 Santa Cruz [255/1002, 25%] Frampton [242/668, 36%]2016-7-31 03:44:07
Frampton set out to put on a show, and you'd have to say he accomplished his mission:
ESPN Boxing @ESPNBoxing
"It's a dream come true ... I wanted to be in a fight that people would remember." -@RealCFrampton #SantaCruzFrampton #AndNew2016-7-31 03:49:32
While Santa Cruz was the busier fighter, and he landed more shots, Frampton appeared to connect the more attention-grabbing punches.
In the third round, he staggered Santa Cruz with a left hook that landed on the top of the hand. Santa Cruz stumbled into the ropes, and Frampton probed and punched in an attempt to finish, but it wasn't possible.
At one point, it looked as if Frampton would turn the fight into a counterpunching exhibition, but Santa Cruz never stopped coming forward. The latter landed his share of noteworthy one-two combinations.
He never appeared to hurt Frampton, but he was doing more than enough to maintain his respect.
Frampton's prevailing skills in this fight were his speed and accuracy. The percentage of punches landed tell the story as Frampton repeatedly caught Santa Cruz with hard left hands.
He countered Santa Cruz's long and slow jab to connect with the shots that obviously impressed two of the judges.
The fight was competitive and quite honestly could have gone either way.
The even scorecard seemed a bit more logical than the one that read 117-111. Ultimately, both men fought a great fight, and their stocks will rise moving forward.
Could a rematch be in order? Not many fans would complain if that announcement is forthcoming.