Frampton wants to 'be the best' after historic win


New WBA world featherweight champion Carl Frampton declared "I want to be the best" after inflicting a stunning first defeat on Leo Santa Cruz to dethrone the Mexican in Brooklyn and make history on Saturday.

Frampton promised a shock in his first professional fight at featherweight after opting to step up a division following an impressive victory over Scott Quigg, which ensured he holds both the IBF and WBA super-bantamweight titles.

The Northern Irishman kept to his word, earning a majority points decision as a result of an assured display against the three-weight champion to show he belongs on the big stage.

One judge could not split the two fighters, but Frampton was given the verdict after the other two scored the contest 116-112 117-111 in his favour to make him the first boxer from Northern Ireland to win world titles at two weight divisions.

The 29-year-old said: "I wanted to be in a fight people would remember. I wanted to be in with true champions like Leo Santa Cruz.

"This guy is a three-weight world champion. He is a true warrior and I respect him a hell of a lot.

"I would love to bring him to Belfast and show them an amazing fighter but I have a good relationship with [IBF world featherweight champion] Lee Selby's team. I want to be the best and be involved in big fights."

Frampton's manager Barry McGuigan, who won the same title over 31 years ago, said: "This is one of the greatest nights of my life. It doesn't get much better than this."

Santa Cruz, beaten for the first time in 34 professional fights, said: "It was a pretty tough fight but now I want a rematch. I don't care where.

"He's a great champion and he's got a very difficult style. It's hard to forget your first loss but I will go back to the gym and get a rematch."