LEO SANTA CRUZ is likely to swerve a Belfast rematch with Carl Frampton in case he falls foul of some hometown judging.
The WBA featherweight champion insists that he would love the third chapter of the world title rivalry to take place in Northern Ireland, with Windsor Park high on the shortlist of possible venues.
But Santa Cruz’s father, Jose, is worried that the vocal ‘Jackal Army’ could colour the judges’ view of the fight and tilt it in Frampton’s favour.
The champion says that he would never disobey his father’s wishes, making a fight on Frampton’s turf highly unlikely.
“If it was up to me, I’d go and fight him over there, but I have to talk to my team and my manager,” Santa Cruz told Villainfy Media.
“I can’t just say I’m going to go, I can’t make that decision.”
“If it was up to me, yes, I want to go and fight over there but it’s not up to me. It’s up to my promoter and my team.
I’m going to push for it and if it’s up to me, I’ll go and fight over there.
Santa Cruz avenged the only defeat of his career and regained his world title when he beat Frampton in Las Vegas last month.
Both fighters immediately expressed their desire for a third fight, and although Santa Cruz had said he would travel to Belfast, his father has serious reservations.
“My dad is scared that if I go over there, even if I beat Carl Frampton, the people and the judges are going to be influenced and that even if I beat him, they’ll take the victory away from me.
“He thinks that going over there would be a really bad decision. He is right but if I go over there and beat him, the fans will see that.
“(My dad’s opinion) is very important. He’s been there my whole life, my whole career, and everything I do, I respect him. I will always listen to my dad so if he says no, I think I wouldn’t go there.
“If you disobey your parents, there’s always something that will come back to you. I always listen to my dad, I do whatever he tells me to do, and that’s how it has always been.”
The42 is on Instagram! Tap the button below on your phone to follow us!