Carl Frampton facing tall order against WBA champion Léo Santa Cruz

• Featherweight title meeting takes place in Brooklyn on Saturday
• Northern Irishman relishing role as the underdog

Surely Carl Frampton knew what he was getting into when he surrendered his super-bantamweight titles and immediately targeted the biggest, baddest opponent at 126lb: the undefeated three-division champion Léo Santa Cruz.

However, the gravity of the task before the Irishman was never more stark than when the fighters came together for the traditional stare-down at the Dream Downtown hotel in Manhattan’s posh Chelsea neighbourhood. As Frampton’s eyes slowly craned upwards the scale of Santa Cruz’s physical advantages – three inches in height, seven inches in reach – was laid bare. Yet vital statistics are only part of the reason why the unbeaten Frampton, fresh off a points win over Scott Quigg to unify the 122lb titles in February, is a 2-1 underdog entering Saturday’s delicious featherweight title fight at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center.

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