On Saturday, February 27, at Manchester Arena in Manchester, Lancaster, United Kingdom, WBA Super World super bantamweight champion Scott Quigg (31-0-2, 23 KOs), who hails from Bury, Lancaster, UK, fights IBF World super bantamweight champion Carl Frampton (21-0, 14 KOs), from Belfast, Northern Ireland.
Unification bouts are as rare as four-leaf clovers and no less desirable. And when both champions are undefeated and in their fighting primes—and hail from the British Isles—the desire is even greater.
In anticipation of the fight, the fighters recently met with the press via teleconference call. After introductory remarks by Showtime’s Stephen Espinosa, promoter Eddie Hearn, and Joe Gallagher, The Ring’s Trainer of the Year for 2015, Quigg took center stage.
“It’s a fight I’ve wanted for a long time,” he said. “It’s nearly four and a half years this has been brewing. This fight’s been talked of for numerous years now and it was getting built bigger and bigger and people were picking him to be the better fighter. I’ve always wanted the chance to prove I’m the best. And now the fight’s been made, I’m one million percent confident. We’re both world champions. We’re both undefeated. I wanna go out there and I’m gonna win in spectacular fashion.”
Frampton look good if not spectacular in his last fight against Alejandro Gonzalez.
“He got off to a shaky start,” Quigg said. “He got put down a couple of times. I’ve always said he doesn’t fight well over [the course of a long] fight. In my opinion, he likes his comfort blanket, which is fighting in his hometown. And he showed vulnerabilities in that fight. But he came back. He got the win but he showed these little weaknesses in his armor.”
Aside from having been dropped by Gonzalez, there have been rumors that Frampton was dropped while sparring.
“If the knockout comes early, it comes early,” said Quigg. “People are going now because I’ve been knocking guys out quite early. I’ve been going out for the stoppages. But if you go looking for the knockout it doesn’t come. You go out, stick to your boxing. You set the shots up. When the gaps are there then I’ll take them.”
There’s plenty of buzz surrounding this fight, especially on the other side of the Atlantic. Rivalries are often manufactured. But this one seems legit.
“I think the rivalry is very big because the English fans they’re passionate about the sport in general. The Irish are passionate about the sport. And to be honest with you boxing really is one of the bigger sports that the Irish get behind. We’re both at the top of our game. There’s a lot riding on this, and there’s a lot of pride at stake. And I think the atmosphere in the arena is gonna be absolutely electric.”
European fighters used to be somewhat of a laughingstock, but that is no longer the case. The rise of boxing in the UK is a fact of life and is unlikely to change anytime soon.
“I set new goals and new heights because I want to achieve and accomplish what, for instance, Ricky Hatton did getting that crossover into the U.S. market world. He ended up taking 40,000 Brits to Las Vegas and being a global star. We’ll go out here and do a job on Carl Frampton and win in a spectacular fashion that’s surely gonna give me a real boost to get that crossover into the U.S. and maybe potential fights down the line with Leo Santa Cruz and some of the other great fighters in the division. I’m out to fight the best and beat the best.”
This article was penned by the author who is not related to the WBA and the statements, expressions or opinions referenced herein are that of the author alone and not the WBA.