by James Oddy
The biggest fight in British boxing finally happened, and, depending on who you talk to, it was a chess match which sparked into a war, a tactical slip up, or an overpriced none event. It was undefeated ‘world’ champions, Scott Quigg and Carl Frampton, meeting in the formers home town of Manchester for the WBC and IBF super bantamweight titles they held respectively.
Really, it was a mixture of all three. In the action itself, Belfast man Frampton largely controlled more than half the rounds by boxing, moving and exposing some flaws in the Mancunians footwork. Quigg, tough as nails and with the fitness you’d expect from a self-described ‘boxing obsessive’, shelled up and followed Frampton around the ring, losing rounds and eating shots, resulting in a broken jaw. It wasn’t bad, it was just odd, as these two rivals who had grown increasingly bitter as the week went on, both seemed content to let rounds slip by.
Even Frampton, who was landing on occasions and picking up points, seemed hesitant to open up and throw real combinations, despite Quigg’s body being left exposed. After it eventually dawned on Quigg and his corner they were losing on the cards badly, the pace picked up. Quigg was happy to work on the inside, and Frampton, either via choice or tiredness, was obliging. The 8th, 9th and 10th were all exciting, as the pair banged away to head and body, Quigg showing some beautiful rolling defence to slip Frampton’s increasingly ragged looking hooks. Still, Frampton hurt Quigg with some punishing body shots, and a hook form Quigg did the same.
It seemed set for a grand stand finish in the 12th, but Frampton boxed superbly, moving in and out of range and tying Quigg up whenever he got too close for comfort. Frampton was a deserving winner, on a split decision. The judge who awarded it to Quigg frankly needs investigating. It wasn’t worth £16 as such, but I don’t think it’s ever fair to blame fighters for not ‘living up’ to a PPV event. Their role is to win and take as little punishment as possible.
Whilst your writer enjoyed it, the talk of a rematch is unwelcome. Quigg’s tactics were all wrong, and it’s hard to understand what they really were. One could argue if he had started at a quicker pace he may have had more success. But for now, I’d much prefer Quigg to take on Matchroom stable mate, bantamweight world champion Jamie McDonnell, who has spoken of moving up. McDonnell, from Doncaster, defeated then undefeated Tomoki Kameda twice last year away from home in Texas, and deserves some exposure. Both Quigg and McDonnell can box but also brawl and it’s a mouth-watering contest.
I hope Frampton meets brilliant Cuban Guillermo Rigondeaux, who is Frampton’s mandatory after all. Guillermo is a once in a generation fighter and a pound for pound top five, who takes on game Scouser Jazza Dickins this month in Liverpool. But despite Frampton saying he wants it, his promoters, Cyclone, have ruled it out. The other name, unbeaten Mexican-American Leo Santa Cruz, is also appealing, and a tough fight, but Rigondeaux deserves it.
As always, the business of boxing can be more interesting than what happens in ring!