International acclaim awaits winner of Frampton-Quigg showdown
Lee Gormley | January 26, 2016
Frampton and Quigg finally do battle
Both super-bantamweight world champions Carl Frampton and Scott Quigg had been tipped to face-off in the ring for what seemed like an eternity but, after several seemingly failed negotiations, boxing fans will finally get to witness such a unification bout on February 27th.
In this highly awaited British and Irish battle, Belfast fighter Frampton (21-0, 14 KOs) will put his IBF strap on the line, while Manchester’s Quigg (31-0-2, 23 KOs) casts his WBA belt into the mix for what could be a genuinely engrossing contest at the Manchester Arena.
At the prestigious Lancashire venue, the world title-holders will put more than just their coveted crowns on the line, with their Sky Sports Box Office dust-up holding plenty of high stakes for both champions, one which Frampton is 11/4 with Coral to win by knockout.
High stakes in Manchester meeting
In a contest which could potentially become one of the sport’s highlights of 2016, Frampton and Quigg collide for the right to become unified super-bantamweight champion, a title which would subsequently bring with it plenty more boxing stardom beyond the British Isles.
As well as the IBF and WBA titles, both champions see their unwavered professional career records put at risk in their hugely anticipated meeting, with the eventual victor set to reap the rich rewards in this rewarding sport.
Of course, the man who does endure their maiden career loss won’t see the curtain come down on things altogether, with the duo young and talented enough to recover from such a scenario. Though, that person will face a much tougher task of cementing a lasting legacy outside of familiar surroundings.
Having already dipped his toe into the promising ocean that is boxing in America, ‘the Jackal’ knows the ultimate goal is capturing that massive audience abroad, while Bury-born Quigg’s impressive performances of late have seen him target a similar ambitious path.
United States stardom awaits unified champion
February’s awaited showdown is set to decide the current dominant force on the British Isles in this testing division, but further high-profile match-ups on United States soil await the fighter left standing in Manchester this year.
Northern Ireland’s Frampton made his American debut late last year, casting his dominance over Alejandro Gonzalez Jr in Texas with a unanimous decision victory to retain his IBF strap, having overcome two first-round knockdowns to triumph.
After already showcasing his grit and world class ring abilities in front of Don Haskins Center crowd in El Paso, Frampton took his early setbacks in that American bow into deep consideration and claimed his brief glimpses of vulnerability have ultimately set up the Quigg showdown.
“That’s probably the only reason this fight is now happening,” declared the 28-year-old. “Is it a coincidence that it is happening after the worst performance of my career?
“I got put over a couple of times in the first round and I showed what [Quigg’s camp] think are vulnerabilities and that is the only reason why this fight is happening now.
“If I went out and blew Alejandro Gonzalez away in one or two rounds this fight still would not be happening. They think they have seen some weaknesses and they are going to try and exploit them but it is false hope because I know I am a better fighter than Scott and now I am going to prove it.”
‘Jackal’ moving away from McGuigan’s shadow
With his career being closely assisted by the legendary Barry McGuigan, Ireland’s former WBA featherweight champion, Tiger’s Bay hero Frampton has always had to deal with comparisons to his esteemed manager. Though, a win over his long-standing rival will set the IBF champion on course to cement his own boxing legacy, moving away from the shadow of his illustrious mentor.
Trained by McGuigan’s son Shane, a coveted coach in the sport who has undertaken training duties for David Haye and George Groves too, ‘the Jackal’ is out to prove his worth against Quigg, who is 5/2 to prevail with a KO, in what he has outlined as an imminently historic night for his career.
“Thirty years later people still talk about Barry McGuigan beating Pedroza at Loftus Road,” Frampton continued. “And I think this is going to be one of those fights where people will say I was there the night Frampton beat Quigg.
“In a way Scott and I are lucky to have each other because we are in the lighter divisions and it’s usually the big guys that get all the publicity.
“But what the boxing public see are two genuinely good fighters. They see it as a 50-50 fight but I don’t. I see Scott Quigg as a good fighter but I feel that I am better than him and now I just need to go and prove it.”
Quigg relishing match-up in his own backyard
Despite having destroyed Kiko Martinez on the same night that Frampton outpointed Gonzalez Jr last year, Quigg will enter the unification bout as the underdog on his home patch, with the Manchester fan favourite 6/4 to prevail.
The 27-year-old has undoubtedly benefited from the experience of being part of such a quality stable of fighters under Joe Gallagher, training regularly alongside fellow recently-crowned world champions Anthony Crolla and Liam Smith.
Quigg can further the legacy of boxing in Manchester by emerging victorious from his latest career test and edging closer to further meetings with the division’s big stars abroad. Therefore, potentially following in the footsteps of Mancunian icon Ricky Hatton, whose American fights engaged a mammoth following when contesting the likes of Jose Luis Castillo, Floyd Mayweather Jr, Paulie Malignaggi and Manny Pacquiao.
Both the home hope and his travelling Northern Irish rival possess the talent, drive and fanbase needed to conquer the sport on the British Isles. But they know victory in February could propel them towards desired international stardom as well, with a potential meeting with WBA Super world featherweight champion Leo Santa Cruz lurking on the horizon.
Local legacies can be grown far and beyond
Local legacies aren’t far from being written into the boxing history books, with the pair rightly targeting a long-lasting place among other home greats, though a bigger step can be taken within a matter of moments at the Manchester arena.
“I want to be a legend,” Frampton previously outlined. “Honestly, that’s what I want to be, a legend in Irish sport. It’s coming up to 30 years since Barry won his world title in Loftus Road against Pedroza and people are still talking about it.
“I want to be like that 30 years from now – people are talking about my fights with guys like Chris Avalos and Kiko Martinez in the pubs all over Ireland.”
The stage is finally set for Frampton and Quigg to do battle in a domestic showdown, which will determine who takes home the title of unified IBF and WBA super-bantamweight champion, with the boxing world eagerly counting down to such a high-stakes Manchester meeting on February 27th.
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