Frampton a confidently composed champion ahead of Quigg bout
Lee Gormley | February 22, 2016
Frampton composed ahead of Quigg encounter
The stakes couldn’t be higher for Carl Frampton going into his super-bantamweight unification showdown with Manchester’s Scott Quigg on February 27th, but ‘the Jackal’ has remained confidently calm and composed ahead of the biggest domestic fight in recent years.
IBF champion Frampton (21-0, 14 KOs) will take to the Manchester Arena ring as the clear favourite to prevail over WBA Super title-holder Quigg (31-0-2, 23 KOs), and is also set to boast huge backing from the crowd in what is supposedly enemy territory.
Despite the hysteria surrounding this 122-pound unification encounter in Manchester and plenty of attempted mind games from his rival camp throughout the build-up, ‘the Jackal’ has stayed characteristically unflustered.
‘The Jackal’ downplays Quigg’s showings
The Belfast fighter is 11/8 with Coral to secure a points decision victory over his Bury-born opponent, who he claims has received unjustified praise for previous contests before their showdown.
“I think he’s definitely improved as a fighter but if you dig deeper, the opponents haven’t been amazing. People are thinking he’s improved a lot more than he is,” stated Frampton.
“Apart from Kiko Martinez, who I’d already beaten twice, a lot of them were bantamweights and medium Euro-level fighters. I think there’s a little bit of hype behind how much he’s improved.
“Training has all been catered around Quigg. Everything I’m doing is because I’m fighting Quigg. I haven’t made massive adjustments.
“I’ll be relaxed, cold and calm as always.”
“When I called the knockdowns blessings in disguise, I meant I don’t think this fight would be happening if I’d have blown my opponent away inside a couple of rounds.
“They think they’ve seen vulnerabilities and it’s no coincidence this fight has taken four years to happen and now it is after my worst performance.
“I’ll be relaxed, cold and calm as always. They’re trying to get me hyped up and under my skins. It’s playing the game. After that head-to-head with Quigg, 20 seconds later the next conversations was about what we were going to have for lunch.”
McGuigan echoes Frampton’s composure talk
Frampton’s long-standing mentor Barry McGuigan has echoed the words of his Belfast protege in that he will forget all the heated pre-fight build-up and exchanges one the bell sounds this weekend.
The rivalry between ‘the Jackal’ and Quigg has threatened to boil over during the run-in, with both camps engaging in a war of words, but ‘the Clones Cyclone’ is confident that his man will remain unfazed in the ring.
“All of the stuff, all of the hot air doesn’t matter,” stated the former featherweight world champion.
“All I know is that Frampton will turn up on the 27th – he is in the best shape of his life. All of this banter and comments and sneaky stuff – that has done our job for us. They have motivated this kid.
“I’ve never seen his weight better, I’ve never seen him better, he’s in unbelievable shape. All the talk and everything else means nothing. Let’s just shut up, get to the 27th, and get on with it.
“Kiko Martinez did it, Chris Avalos did it. There was lots of fiery stuff in the press in the way up to the fight, really vitriolic stuff, face-to-face stuff and all of that, and the fight comes around and Carl is cool as a cucumber.”
Belfast’s finest has plenty motivation
The undefeated 28-year-old clinched the IBF strap from Martinez back in 2014, outclassing the Spaniard over 12 rounds in front of an incredible home crowd at Titanic Quarter, before successful defences against Chris Avalos and Alejandro Gonzalez Jr.
Next in the Irishman’s potential hitlist is Joe Gallagher-trained champion Quigg, who also comes into the contest unbeaten but with two draws with compatriot Rendall Munroe and Cuban Yoandris Salinas.
Although, Frampton is geared up for the fight of his life, and outlined his family as his motivation to keep improving and training relentlessly, for a bout which he is 11/4 to triumph by knockout.
“I think about them a lot, especially on fight days,” admitted Frampton. “My son started walking this week and I missed it. I missed his birthday, I missed my daughter’s birthday and all in this camp.”
“There is a method to the madness.”
The Tiger’s Bay puncher also pointed out his harsher training regimes, claiming Quigg has it easier as the Irishman has preparing with Barry McGuigan’s son Shane in their London-based gym.
“There is no doubt he trains hard, but does he train any harder than me? And after he trains he goes home and sees his family every night. I’m away from mine,” added Frampton.
“I’m in London and surrounded by good people but it is hard to leave your young wife and children. I do that because there is a method to the madness.
“It is not easy, but I understand why I’m doing it, I’m doing it because I have to and I’m doing it to better their lives. I know it is a short career.”
“His lack of intelligence outside of the ring reflects on how he fights inside the ring.”
Former Martinez tips Frampton
Elche-born Martinez, known as La Sensacion in his homeland, has two defeats to Frampton on his professional record, one a ninth-round stoppage and the other a unanimous decision, losing his former IBF title in Belfast second time around.
The Spanish bruiser also lost in his shot at Quigg’s WBA belt, with that loss ending haplessly with a second-round KO, but Martinez is still backing his Irish conqueror as the winner in this month’s unification tussle.
“Frampton will win against Quigg. He’s the more complete boxer. He is stronger as well,” declared Martinez.
Martinez has since recovered from his losses to both men and will next challenge for a world title himself on the same night as Manchester’s showcase event against Leo Santa Cruz (7/1 to lose), another former champion at 122 pounds who now boasts the WBA Super featherweight belt.
‘Hitman’ Hatton can’t call 50/50 bust-up
Despite being in fellow Mancunian Quigg’s corner for this month’s mammoth showdown, former welterweight world champion Ricky Hatton admitted he can’t call the fight, but admits Frampton will be better prepared after starting slow in his last ring outing.
“It’s probably one of the biggest domestic fights in recent years, so it’s brilliant,” stated Hatton.
“Obviously I’m a Mancunian, so Scott Quigg is the corner I will be in, but I have so much admiration for Carl Frampton and Barry McGuigan and all the Cyclone Promotions team.
“I have so much admiration for Carl..”
“Barry McGuigan was a hero of mine and I’ve met Carl Frampton – he’s an absolute gentleman.”
‘The Jackal’ surprisingly had to twice pick himself off the canvas on his American debut in an eventually solid victory over Gonzalez Jr, but ‘the Hitman’ expects him to bounce back and claims Quigg will not have the mental advantage.
“When you fight at world class level, we’ve all been knocked on our backside; we’ve all been cut; we’ve all be hurt. It’s something you get used to,” continued the Mancunian.
“If I’m brutally honest, I don’t think you’ll find anyone that’ll go: ‘Oh, it’s definitely Carl Frampton …’ or ‘It’s definitely Scott Quigg …’ I think it’s a 50/50 fight.”
Rigondeaux brands pair cowards
Clinical Cuban super-bantamweight Guillermo Rigondeaux is lying in wait for the winner of this week’s unification showdown, with the defensively astute fighter having been recently stripped of his WBA strap for inactivity, but the organisation have ordered Frampton or Quigg to defend their belt against him.
The 35-year-old is a two-time Olympic Gold medalist and currently ranked number one in the division, and the WBA have set a deadline of July 27th for the winner of Saturday night’s scrap to face him.
“Frampton and Quigg are both cowards for finding ways to avoid the best in their division,” declared Rigondeaux, who is 14/1 to lose to surprise next opponent James Dickens in March.
“We wait in anticipation to see if the winner of a great fight between them would step up and step in the ring with me, so the whole world can see who the best 122 pound fighter is.
“Fans should come see the real super world champion in Liverpool, as I’ll be ready to put on a show and be in a position to happily knock out the winner, if either would even fathom the idea of stepping in the same ring with me.”
Both Frampton and Quigg won’t be thinking of anything other than their unification bout this week in Manchester, but a huge platform will be set for the eventual winner to take their career to the next level, once the dust settles on what could be a truly explosive night on February 27th.