It seems as though some fights can be forever in the making but never quite come to fruition for whatever reason – contractual stipulations, broadcaster disputes and purse-splits all seemingly come in the way of the fights fans are desperate to see. However, the simply epic Frampton vs Quigg fight after all the years of that, is now finally upon us.
Fans in the UK are no stranger this scenario given the Kell Brook v Amir Khan saga that seems to have waged on since time immemorial – a sage still rumbling on after Khan once again opted not to take the fight in preference of a match-up with Canelo Alvarez in America.
As salivating a match-up as Canelo v Khan promises to be, there will be plenty of British Boxing fans disappointed they won’t see a conclusion to the long-running feud between the pair.
But all is not lost, another of British Boxing’s long-running rivalries – WBA Champion, Scott Quigg and IBF Champion, Carl Frampton – is set to be explode into action this weekend at the Manchester Arena as two British World Champions look to finally lock horns to settle a rivalry that has followed them for their careers and somewhat overshadowed their personal achievements for the last couple of years.
Despite both men being crowned World Champions by their respective governing bodies, both Quigg and Frampton know that this has the potential to be a career-defining fight, one that will make them a true Champion in the eyes of the British public and leave their name etched into the history books.
Much of the talk and verbal jousting in the build-up to this clash has centred around who will receive the greater ovation and who has the bigger, most passionate fan-base – the noise created by these partisan fans in Manchester on Saturday will be deafening and unlike anything either fighter has experienced in their careers, or may experience again.
With pundits split on who is likely to take the win, many believe that how the two fighters cope with the atmosphere and pressure of such an event will have a bearing on the result.
Frampton has argued that he is used to the big stage and the pressure, in the ‘Gloves Are Off’ on Sky Sports he had this to say:
“If any of the 2 of us are household names, it’s gotta be me – I’ve packed out arenas, I’ve topped bills before and he’s yet to do that.”
Another of the criticisms Frampton and his camp have aimed at Quigg is that he is a ‘Paper Champion’ because of the way he was elevated to becoming full WBA Champion rather than winning it outright in the ring.
Quigg for his part has no doubts that he is a legitimate Champion that has what it takes to wrestle the IBF Title from Frampton and when questioned on the legitimacy of his WBA Title, Quigg had this to say:
“My performances do the talking. The best opponent he has beat, I demolished.”
Quigg there referring to his devastating KO win over Kiko Martinez last year – a fighter who has since moved up to Featherweight to face Leo Santa Cruz for his WBA Title. Frampton faced Martinez in late 2013, managing to force a late stoppage in a thrilling encounter.
Quigg’s coach and Ring Magazine’s ‘Trainer of The Year’, Joe Gallagher, who himself has not shied away from the cameras in the build up to this fight dropped this little bombshell in an interview with IFL TV:
“If it wasn’t for Scott Quigg they wouldn’t be getting the money they are getting, they say Scott is the paper champion and he is – he brings the paper to this fight.”
Anyone that has followed this fight even casually will know the two camps do not exactly see eye to eye so do not be surprised if we see this boil over during fight week as tensions rise and the fight edges closer.
The locality of British domestic clashes always add a little spice to proceedings but everyone involved will be hoping to avoid any drama that takes away from the significance of this as a Boxing event.
Britain’s love with a domestic dust-up is well documented, classic rivalries like Benn v Eubank blazed a trail for others to follow and whilst some potential mega-fights fizzled out and away (who wouldn’t of loved to see a young Carl Froch take on Joe Calzaghe?) others produced some of the most memorable nights in Boxing history (Froch v Groves being a shining recent example).
Given the edge between the two camps heading into this one, the national and personal pride at stake as well as the natural makeup of these two World Champions, it would be foolish to predict anything other than a spectacular show on Saturday night, but whether that potential transpires to a convincing win/KO for one of these warriors or a phone-booth fight for the ages, only time will tell.
(Top image source and credit: RTE.ie)
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