SAN DIEGO, February 28, 2016 –Super Bantamweight champion Carl Frampton (22-0-0, 14 KOs) will take his IBF title and the WBA belt home to Northern Ireland after scoring a split decision win over Scott Quigg (31-1-2, 23 KOs) of Manchester, England.
Fans expected Frampton, 29, and Quigg, 27, to put on a Big British Drama Show. They did, but only for the last three rounds of the fight. The fight started slowly and failed to gain traction. Given the high stakes for Frampton and Quigg, a few feeling out and settling down rounds were to be expected.
But when the lack of activity continued into the third, fourth, and fifth rounds, the fan fervor turned to disappointment, and even disgust for some whose expectations went unmet. Neither man wanted to take a risk against the other too early in the fight. Both were fighting not to lose, instead of fighting to win.
Quigg didn’t seem quite himself. It was difficult to tell whether it was nerves or a healthy dose of respect for Frampton’s power holding him back. Since Quigg needed to fight on the inside with body work and upper cuts to be effective, the pace of the fight was hurting him more than Frampton.
But eventually someone needs to start throwing punches. It was Quigg who finally started accelerating in the sixth round. By the time he started working to Frampton’s body in the eighth round, it was finally becoming the fight everyone expected to see.
It was too late for Quigg to catch up on the scorecards. He realized he needed a knockout. He gave it his best, but this is where Frampton’s superior technical skills took over and won him the fight. He was able to avoid the worst Quigg had to dish out. Even though Quigg won most of the last few rounds, it wasn’t enough.
Judges Carlos Sucre and Dave Parris scored it 116-112 for Frampton. Judge Levi Martinez of the United States saw it 115-113 for Quigg. British super middleweight Carl Froch working for the broadcast saw it a draw, but no one saw the fight for Quigg. The good news: Martinez wouldn’t be working any fights in the U.S. this weekend.
Frampton said he “knew” it would be a “boring” fight. Trainer Shane McGuigan said Quigg’s footwork was his downfall. “”Quigg’s feet were terrible tonight. He was loading up. That’s what won Carl the fight.”
After the fight, Quigg said he felt “very comfortable in the first four rounds” until his jaw was broken by a Frampton upper cut, but he carried on anyway. Quigg says he respects Frampton, and he would be willing to fight a rematch in Frampton’s hometown of Belfast, in part because “We can’t make as much money fighting anyone else.” Promoter Eddie Hearn agreed if a rematch takes place, it would be in Belfast.
Frampton said he’s not interested in a rematch; the only fight he wants now is with Cuban Guillermo Rigondeaux. Rigo’s last bout in Las Vegas against Drian Francisco was even more frustrating to watch than the Frampton and Quigg bout. Rigondeuax was sitting ringside in Manchester, since he’s training in England for a fight March 12 against James Dickens in Liverpool. This isn’t a random choice; it’s Rigondeaux’s chance to introduce himself to the fans who watched Saturday’s fight before he takes on the winner, who we now know is Frampton. Based on what Rigondeaux saw, he hasn’t got much to worry about.
Frampton says he’s also interested in Leo Santa Cruz, as is manager Barry McGuigan. This is a bigger money fight and assuming Santa Cruz is a winner Saturday night over Kiko Martinez, Santa Cruz will be in the driver’s seat with several good options.
Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. She is also a serious boxing fan covering the Sweet Science for Communities. Read more Ringside Seat in Communities Digital News. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego.
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