(Credit: Matchroom Boxing) The fight between Scott Quigg and Carl Frampton reached a fever pitch during the final presser of the week when the two men traded words and shoves. Manchester Arena is the place this U.K. super fight of sorts will take place and you can bet both fan bases equaling 20,000 strong, will let their voice be heard this Saturday night. The bout has been in the making for years and judging by the two camps the top is about to blow off with anticipation.
Up until recently, Carl Frampton was seen as the clear favorite until one day in July 2015 made many swing the other way in favor of Scott Quigg. Frampton had failed to impress in the States versus little-known Alejandro Gonzalez. Back home, his bitter-rival TKO’d Kiko Martinez in the second round, unlike The Jackal’ whom it took two fights to win impressively.
But beyond that Martinez technical stoppage, Quigg’s troubles with mediocre opponents is well documented in his draws with Rendall Monroe and Yoandris Salinas. In those two appearances Quigg’s flaws were exposed to an extent. Neither fighter can claim to have a deep resume but Quigg’s is pretty thin considering he will be entering his 34th bout. Was Quigg’s last performance enough to inch him in the lead to pick as the winner? Maybe, but let’s dig deeper since neither man fights with a style of Kiko Martinez.
Quigg no doubt is taller with a longer reach and more comfortable at the 122 pound weight class, the latter being potentially enough to make a difference. Scott’s power is legit regardless of how shallow his record at the top level. He favors a left hook to the head and can dig to the body viciously with both fists. As boxing fans well know, constant body punching can slow an outside boxer down as the fight carries on. Add the fact of a possible weight drained Frampton and Quigg posses the exact remedy to deal with the more talented fighter in Carl.
Carl Frampton has some pop in his punch and will enter the ring as the more skillful fighter overall. That being said Carl will have to be on his best behavior technique wise to secure victory. If Frampton can circle and/or pivot his way around Quigg the majority of the evening he will get his hand raised. Activity will be needed for Carl as long as he doesn’t stay in front too long while throwing combinations.
Both men use the jab, Quigg’s is snappy whereas Frampton’s is a bit more deadly as long as he doesn’t measure with it too much. Defense will be a key more so for Frampton, making sure to keep his right hand close to his face to protect from left hooks. Frampton’s footwork is clean for the most part besides a few moments of being off balanced. If Carl makes the same mistake he made early versus Gonzalez it will be a very long night.
Quigg may have the power advantage but can he deliver it? This scribe doubts Quigg’s ability to cut the ring off on a cutie like Carl. All the talk about power and conditioning is great but nothing in Quigg’s background shows us that he’s that type of dude. Who exactly has he beating with his freight train like endurance and activity? Watching several fights from the last few years shows Quigg’s more comfortable operating in the middle of the ring circling his opponent at times.
This U.K. super fight will begin with more posturing than power as each man measures. Both men will get in some decent work in the first few rounds. Look for Frampton to find his groove quicker as the action stays in the center of the ring. Down on the cards at the halfway mark, Quigg’s corner will switch up the game plan. At that point expect to see Scott coming full speed ahead in search of a Manchester dust up.
Beyond getting caught in exchanges and with heavy body punches, Frampton will be the one landing the cleaner shots. As Quigg pushes forward Carl will begin to counter him with flush right hands and clean up with hooks and upper cuts. The sheer moment and energy of crowd may cause a commotion in Frampton, thus falling for the trap of engaging in some Manchester Machismo. Unless Quigg can come out of his comfort zone or land a game-changing punch, Frampton will win closely on points.
My Official Prediction is Carl Frampton by Majority Decision.
Side Notes: Both HBO and Showtime feature dueling fight card this Saturday but the top of the bills are stay-busy affairs. HBO gives us another glimpse of rising Puerto Rican prospect Felix Verdejo facing a fellow unbeaten (untested) prospect on the co-feature. Terrence Crawford returns against Philly native Hank Lundy in the main event. Let’s see if Lundy can walk all that pre-fight talk.
On the Showtime side of things Leo Santa Cruz takes on aging contender Kiko Martinez. Hopefully Kiko has something left in the tank to create one last energetic performance for the fans. The co-feature should be a good one based off their first meeting last August. Ceja vs. Ruiz 2 will likely be the best fight of the weekend stateside. If you miss the live afternoon showing of Frampton vs. Quigg on SHO Extreme, don’t worry there will be a re-broadcast after the live card at night. (Also keep your eye out for Huck vs. Olafabi 4)
Written by Chris Carlson Host of Rope-A-Dope-Radio blogtalkradio.com/ropeadoperadio
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