Regular WBA World super-bantamweight champion Scott Quigg, 30-0-2 (22KO’s), returns to the ring this evening after 8 months out of action to face former IBF World super-bantamweight ruler Kiko Martinez, 32-5 (24KO’s), sharing top billing with gym mate and friend Anthony Crolla.
It’s been a frustrating wait for the self-confessed gym rat, after surgery to rectify tendon tears to his middle and index knuckles on his right hand, alongside the high profile bundling that was the Carl Frampton negotiations forcing a hiatus that has the Bury man chomping at the bit.
In the 29-year old Spaniard, Quigg has been presented with the perfect return opponent. Martinez is respected, at the tail end of his world-class career without being washed up and a useful bargaining chip in any future Frampton talks, should Quigg dispatch of him in empathic fashion.
Under no illusions, the 26-year old Brit is well aware of the threat Martinez poses, having travelled and claimed victory against the odds in the recent past when stopping Jhonatan Romero in 6-rounds and Hozumi Hasegawa in 7-rounds to both claim and retain his IBF title.
He since lost that title by a wide margin to Carl Frampton and Quigg believes with the adjustments made during his time away from the ring he will prove – as his most noted foe did on two occasions – a level above Martinez.
“I’ve been working on my technique in the gym with Joe, the little things that will make a big difference. We’ve made adjustments to my skills and my ring craft and I really feel I have improved 25 per cent since my last fight, and that’s a lot. Kiko says he’s prepared for the best Scott Quigg – no one has seen the best of me, but they will on Saturday.” said Quigg.
Quigg bristles with the pre-fight talk that can be heard around the globe, across all levels of the fight game. He is confident, his training has gone well and he wants the world to know. However, when fighters like the normally reserved Quigg are brimming and talking boldly, the inclination to believe him and he has been given the perfect platform to back up such promises.
Make no mistake, this is a difficult test for Quigg and one that could end badly should it descend into a firefight, Martinez can punch and has proved it at all levels. However, in Quigg he faces a thoughtful boxer, well aware of this fact and prepared for all eventualities.
“I am expecting a tough fight, it’s the hardest fight of my career and I expect to have to dig deep every round – but the way I have prepared, I am confident that I have done the work to get the win in impressive fashion, as I am under no illusions that this is a dangerous fight and one I have to be switched on for at all times.” confirmed Quigg.
Talk emerged this week that all being well, Nonito Donaire is the future target for the man from the north-west, but there is one fight that remains on everyone’s lips and with both fighters performing on the same night, nothing is going to douse those flames.
All eyes will be on Scott Quigg and Carl Frampton again tonight and will continue to be until the fight that must happen is made.