By Phil Barnett, Press Association Sport – Scott Quigg is ready to upstage his mentor Ricky Hatton on Saturday when he meets domestic rival Rendall Munroe in a fascinating battle for global honours. Quigg and Munroe square off five months after their original bout ended in an anti-climactic technical draw when a clash of heads left Munroe with a cut which forced a premature finish. They do so in the limelight of Hatton’s much-hyped comeback, with the Hitman seeking redemption by taking on former welterweight champion Vyacheslav Senchenko at the Manchester Arena.
While Hatton’s return to action will undoubtedly be fascinating, purists will be similarly intrigued by the crossroads fight between Bury’s Quigg and Leicester southpaw Munroe for the WBA ‘interim’ super-bantamweight belt.
The winner will earn a shiny belt of debatable worth to strap around his waist but also, more importantly, open the door to fights with the likes of ‘proper’ WBA champion Guillermo Rigondeaux.
Quigg, 24, is just grateful to be appearing on such a huge stage – but admits it would be nice to steal the limelight.
“I can’t think of anything bigger in boxing at the moment than Ricky Hatton’s comeback so for my fight to be on the undercard is great,” he told Press Association Sport.
“The publicity I’m going to get through it being such a big event, I wouldn’t have got that anywhere else.
“For people to say this fight might end up being the fight of the night is great.
“I think it could upstage Ricky’s fight and it would be a great achievement to be in a fight such as that.
“It’s going to be a cracking fight. Rendall is world class, he’s fought at world level when he boxed for the WBC title and did so well.
“I’m getting in there with a world-class fighter on Saturday and the job I do on him and the way I win will show whether I’m ready or not. I’m confident I am ready to move onto big things in 2013.”
Reflecting on their unsatisfactory three rounds in June, the Lancastrian said: “It’s a disappointment for both of us how the last fight ended because we’d both trained hard but I’m just glad it’s been made again.
“His eye has healed quickly apparently so it’s a fight I’m looking forward to.
“I was feeling comfortable in the first fight, I saw things that were working for me but I’m expecting a better Rendall Munroe because I think he might have underestimated me first time around.”
Munroe, who challenged Toshiaki Nishioka for the WBC super-bantamweight title in Tokyo in 2010 and gave a good account of himself, has shrugged off the fact many are tipping Quigg to win.
“Obviously they’re looking at Scott Quigg as the young prospect rather than focusing on the quality of fighters I’ve boxed,” said the 32-year-old former bin man.
“I don’t watch others, I just do what I’ve got to do. It’s been very frustrating for me because I proved myself as an elite athlete against Nishioka but I proved myself too much because since then, nobody will give me a chance.”
A quality undercard also sees St Helens’ former world title challenger Martin Murray bid to claim the WBA’s ‘interim’ middleweight belt against Jorge Navarro while Gary Buckland defends his British super-featherweight title against Stephen Foster Jr.
European champion Sergey Rabchenko, who is trained by Hatton, defends his belt against Cedric Vitu.
BRENTWOOD SET FOR DEVINE INTERVENTION
23 year-old Luton lightweight Michael Devine is set to step up in class when he tackles Andras Varga. The Hungarian, who has only lost two of his ten fights, faces Devine on Steve Goodwin’s bumper ‘Earthquake in Essex’ bill at Brentwood on December 8th.
Luton has produced some notable champions in recent years such as Billy Schwer and Graham Earl – and Devine wants to emulate them.
“Billy and Graham created a massive buzz for boxing in the area,” said Devine (7-1). “My support is increasing every fight, with over 150 expected to make the trip to Brentwood.
“I originally signed with Graham Earl as manager but things did not work out and we parted company after my fourth fight when I lost to Mark Alexander. I had very limited amateur experience and I was not ready for such an experienced opponent. I had nearly a year out whilst I sorted out my contractual problems and then signed management with James Paisley and a promotional deal with Goodwin Promotions. Things are going well and I’m now going to be live on Primetime in December.
“In the immediate future I would love a rematch with Alexander but he does not appear to want it. I have also heard Graham Earl is planning a comeback and if so I would love to fight him in the battle of Luton.
“Steve Goodwin has promised to keep me active in 2013 and I couldn’t be happier. My dream is to fight at Luton Football Ground and Steve has told me if I keep winning he will deliver this for me.”
The Devine-Varga fight is part of an exciting 15-fight card where more than half the matches are between boxers who both have positive records. The bill is headed by the Southern Area light-middleweight title rematch between Kris Agyei-Dua and Nathan Graham. Chief support is the heavyweight grudge match between former amateur star Ian Lewison and unbeaten Welsh heavyweight Dorian Darch (6-0).
Tickets can be bought at www.goodwinpromotions.co.uk or by calling 01525 851150.