“I think he’s been unfairly treated. They’ve given Scott Quigg his title,” stated IBF super bantamweight champion Carl Frampton (21-0, 14 KOs), when asked about his thoughts on Guillermo Rigondeaux, whose titles were stripped several months ago for inactivity.
Frampton takes on Scott Quigg (31-0-2, 23 KOs) in a unification clash on Saturday, February 27, at the Manchester Arena, United Kingdom.
The unification fight means Frampton’s aforementioned IBF title will be up for grabs, as well as Quigg’s WBA “Super”’ title, formerly owned by Guillermo Rigondeaux. The winner will be obligated to face Rigondeaux, who is regarded as a “Champion in Recess” by the WBA.
Recently, a conference call was held, where the fighters spoke about their upcoming contest.
Prior to the fight being signed, Quigg enjoyed a second round stoppage of Kiko Martinez (35-6, 26 KOs) in July 2015, a foe Frampton has fought twice, and beaten twice.
On the same day as Quigg’s victory, Frampton battled to a unanimous decision win over underrated Alejandro Gonzalez Jr. (25-3-2, 15 KOs). Despite a unanimous decision, Frampton suffered two knockdowns, which surprised many.
When asked for his opinion on Frampton’s performance against Gonzalez, Quigg was critical, but refused to take confidence from the two knockdowns. “He got off to a shaky start,” Quigg said.
“I’ve always said he doesn’t fight well over [the course of a long] fight,” stated Quigg, who then implied Frampton’s performance was a result of not fighting in his native Northern Ireland, a place he believes is Frampton’s “comfort blanket.”
As expected, Quigg was then asked whether he feels he can knock Frampton out, after witnessing his knockdowns against Alejandro Gonzalez. “I land clean on any super bantamweight or featherweight in the world, I will knock them out.”
In response to Quigg’s assessment of his performance against Gonzalez, Frampton believed the knockdowns were the reason Quigg decided to fight him. “I’m going to call it a blessing in disguise,” Frampton stated.
“If I had went in and blew Alejandro Gonzalez away in one or two rounds then you guys wouldn’t be on the phone talking to me about Scott Quigg. Because, (I went down) in the first round is the only reason that [we’re fighting].”
Interestingly, despite Manchester being closer to home for Quigg, Frampton was adamant that the majority of the fans will be supporting him instead. “Actually, the majority of the fans will be rooting for me.”
“I’ll have at least 70 percent of the support in the arena. I have no doubt about that. So, it may feel a bit more [like a home game] for Scott. But when he’s standing on the ramp and gets a worse reception than me, let’s see how he deals with that.”
Frampton was then asked about the positive state of British boxing currently. “It’s a good time for British boxing,” Frampton said.
“There’s gonna be one less [world champion] by the time me and Quigg fight, but I know it’s not gonna be me.”
Additionally, Quigg was also impressed with how British boxing is currently operating. “I think the boxing at the moment in Ireland and England is the best it’s been,” Quigg said.
“When you’ve got all these world champions now coming from, you know, the UK, you seem to bounce and thrive off each other [and I think it shows] we are as good as, you know, the fighters in the U.S. and Mexico.”
One thing for certain is this all-British fight has the potential to affect boxing internationally, with some appealing fights for the winner in the U.S. specifically.
Hours after Frampton vs. Quigg square off, Leo Santa Cruz, a possible future opponent, will defend his WBA featherweight title against a fighter both Frampton and Quigg know well; Kiko Martinez.
Conclusively, the worldwide interest for this fight is evident, with Showtime Extreme broadcasting the bout in the United States in the late afternoon, and Showtime showing an encore in the evening.
Photos by Esther Lin/Showtime