Quigg obsessed with boxing, convinced of victory
Scott Quigg doesn't need a dating profile. He's happily in love with his fiancée Beverly.
If he did have one there would be certain character traits that would jump out at potential romantic suitors. They would read about a man who is obsessed with his job, a man who spends every possible minute in his office and a man who chose to work on Christmas Day in continuing his strive for perfection and to be the best at what he does.
The 27-year-old WBA super-bantamweight champion is obsessed with his craft and makes no effort to hide the fact. Without his yearn for perfection then he wouldn't be where he is today.
By late Saturday night in Manchester the boxing world will know who is better: Scott Quigg or (IBF champion) Carl Frampton.
"I know the type of person [Frampton] is," Quigg (31-0-2, 23 KOs) told Boxing Monthly ahead of this weekend’s showdown at the Manchester Arena. "I know the mistakes he’s going to make and they will cost him in this fight. I know him as a person and he’ll fall for what I set up for him.”
Every fighter talks a good fight. Whether it is a veil for hidden insecurities or not, it convinces them and those in their circle that nothing can stop them. The stranger on the other end of the phone, in this case me, may not always think so but Quigg's refusal to believe that Frampton would beat him was spoke with the kind of conviction that I don't hear very often.
This may stem from the hours and hours that Quigg spends trying to perfect every punch, every movement and every little detail with trainer Joe Gallagher. An emphatic second round KO of Kiko Martinez last July, a two-time dance partner of Frampton's, only enhanced Quigg's mindset that he will be the first man to put an L on Frampton's unblemished 21-fight unbeaten record.
“I didn’t have any mental worries or anything like that but what I did have, was not fear of Kiko Martinez, but just a fear of losing and I knew the dangers he brought to the table," said Quigg when we discussed what is, without doubt, the best performance and win of his career.
"There was a lot of pressure in that fight because a lot of people were saying I was in a no-win situation because Frampton had stopped him the first time and beat him on points the second time. If I would have stopped him late or beat him on points, people would have said ‘well Frampton’s already done that blah blah’. I had to take him out within six rounds to get any credit."
It was Quigg's first fight in eight months after Hidenori Otake's forehead made sure that the champion's right hand would need surgery after the pair met in November 2014. A unanimous decision win for Quigg was filled with pain that shot up his right arm each time he landed a punch on the challenger. A fighter's job description says 'carry on regardless'.
"It didn’t really have an effect on the fight but in the changing room afterwards if felt like my hand was going to explode," Quigg recalled. "Within a minute of having my hand wraps off it was like an absolute balloon."
Hand and wrist surgeon Mike Hayton was tasked with sorting out the damage sustained to Quigg's middle and right index fingers. Stiched back up, Quigg was ready to rumble once again but not without going through a period in his life where he couldn't put on a pair of socks, let alone get dressed in full.
"It gives me even more resepct for people who fight for this country and lose limbs and all I couldn’t do was use my right hand but I still had it. I didn’t start feeling sorry for myself because there’s a lot of people in a worse off position than me," said Quigg.
As you would expect with the work ethic of Quigg's he kept on keeping on with other parts of his training regime such as roadwork and ensuring he kept eating the right things. Then once all was healed…
“Once I could start punching it was like Christmas had come,” he said.
One fight in 2015 was not what Quigg had planned for himself. Three bouts last year would have been ideal but whatever you think of the Kiko Martinez who showed up against Quigg, that first round which looked a nightmare start for the champion, there is no doubt that the champion's stock has risen.
And now here we are: another fight week. The one we’ve all been waiting for in the super bantamweight division. A Sky Box Office pay-per-view fight against his biggest rival, broadcast in America on Showtime Sports and with nearly every fight fan (certainly in the UK) counting down the days until Scott Quigg and Carl Frampton collide.
It’s a long way from the 23-year-old who had his first trip to the Wildcard Gym in Los Angeles and found himself thrown in to a sparring session with the 122lbs number one Guillermo Rigondeaux. Four years later and there has been significant development in the ring and outside the ring for Quigg. The confidence is flowing thanks to life in England and those occasional trips to Freddie Roach’s bullpen for fighters.
“You’re learning and improving all the time and the big thing is confidence,” said Quigg.
“Working with Roach day in day out, watching other fighters, there’s many things to learn. Even going to have a bite to eat a few times with Freddie and just talking. That’s where you pick up them little things. It does so much for your confidence. And when you’ve got a different voice telling you you’ve made a mistake it sticks a bit more. I’m on a roll at the minute and I won’t be stopped.”
And the spar with Rigondeaux…?
“I remember he knocked some Mexican kid out. The Mexican kid was doing all right as well and next minute this left hand came out of nowhere, he must have annoyed him or pissed him off and sprawled him out. They literally rolled him out. I was supposed to be sparring a Russian and then Freddie looked me up and down and told me to get in.
“It was just a nullified spar other than me stuck to his chest trying to wail in some body shots. I hadn’t had much amateur experience so to come back from there, my first time at the Wildcard, as a kid, then sparring Rigo, that’s what turned me from a boy into a man."
Photo credit: Lawrence Lustig.