The Big Question: Frampton-Quigg - who will be victorious?
This Saturday night will witness the eagerly anticipated 122lbs unification showdown between long-time rivals Carl Frampton and Scott Quigg – in a battle of unbeaten world title holders at Manchester Arena. Our ‘Big Question’ this week asks – who wins? Boxing Monthly's online team give their (almost) unanimous verdict.
Much has been made of Quigg's improvement but Frampton has improved, too, as shown by his measured performance in his second fight against Kiko Martinez. With a large ring, I can see Frampton aiming to replicate that performance. However, Quigg will apply more educated pressure than the Spaniard did. Quigg's ability to create angles for his shots is very underrated and he is a far more intelligent fighter than he receives credit for - look at how he sets up the uppercut which leads to his stoppage victory against Martinez. Tentatively, I'm backing Frampton to pick up a close points victory as the Northern Irishman's more varied skill set offers him more ways to win. - John A McDonald.
I'm looking forward to this fight more than any all-British clash I can remember. I got asked what I felt the outcome of a Frampton-Quigg fight would be on Boxing Matters the week after Frampton took apart Chris Avalos and the word "Frampton" couldn't leave my mouth quickly enough. Since then, I've looked at this in depth and I think that, while Quigg has the more devastating ways to win, Frampton has the more varied ways. In a fight at this level, the ability to adapt and change plan mid-fight could be crucial.
I can easily see Quigg dominating Frampton physically and badly hurting the Irishman to the body, but I can't get away from my initial gut feeling that Frampton will be able to box, fight and counter-punch his way to a close but unanimous verdict. - John Evans.
Frampton believes he can win this fight any way he chooses to and I’m inclined to go along with that. If he gets dropped, the Ulsterman will rally; if he falls behind he can adapt and change tack and if he gets his nose in front, he’ll be very difficult to rein in.
I’m always impressed with Frampton’s balance. Even when he misses a right hand, he’s able to fire back with perfect left crosses and hooks. His sense of distance and timing is other-worldly at times.
I always liked the way Quigg could box on the back foot and play defence when required – his former trainer Brian Hughes had him drilled to move smoothly away from danger before retaliating. I haven’t seen that in recent fights and - while he’s superbly conditioned and appears to bit hitting harder with single punches – he looks a tad more hittable and possibly has less dimensions to him as a result. I’ll take Frampton to comfortably outpoint Quigg through 12 exciting rounds. - Andrew Harrison.
Frampton has been the front-runner in my mind for quite some time as it's in my nature to pick the more cerebral fighter in a close contest. I'm hugely impressed by the dimensions Quigg has developed and the ways in which he's improved. He seems aware of his own assets and knows how to maximise them in the ring. If Frampton cruises in any way, or doesn't start decisively, then Quigg could quickly overpower him. However, I think Frampton has an answer to all of Quigg's best weapons. I'm expecting him to weather a few severe storms and intelligently box his way to a majority decision. - Jessi Jackalope.
I've backed Frampton to beat Quigg ever since the two were linked to a fight against one another. And, while Quigg has closed the gap, I still feel Frampton, overall, is the better fighter and has too much of an all-round game to beat Quigg.
Quigg's belief is infectious, having spoke to him he had me believing that he could topple 'The Jackal'. However, while Quigg's win over Martinez was impressive and rightly was a shot in the arm for he and his team, I believe that Frampton's early wobbles against Alejandro Gonzalez might be the best thing to happen to Frampton and the worst for Quigg.
He admitted to being complacent on his American debut and I don't believe he will repeat that error for a fight that has been so long in the making. Quigg will be the hunter with Frampton the hunted, but being clever enough to win rounds. There will likely be a judge that will favour the aggression but I'm going for Frampton to come out on top on the scorecards. - Shaun Brown.
Frampton. I'm thinking this may end-up being one of those ‘even money’ fights, which afterwards, wasn't quite so even at all. - Colin Harris.
Frampton is the smarter fighter with a higher ceiling. Unless he gets caught with Quigg's power in the early rounds, Frampton should be able to control the pace over 12 rounds. - Shawn Smith.
The two negatives which everyone refers to against Frampton are: he didn't take out Martinez as quickly as Quigg and he hit the canvas twice in the first round of his last defence. Reality is - he beat Martinez through strategy and came back to win in the US - on strategy. I believe Frampton wins and don't be surprised if he takes out Quigg mid-rounds with a counter-punch as Scott loses concentration. - Paul Zanon.
A year or so ago I would have gone for Carl without question, but Scott looked devastating last time out and this could be a mighty close one. Overall, I still give Frampton the slight edge, particularly if it goes the full 12 rounds, as he is the more rounded technician. Quigg could stop him though if Carl starts slowly. Like the rest of the boxing world I can't wait to see what happens and I dearly hope that the winner fights Rigondeaux who is, lest we forget, the true number one at this weight. - Luke G. Williams.
Upon this fights announcement my initial feeling was dread for Frampton, he didn't look stellar early on against Gonzalez and Quigg looked sensational when stopping Kiko Martinez, but I think that's too a simplistic way of looking at it. Yes Frampton was dropped twice against Gonzalez but as he's been keen to point out, he adapted and did so very quickly. Quigg has definitely improved but I don't think he's had the fights to prepare him for Frampton and I think Frampton just knows a bit more. Anyway assuming Frampton makes the weight okay, the pick is for Frampton to get off the floor to nick a close but deserved decision on the cards. - Callum Rudge.
I view this as a genuine 50-50, pick ‘em contest so was rather surprised when Boxing Monthly online contributors unanimously picked Carl Frampton to prevail. Up to a year ago, the IBF champ would have been a lock for me, with his extra variety and superior schooling at amateur level, but Quigg’s improvement has been marked under trainer Joe Gallagher and his Alex Ferguson ‘siege mentality’.
Quigg has almost learned on the job after the WBA – as only the WBA can – awarded him their 122lbs ‘Regular’ title and he defended it with an uninspiring draw against Cuban Yoandris Salinas after an oddly pedestrian start. The looming presence of unbeaten master Guillermo Rigondeaux (the WBA’s long-time ‘Super’ champion – now its 'Champion In Recess') has long cast a shadow over Quigg and his achievements, but he has underestimated pop at top level as Kiko Martinez discovered to his cost.
The Bury man lives and breathes the sport like few others. I feel he is the fighter in the ascendancy without reading too much into Frampton’s early knockdowns against Alejandro Gonzalez Jr. Big for the weight, Quigg’s size and reach advantages should prove significant and his bodywork telling as the fight develops. Unlike my colleagues, I am fairly convinced Quigg will prevail on home turf. Hopefully, the contest is close enough to merit a rematch in the pro-Frampton cauldron of Belfast. - Mark Butcher.
BM VERDICT: Frampton 10, Quigg 1.
Photo credit: Mark Robinson.