Frampton vs. Quigg—What Makes the Blood Boil

By Marc Livitz on February 27, 2016
Frampton vs. Quigg—What Makes the Blood Boil
Frampton and Quigg are among the best fighters in the world regardless of division. (BBC)

Great opportunities await the winner. Guillermo Rigondeaux, Leo Santa Cruz and others may want to watch this one…

Boxing fans in the United States caught a glimpse of Carl “The Jackal” Frampton on a Saturday afternoon last July as part of a telecast of “Premier Boxing Champions”. For a huge swath of fight aficionados, this was perhaps the first glimpse of the still unbeaten IBF super bantamweight titleholder from Belfast, Northern Ireland. Although Frampton began the contest on shaky ground by way of suffering two knockdowns in the opening round at the hands (or gloves) of Alejandro Gonzalez, he went on to cruise to a convincing, one-sided unanimous decision win in El Paso, Texas.

Some had hoped that his handlers would take the path of other current boxing sensations from foreign countries and direct him towards further and hopefully, more enthralling contests in the United States. Alas, this will have to wait, however given the circumstances, no explanation is needed. On Saturday evening in Manchester, Lancashire, UK, 29-year-old Frampton (21-0, 14 KO’) will seek to add to his rack of championship belts the one held by his opponent, Scott Quigg (31-0-2, 23 KOs). The 27-year-old undefeated champion from Bury, also in Lancashire, currently holds the WBA super bantamweight crown. Unification bouts are as rare as four-leaf clovers and no less desirable. And when both champions are undefeated and in their fighting primes—and hail from the British Isles—the desire is even greater.

To put this into a bit clearer but much greater detail and illustrate just why such a high profile bout is best suited for the temperate region of the United Kingdom as opposed to Las Vegas or even New York City, let us take a brief jostle down the annals of history. We don’t have to go back very far. We could if we wanted and recall from our textbooks of years past how our old friend from a most infamous period of time, Henry VIII wanted to divorce his Spanish wife, but the Pope in Rome said, “no, sir.” Of course, the Tudor monarch decided to do what he wanted and split from the Catholic Church to strengthen the Church of England, with himself at the helm and Protestantism as the official religion. That was almost five hundred years ago.

Throughout the centuries, there’s been back and forth tension, violence and mistrust between the two regions. There’s entirely too much to discuss at any length and certainly not fit for an article focused mainly on the sport of boxing. In terms of more recent uneasiness, look up “The Troubles” on an Internet search. These days, Carl Frampton’s hometown of Belfast is a most interesting place. One of its several claims to international fame is the area which was formerly the location of the shipyard used to construct the ill fated R.M.S. Titanic just over one hundred years ago. Tourist attractions are what help metropolitan and even some rural areas stay afloat and hopefully prosperous.

However, what one rarely sees in just about any locale is a giant wall. Not just any wall, but one with religious and nationalistic implications. Some parts of Belfast are separated by a giant barricade, known as a “Peace Wall” which runs through areas where differing viewpoints are so great that some residents cannot live side by side, but instead on opposite ends of a barrier. On one side are those loyal to England, while the other houses those with a stronger sense of nationalism. That’s about all that is really needed to explain the significance and monstrous implications of a championship fight between a fighter from England and one from Northern Ireland.

While they may not throw too much long brewing mud at the other instead of the normal pre-fight rhetoric, some of their respective fans may not be able to effectively separate the two, especially after several rounds of drinks at a local pub. While the atmosphere in the Manchester Arena is likely to be nothing short of electrifying, fight goers will hopefully watch the other shoulder and hope the security working that night will all go home with tales of a great bout.

Both fighters made weight Friday afternoon in advance of the fight. Quigg came in at 121.5 pounds. Frampton weighed 121.6. They are among the best fighters in the world regardless of division. Michael Buffer was in attendance at the weigh-in, so we know Saturday is a big deal. We’ll see if he has time enough to hop across the pond quickly enough to attend and announce the WBO World super lightweight clash between undefeated Terence “Bud” Crawford and “Hammerin’ Hank” Henry Lundy.

“It’s a fight I’ve wanted for a long time,” said Quigg. “It’s nearly four and a half years this has been brewing. I think the rivalry is very big because, you know, the English fans they’re passionate about the sport in general. The Irish are passionate about the sport. They get behind their man. I’m one million percent confident. We’re both world champions. We’re both undefeated.  I’ve always wanted the chance to prove I’m the best. This is my moment of destiny”

Quigg isn’t the only one who hears destiny calling.

“I’ve been chasing Scott Quigg for a long time,” said Frampton. “I’ve been chasing him for at least four years when he was British champion. I’ll need to be at my best to beat Quigg. And so far in the gym everything’s looking like you’re gonna see the best ever Carl Frampton. The difference is natural talent. Everything that he does is programmed. He’s been taught how to fight. I know how to fight. I’ve been boxing since I was seven. It’s all I know really and that’s gonna be the big difference.”

How’s that for a situation? Odds are it’s enough of a powder keg for just about anyone. Be sure to tune in on Saturday afternoon. The bout will be televised in the United States on Showtime Extreme (5:30PM ET / 2:30PM PT). Should Quigg get the win, then he may gain popularity surpassing current heavyweight champion Tyson Fury. A victory for Frampton might mean that the late, great George Best could have a bit of company as one of the favorite residents of the Emerald Isle. Great opportunities await the winner. Guillermo Rigondeaux, Leo Santa Cruz and others may want to watch this one.

Follow us on Twitter@boxing_com to continue the discussion

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  1. Jojo 03:46pm, 02/27/2016

    They are nothing compare to Nonito the Filipino Flash Donaire

  2. Eric 07:37am, 02/27/2016

    Makes me think back to the Jim Watt vs. Sean O’Grady title bout held in Glasgow in 1981. Bubblegum Sean received death threats from some Protestant extremist group while in Scotland. Watt retained his title but not without controversy surrounding a butt which opened a huge gash on Irish Sean’s forehead.

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