Manchester: The Jackal Outfoxes Quigg

By Ted Spoon on February 28, 2016
Manchester: The Jackal Outfoxes Quigg
Frampton vs. Quigg did what it was supposed to. It underlined a difference in class.

Carl Frampton leaves this fight with even more momentum behind him, and you better believe the world is paying attention. America certainly is…

There had been some unprofessional, even childish moments in the build-up. Insults, rumors, a mini scuffle between head trainers. Perhaps most immature of all was seeing 54-year-old, retired featherweight Barry McGuigan mimic Carl Frampton’s V-sign behind his rival’s head. It can be ugly watching everyone get caught up in the moment. Then you remember why. Juvenile antics were merely a sign of the underlying tension, that extra spice which comes with the big fights, and no, I don’t just mean big PPV numbers but real significance, when rising boxers collide, those heated originals where undefeated men push for the only result they know, where there’s something else to be captured beyond victory, something in the turbo-charged atmosphere…

Inside a deafening Manchester Arena Belfast’s Carl Frampton (22-0, 14 KOs) outpointed Bury’s Scott Quigg (31-1-2, 23 KOs) via split decision scores of 116-112, 116-112, trumping 113-115 for the IBF and ‘regular’ WBA super-bantamweight titles. The lone vote for Quigg was a strange one in what was a thoroughly dominant performance by a boxer who proved (as he had boasted pre-fight) that natural talent would make the difference.

The noise throughout Michael Buffer’s cinematic introductions was impressive but also telling as Frampton seemed to enjoy greater cheers. The hometown fighter was regularly booed by the nose-bleeders whenever he flashed on the giant screens. The crowd was not the real problem though. As round one began Frampton assumed his fighting posture, decidedly less tense than Quigg’s with a draping left arm and a wide stance which began to glide. A finely tuned understanding of distance was the real problem, that inert talent shared by the best. It allowed the favorite to dictate.

Truth be told, nothing significant landed in the first three rounds, the explosion everyone seemed to anticipate not going off, but it was Frampton who was pacifying the man who promised a knockout. A snaking jab, a neat hook off the jab, Quigg brooded behind his guard while catching shots, only to retaliate in predictable fashion. Already unsure of himself, feints worked a treat.

Round four and the workmanlike Quigg finally landed a solid right. Probably the best shot of this session but another three minutes in which Frampton was again fighting his fight, an attractive one. The fifth was exhibition stuff as Carl’s footwork turned Quigg inside out. Skipping away in a satisfied manner had the Irish roar in approval.

It was impossible to hear what Joe Gallagher was telling his man between rounds but whatever it was, if indeed Quigg was following it, Frampton was undoing it.

Round seven produced the first boos at the action itself, probably directed at Quigg who was failing to play his part in a fight that was billed as 50-50. The shots Frampton was landing were not of the crunching kind but they didn’t need to be. They weren’t shoe-shiners either and whenever Quigg did get some success Carl was right back at him. The eighth went by as did most others. In the ninth Quigg socked Frampton on the ropes. Urgency began to appear in his work.

Round ten began and so did Quigg. Marching into the necessary range he swung, missed, but then he kept swinging. Ripping body work rooted those swish feet to the canvas. Suddenly it was a different fight and the crowd did what they do best. Various rows remained standing and were shouted at to “sit down!” It was late but better than never. Round eleven produced more of the same and allowed Frampton to show he could also rough it if need be, slinging body shots and looking for the uppercut. Pride was also keeping him there but for the first time his punches took on a pushy quality and he cut some exchanges short with a clinch. Big gulps were taken before the referee separated. Before the round was done Quigg landed his best head shot yet. The sweat sprayed and there was a little sag. The possibility of a grandstand finish had more iPhones put on record.

Try as he did it was still too reserved and scrappy from Quigg, waiting for those perfect moments that entered reality as ugly swings. Frampton punched with less venom and popped an Ali shuffle, not a tasteless one but rather a timely exclamation on a fine performance. There was no doubt at the final bell and the two men embraced which won unanimous applause, dispersing whatever bad feeling existed between two guys who didn’t really dislike one another.

I’ll be damned if I heard what Frampton was saying when a microphone was put under his mouth. I did see Barry McGuigan jump up and down which got as big a cheer as any. Shane McGuigan was there also, the young professor who is simultaneously remoulding David Haye and George Groves. When it was Quigg’s turn you could see he was relatively unmarked, often a token of skill, in this case of a fighter who didn’t put his foot down hard enough. He had not lost that big smile and will surely be back after a loss that will not have put many miles on the clock.

The fight did what it was supposed to. It underlined a difference in class.

Carl Frampton leaves this fight with even more momentum behind him, and you better believe the world is paying attention. America certainly is, many familiar bloggers were visible tonight who had made the trip to see a fighter who is beginning to rival Carl Froch’s popularity but skill wise is much more nicely packaged. Even the bitterest Mancunian will learn to applaud a fighter who is world class and then some. The problem is Saturday night may have been the warm-up, not the acid test.

Next month another Jackal is let loose on UK soil.

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  1. Hell Toupee 06:31am, 02/29/2016

    T ake Back Our Country
    R estore American Pride
    U nited For America First
    M ake America Great Again
    P ersonal Commitment To Excellence

  2. Ted Spoon 03:53am, 02/29/2016

    I should add that it was later confirmed Quigg suffered a broken jaw in the fourth round. However, that still doesn’t pardon his reticence in the first three.

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