The best fight of this past weekend was supposed to happen not in the United States but actually across the pond in the MEN Arena in Manchester, England. You see according to many boxing pundits and fans, it was expected the twelve round between IBF super bantamweight champion Carl Frampton and WBA 122-pound champ Scott Quigg was supposed to be this decade’s version of that storied trilogy between Marco Antonio Barrera and Erik Morales.
As expected the MEN Arena was up to its rafters in what was the first all-British unification championship bout in years. The fact there was no love lost between the two men in the lead up to the fight only added to the intensity and electricity of the night. With both men putting up each their slice of the super bantamweight crown plus their own respective undefeated record, the fight had all the workings to be major fight not only in British boxing history but in general. Everything was according to plan as both fighters were announced and you could barely hear the announcer through the roar and chants of the crowd. It was derailed right into the first round when Quigg looked very hesitant to let his hands go. Most of the time, the first round is the least busy stanza of any fight as both fighters are shaking off any jitters while trying to get a handle on the style and speed of their opponent. It was hoped this was the case after the first three minutes between these two men but once we got past a couple of rounds it was obvious Frampton was only doing enough to win the round while Quigg was doing much less.
It was odd Quigg was the taller of the two but wasn’t taking advantage of it since he was content in getting in close and letting go one or maybe one punch at the time. Frampton had an easy time of boxing from the outside while using his jab to measure up Quigg and land. Later it was learned Quigg suffered a broken jaw in the fourth round from a right uppercut from Frampton.
It wasn’t until nearly the championship round when we actually began to get the fight everybody in the boxing world expected. Quigg all of sudden began to let his hands go and make a fight out of it as Frampton, after using his movement and boxing for the majority of the night, began to fade a bit. Quigg was able to land hard shots, many of them as part of combinations, while Frampton decided to hold his ground and fight back.
It looked like Quigg, who by this point needed a knockout to win, was going to go for it in the twelfth and final round but Frampton, as a true champion, was able to muster enough energy to take back the momentum and win the last round. The fact one of the judges, Levi Martinez, saw it for Quigg is beyond all of boxing.
This fight was such not like Barrera vs Morales that nobody is looking for a rematch except for Quigg.