SCOTT QUIGG knows what’s coming. There is one man with whom his name is indelibly linked, his counterpart in an engrossing rivalry that lacks only their meeting in the ring to top it off. After an hour of what must now seem like preamble, finally Carl Frampton’s name has come up.
“You probably get bored of talking about it,” I suggest, bracing myself. “Yep,” Bury’s WBA super-bantamweight champion sighs in return, his impatience only increasing – understandably – when I relay to Quigg the perception that Belfast’s Frampton, the IBF king, is a significantly larger attraction than he is and that this has been a major hindrance to negotiations for a fight between the pair.
“I sell more tickets personally out of my hand than he does,” Scott insists. “Tell me what’s in Northern Ireland… he’s the only one. All credit to him that he has that support, you can’t knock him, fair play, but you’ve got Anthony Crolla from Manchester, all the Smiths [from nearby Liverpool], there’s a lot more going on [in the North West]. My fanbase is growing but say I’m fighting this week in Manchester and someone else is out two week later, maybe in Sheffield or London on another big show, there’s only a major boxing show on twice a year over there so everyone turns out for it.”
The debate over who is the bigger star aside, Quigg is keen to prove he is the better man where, he contends, it really counts, in the field of combat. That said, the 26-year-old believes it is the team supporting his nemesis who are to blame for preventing their showdown.
“That fight should have happened now,” Quigg, who meets two-time Frampton victim Kiko Martinez on July 18, states in world-weary manner. “There’s no reason for it not to have happened, apart from [Carl’s manager] Barry McGuigan. I did everything we could to make that fight. I knew everything that was going on, I’m copied in on every email.
“I want that fight so bad because I want to prove to everyone that I am the best. I know I’ll beat him. I rate him highly as a fighter but believe me when I say it: I will beat him and I will stop him, there’s no doubt in my mind. My best beats his best. That’s the fight people wanna see, it’s the fight I want and I’m sure it’s the fight he wants. It was very frustrating why it weren’t happening. What was wrong with 60-40 to the winner? If you’re that confident of winning, what is your problem? That was a co-promotion and everything.”