BARRY MCGUIGAN hopes for an early birthday present from Carl Frampton when he fights Scott Quigg on February 27.

The fight takes place at the Manchester Arena one day before McGuigan’s 55th birthday and the former featherweight world champion plans to start the celebrations early.

Despite the respect between the two protagonists, there has been some spirited back and forth between their respective teams but McGuigan, who promotes Carl, puts little stock into it.

Joe Gallagher [Quigg’s trainer] is entitled to his opinion – doctors differ, patients die – he’s got recognition for his stable of fighters and everything but it’s just opinion,” he told Boxing News.

“Let’s just get on with it. Come February 27, all of the talk is completely and utterly irrelevant. When that bell rings we will be having a victory and I will be having an early birthday present.

“This rivalry has been going on for four or five years. At the end of the day, Carl is far too clever for Scott with regards to the verbal sparring and being sarcastic. He’s very smart and very funny but it all creates interest.”

Much has been made of either fighter’s last performance – Quigg demolished Frampton victim Kiko Martinez in two rounds while Frampton rose from two first-round knockdowns to outpoint Alejandro Gonzalez.

Quigg has stated he feels Frampton and his team only elected to face him after the scare against Gonzalez, but McGuigan maintains they are well aware of the threat the Bury man brings.

“Scott feels this fight is only happening because of Carl’s last performance and he feels we were worried we’d lose the title to someone nondescript, it’s all nonsense,” he said.

“They can believe that though, but we’ve never said it’s an easy fight, we give Scott respect – it’s a very difficult fight.

“Both of them feel they can win this fight, they’re convinced, and that’s what makes it exciting. From a fans’ point of view, you need fighters to believe they can win.”