Battle of Britain - Frampton v Quigg
William Hill boxing trading expert Richard Palmer offers his thoughts on the 27 February bout between Carl Frampton and Scott Quigg.
"Battle of Britain"
Readers of any of my past blogs will know, that I am a huge fan of Belfast's current favourite boxing idol Carl Frampton. I have confidently predicted huge things for the 'World IBF Super Bantamweight Champion' and let's face it he hasn't let us down! Frampton has gone about his business with aplomb, remaining undefeated with 14 knock out's in his perfect 21 fight, 21 win record. All the while, across the Irish Sea a storm has been gathering with momentum, in the form of another World Champion, also undefeated and also British he is Manchester's Scott Quigg (31-0-2).
These to have been on a collision course for years now, and it's safe to say there is no love lost between them! This fight took some time in coming and an awful lot of negotiation to get it made, but it was inevitable. This is what's called a 50/50 fight, the 21,000 seat Manchester Arena was sold out in no time, and with Sky making it a Box Office show (pay per view), you realise how hotly-anticipated the battle between the unbeaten pair really is.
Am I tipping Frampton is probably what you're thinking, well the problem there is, I am a Scott Quigg convert, he has been winning me over with a string of Impressive performances. Scott looks big and strong at the weight, his physique has developed through his 9 year pro career, born from a dedication to his trade, Scott genuinely lives in the gym and leaves no stone unturned for any fight or indeed sparring session. He is powerful with a good defence and a solid orthodox stance. In my opinion his biggest asset his willingness to carry out a game plan so often astutely plotted by his shrewd trainer Joe Gallagher. He is deceptive, he can have you thinking he lacks speed and natural skill, his opponents can be looking far more fluid and skilful and then suddenly Quigg will unleash a devastating combination (which he has been waiting for the right moment to deliver) and the fight will swing in his favour immediately. He then becomes ruthless and assassin like finishing fights quickly and efficiently (23 knockouts in 33 fights).
Don't be fooled either by the 2 draws on Quigg's record, the first was due to the badly cut head that his opponent Rendall Munroe received from an accidental clash of heads in the 'third round' of their fight. Quigg put this right 5 months later, easily beating Munroe by stoppage. The other draw was against a world class fighter the unbeaten Cuban Yoandris Salinas, Quigg was unlucky for the fight to be scored a draw, 1 judge scored it 115-113 for Quigg the other 2 114-114 for each, resulting in a majority Draw which meant Quigg retained his WBA belt. Salinas hasn't been banging the door down for a rematch!
The draw with Salinas for me is a good pointer for the fight with Frampton, Salinas was skilful like most Cubans and early in the fight Quigg was on the back foot, from the middle rounds (and as per Gallagher's game plan) he went on the offensive slowly but surely grinding Salinas down getting stronger as the fight went on, in my opinion he just won the fight by a round, but the Draw that was called seems to have spurred Quigg on to greater things, he has since defended his belt 5 times (4 knockouts), improving each time and culminating in a 2 round demolition of our old friend Kiko Martinez, who Frampton had beat twice previously the second time to win his IBF belt. On paper Quigg's defeat of Martinez was more impressive than either of Frampton's victories, but I'm not so sure? There is an old boxing adage that says 'Styles make Fights'.
So who wins? Well the answer is difficult to predict that's obvious, people are doubting Frampton since his last victory, over in America against Alejandro Gonzalez Jr, Frampton was knocked down twice in round one but picked himself up and ended up winning a unanimous points decision. The Frampton team say that the knock downs in the fight are the only reason that the Quigg team agreed to fight them and they have made a big mistake, because there were mitigating circumstances for the performance of Frampton that won't ever happen again (Frampton claimed after the fight that the ring floor was too spongy and soft, something he hadn't experienced before, and were to blame for the flash knockdowns)
I'm certainly not going to desert Frampton now, I think Frampton will outpoint Quigg in a close fight, but it reminds me of the Salinas fight, Frampton will have to build a good lead because if Quigg is still standing at halfway, he will only get stronger. Quigg's supporters will be hoping he has the power to hurt Frampton because they all think he will stop him. Me I think will be at his most sharp and have enough to win a close fight.
From a betting perspective why not have a flutter on the DRAW? At 20/1 there are far worse ways of spending your tenner! That is you have any money left after paying SKY their £15!! So please don't miss this fight, it truly is a 'Battle of Britain'
Till the next time.