Promoter Eddie Hearn is hopeful a deal can be reached between super bantamweight champions Carl Frampton and Scott Quigg in the next two weeks as negotiations over a possible stage for the fight continue.
The Matchroom boss has been working hard behind the scenes alongside Frampton’s manager Barry McGuigan to give the fans the clash they crave and says the venue is now the only major stumbling block moving forward.
“If I had to make a call, I believe this fight gets made in the next couple of weeks. We’re that close now. There’s been a lot of talk about a neutral venue,” Hearn told Sky Sports.
“The problem is that we’re talking about doing the show in January or February and there are two shows in the country of maximum size – The O2 and the Manchester Arena. The O2 isn’t available and Carl Frampton doesn’t want to come to Manchester.
“We’re looking at Birmingham, Glasgow and Sheffield but they’re 11,000. Manchester is 21,000 and it’s difficult to ignore the revenues that can be created through that arena. It’s also difficult to persuade Quigg to fight where there’s less money.
“I’m saying to Frampton and his team that we can cut the Manchester Arena in half – Team Frampton on one side and Team Quigg on the other side. 10,000 and 10,000. So he wouldn’t really be away from home.
“This doesn’t feel like a Birmingham fight or a Glasgow fight. It feels like a Belfast fight or a Manchester fight and as it’s in February, we can’t go to Belfast. I believe Frampton could even fly in Friday morning for the weigh-in.
“We’ve given up on a lot of things, conceded many things. Now I need them to concede a few because if they do, this fight will get made like that. I think it will be made in the next couple of weeks.”
Frampton currently holds the IBF version of the 122lb crown whilst Quigg is the WBA champion, although a unification has already been ruled out by the International Boxing Federation.
As Quigg only holds the WBA ‘regular’ title, IBF Chairman Lindsey Tucker confirmed to WBN that they wouldn’t sanction Frampton to fight his main rival with both their respective championships on the line.
It’s now up to the two camps to select an arena that suits either side – in order to finally make the long-awaited contest official.