Exclusive: Ex-world champ Duke McKenzie talks Frampton v Quigg

Lawrence Lustig

Former three-weight world champion Duke McKenzie is slightly favouring Carl Frampton to beat Scott Quigg this weekend, in a fight that will ‘elevate British boxing’.

Quigg and Frampton will go toe to toe on Saturday night in a box office, pay-per-view unification clash at the Manchester Arena. The unbeaten super bantamweights will be fighting for Quigg’s WBA belt and Frampton’s IBF strap, as well as the pride and recognition that victory will bring.

The matchup has sensationally gripped the boxing community and beyond, with journalists, boxers and fans split straight down the middle on who they are backing to win.

McKenzie – himself a former 122lb world champion – is the latest to have his say on what could potentially be a historical night of British boxing.

“This, without doubt, is a 50/50 contest and is exactly what British boxing needs; an even money fight with two of the best super bantams in the world squaring off,” he said. “I can’t wait for Saturday night and I have been glued to the build-up and am fixated by it all.

“I slightly lean towards Frampton, but I say that with no real conviction, I just feel he is the superior boxer. If Frampton boxes and gets in his rhythm, he will win. If Frampton turns up to fight, then he will lose.

“Quigg is the ultimate pressure fighter and going forward there aren’t going to be too many people that can live with him. He is pretty much the complete fighter; most effective on the front foot and a tremendous body puncher.

“Frampton though is a world class operator and is just as effective going forward as he is going back, but Quigg could be his worst nightmare. They simply both bring so much to the table and you can make an argument for them both winning,” he continued.

Considerable doubt has been cast over Frampton following two flash knockdowns to Alejandro Gonzalez Jr in his last fight, and McKenzie thinks that could be a significant factor on Saturday night.

“The big question is whether Frampton has learnt from that fight. You only get away with carrying hands low for so long and once you step up you’ll get found out. Quigg’s camp are total professionals and Joe Gallagher will have watched and analysed videos and will have a plan.

“The fight is going to dramatically go backwards and forwards and there could be knock downs and cuts – both men are far too proud and strong to stay down though,” McKenzie said.

Victory for either fighter will likely lead to a fight against the Cuban sensation Guillermo Rigondeaux to truly determine who is the number one super bantamweight in the world.

McKenzie continued: “This fight goes far beyond bragging rights and the winner will be elevated massively and will probably get a fight with Rigondeaux. He is an elite fighter and the best at the weight. If they want to be the best, they have to fight him.”

“For the loser of this fight, it’s going to be very tough to come back from and it could be hugely detrimental. They will be emotionally and physically scarred and they might not be the same fighter again.”

McKenzie is currently keeping himself busy by running his own gym in Crystal Palace where he works as a fitness instructor and teaches boxing, including weekly sessions specifically for youngsters.

The gym is open to everybody and details can be found at dukemckenzie.co.uk

Matt Horan is a lead writer for WBN. Follow on Twitter @mhoran123