Hearn: Frampton v Quigg bigger than Froch v Groves

Cyclone 26/02/2016

The final press conference of the mammoth Frampton Quigg media tour took place in Manchester on Thursday and it proved a fiery prelude to the big fight weekend.

After a suitably grandiose introduction from the boxing world’s premier announcer, Michael Buffer, Sky Sports head of boxing, Adam Smith, spoke of a mouth-watering clash that has been years in the making.

Almost immediately, the two fighters fired shots across one another’s bows. “I’m better in every department, plain and simple,” Frampton began and drew and immediate response from Quigg in which the Bury fighter pointed to his legendary commitment to his craft.

“Nobody does what I do in terms of dedication to the sport,” according to the Englishman.

Questions of weight concerns were then brushed off by both combatants.

“Because of the magnitude of this fight, everything had to be perfect. I’ve done everything right this time,” confirmed the Jackal.

Quigg believes he’ll be the bigger man in the ring, but that that fact won’t be pivotal to the outcome, declaring, “I’ll win because of boxing brain and ability.”

The heat then really began to rise as promoters and trainers entered the conversation.

Joe Gallagher dismissed Shane McGuigan’s pedigree as a trainer, stating, “he was a nutritionist a few years ago who asked to help Gerry Storey. He’s only famous because of his dad” The Manchester trainer went on to lambast Team Jackal for “underestimating Scott’s boxing brain and being disrespectful throughout the build-up.”

Shane preferred to take the moral high road in response, speaking of his respect for Joe and Scott but repeating his confidence in his man. “They are two legitimate world class fighters and there is maybe only 2% difference at the top level – Carl has that extra 2%. As a trainer you are only as good as your fighters and I’m lucky to have Carl.”

Both sides then briefly sang from the same hymn sheet in highlighting the size of the event and its relevance in world boxing.

“It’s bigger than Froch v Groves,” said Eddie Hearn, “because it is a global event. I’m proud to have made the fight happen. This can ignite the sport and keep it alive. The atmosphere and passion will eclipse all that has gone before. It just doesn’t get any bigger than this,” concluded the Matchroom supremo.

For Cyclone Promotions’ Barry McGuigan, “there has never been a bigger super bantamweight fight of this magnitude in Europe. It’s got a Barrera Morales feel to hit and is going to be a magnificent occasion.”

In terms of what type of fight to expect, Hearn is convinced that fans are in for a treat. “I can’t see anything other than a great fight. With two fighters this talented, so much on the line and so much passion from teams and fans, you’re going to get something very special.”

McGuigan senior was more circumspect as he believes Carl to be superior in every department. “I think he’ll have too much for him,” he said. “But it has the potential to be a great fight.”

Perhaps the main talking point to emerge from the press conference, however, was the storm brewing over a debate on who gets what dressing room on Saturday night in the Manchester Arena.

“It’s my arena, I’m the home fighter, I want the home dressing room,” declared Quigg.

Frampton responded by denying it was a home dressing room, but rather a star dressing room. “I’m contractually the A-side. It’s a question of principle.”

As tempers flared, Team Jackal accused Quigg of mental weakness on the issue and Carl played a rendition of the Stevie Wonder classic, Superstition, to emphasise his point.

“Let’s just lock the doors of the star dressing room and we’ll both use another one,” suggested Frampton but Quigg was not for buying. It remains to be seen how the matter will be resolved.

The final say rightly went to the two fighters to articulate exactly what this huge, unification fight means to them.

“It’ll mean everything to win,” said Quigg. “Since the age of 15 all I have done is eat sleep and train. My family lived around me. They make it easier. Saturday is my m moment of destiny and, believe me, I will win this fight. I’ve put in too much for anyone to stop me.”

Frampton spoke in a similarly determined vein. “This means so much, there is a lot at stake. It’s more than titles, it’s pride and bragging rights. It’s proving who is the best. Reputation is a big deal, so there is so much on the line. I’m prepared to do whatever it takes to win. I’ve punching power to KO him in any round and I’ve the boxing brain to win on points. I’ve spent 17 weeks in camp, the longest ever. I missed my son’s first steps and both my kids’ birthdays. I did that because this could be my toughest fight. I’m not going to let Scott Quigg make all that be for nothing.”

Adam Smith ended proceedings by asking for predictions from both men. They were short and sweet.

“Tune in for a great fight,” said Scott. “I’m going to prove I’m the best super bantamweight. I’m going to win by knockout.”

“It’s going to be a great fight, one for the ages,” agreed Carl. “I’ll win. It doesn’t matter how. KO or clear points decision.

Appetites are suitably whet for Saturday night in Manchester.