Scott Quigg vs Carl Frampton
BY KID HERSH
First fight card of the big day and it is the big fight! ShoBox Extreme Manchester card. Scott Quigg (31-0-2, 23ko's) vs Carl Frampton (21-0, 14ko's). The first round was a lot of feeling out that turning into feinting. Frampton had his jab pumping but it only landed a handful of times. Quigg was not able to land solid either. The second round a bit more action throughout with Frampton opening up more and getting comfortable with his shots. Quigg is very closed in the ring - his guard high and tight. It is working as he blocks shots but his offense is abysmal. This carried over into the third round and Frampton was ramping up more as he positioned himself beautifully while unloading good jabs but no combinations yet. The fourth round was more of the same and Quigg landed his first flush power of the right with a solid right hand two minutes in. Frampton took it no problem and edged out the reminder of the round but again boxing his man. The coming rounds were nothing new until the seventh when Quigg started pressing Frampton a bit and got him backed into ropes and landing shots. It was only a couple small spurts of success though and Frampton "took over" the round for the remainder. That is in quotes because he is just edging these rounds for the most part. Quigg finally came to life little by little starting in the ninth round. He was pressing Frampton and landing body shots and throwing his punches with conviction. The distance gap has been closed with men going toe to toe and throwing shots. The tenth was a really good round as the crowd finally got themselves a real fight! Quigg hurt Frampton to the body early on many times, unloading powerful hooks that were slamming the mid section of Frampton and took his wheels away. The round was fought toe-to-toe after his legs were a bit slow from the body punishment but give and take action ensued that had everyone excited because this is the type of fight we expected! Quigg still look refreshed and renewed, it's as if the zombie has come back to life and not only came back to life but it's as if he was just warming up before. Despite this, Frampton made the round a pretty competitive one simply because of his conditioning and accurate, fast hands. The eleventh round had Quigg running at Frampton to try and keep the momentum going. He was effective with his pressure but then suddenly the tides turned back to Frampton as time went on. Frampton got his wind back it seems as his legs were back under him and he was moving around very quick (just like in the first half of the fight) and picking his openings to land his punches while Quigg was following him around. Quigg did what he needed to do though and landed the best punch of the fight with about thirty seconds left - a powerful right hand that slammed home on Frampton, slumping him down and hurt for the first time in the fight and the most noticeable time that either man was hurt. Frampton held onto Quiggs right arm to buy some time and got a break at just the moment he needed as the referee separated the fighters due to Frampton complaining about a rabbit punch when he was bending over and trying to clinch. Quigg then oddly stayed back from Frampton, who was just hurt only a few seconds ago. It is as if the referee took his confidence away! He is standing back and has an odd look on his face - almost the look he had for the entire first half of the fight where he was a zombie. The twelfth round had Frampton looking tired to start the round but suddenly getting his wind, mustering up the energy we have not seen for quite a while as he got his legs back under him and moved in and out on light feet. It seemed like those same legs were waterlogged the last three rounds! What we are seeing here is a true champion coming through to cinch the last round that he may or may not need, simply because the early rounds looked like they were all him but he did not exactly dominate anything per se. Frampton did exactly what he needed to do here in order to close the show in my opinion - otherwise he would have lost the ninth through championship rounds - in a SD! Levi Martinez somehow shockingly gave the fight to Quigg 115-113, with the other two judges having it 8-4. The fight saved itself late, but it still had that stinker moniker going too long for Frampton to get a lot of kudos for this one. I think the announcers have been pretty harsh on him overall (Jim claiming the first five rounds were so low in action that it was 50-50 for scoring because there was no action) because really he did what he needed to do in order to win the rounds and Quigg froze on the big stage from what I saw. I think a rematch would look great, probably pick back up in the thirteenth!