Undefeated junior featherweight Scott Quigg reckons it will be 2013 before he is fully equipped for a world title shot.
The 23-year-old British champion makes a first defense on Feb. 4, against Welshman Jamie Arthur, at the Reebok Stadium, Bolton, England, and is regarded as one of UK’s brightest boxing talents. Many that side of the Atlantic, including his promoter and former two-division titleholder Ricky Hatton, believe he is destined to rule the 122-pound division supreme.
However, despite already being ranked three by both the IBF and WBA, contender Quigg, from Bury, Lancashire, insists there is no rush for him to reach the summit – and that he is still a long way from being the finished article.
“Hatton Promotions could probably make a world title fight for me after my next fight against Jamie but, personally, I feel that in 18 months I will have had more experience, boxed more title fights and have a better chance of winning a world title,” said Quigg (23-0, 16 knockouts).
“It is not only about winning it. You don’t want to just become a champion. It is also about staying there, making defenses and building a legacy.”
Those who doubt whether that ‘feet-on-the-ground’ approach is really necessary need only look at the rapid rise and fall of Rico Ramos, according to Quigg, after the 24-year-old American lost his WBA junior featherweight belt to Guillermo Rigondeaux on Friday. Rigondeaux, a 31-year-old former Cuban amateur ace, stopped Ramos in the sixth round.
“Rico won the title, but came up [short] against Guillermo, who he wasn’t ready to face and it showed,” Quigg said. “Ramos had a better amateur career than me, but had taken a similar path to me professionally. Guillermo has only had nine fights, but was older and more mature than Rico, who never had the experience to deal with him.
“Guillermo is an exceptional fighter. They don’t come around that often and that is why he is at that level already. In 18 months, I believe I will be at that level too.”