Scott Quigg, the still undefeated British junior featherweight titleholder, admits an anticipated clash against Commonwealth champion Carl Frampton is inevitable.
Just when that domestic showdown might happen, however, is another matter altogether. According to Quigg (24-0, 17 knockouts), there are no plans on the immediate horizon, despite the obvious clamour for the Englishman to meet Northern Ireland rival Frampton, who also boasts a perfect record (12-0, 8 KOs).
At the Reebok, Bolton, on Saturday, Quigg had to get off the floor in the fourth before securing an eighth round stoppage against Aberdeen-born Welshman Jamie Arthur. Following that successful first defense, the Bury contender accepts the UK boxing public will now demand he fights Frampton, 24. Yet he remains adamant there is no rush, insisting it would be better to wait until both men have made further progress up the world ladder.
“It’s the fight everyone wants to see, so we need to sit down and discuss it,” said 23-year-old Quigg, already ranked No. 3 by the IBF and WBA. “Carl’s got another fight coming up in March – and if he wins and I keep winning, then we’re going to meet.
“The fights building up, so what’s the point of it being for the just the British and Commonwealth titles? It could be for a bigger title, like the European – as well as for money. When it happens it should be in a big arena…so we can build it up, by him going his way and me going mine.
“But if the fight happens next, then that’s fine by me because I know I’ll win. I’ll fight him wherever. I’ll go to Ireland, just as easily as he’ll fight me over here. I respect him and I’m sure he respects me and when we get it on it’s just about proving who’s the best.”
On a testing night against former Commonwealth holder Arthur, 32, Quigg was relatively pleased with his display – aside being dropped for the first time in his career. As for Arthur’s argument that the referee Mark Green should not have stopped the action just 35 seconds into the eighth, he has reiterated his offer of a rematch.
“Everything went to plan except for me getting caught with a daft shot,” added Quigg, who is managed by Hatton Promotions. “I wasn’t hurt, though, I just got caught square on and went over, but it was more embarrassing then anything. When I got up, my head was clear. He threw the kitchen sink at me after that and I don’t think one shot landed.”
“It’s up to the ref to decide when to stop it and he couldn’t give him a count because he was still on his feet – but he turned his back and you could tell he was in pain. I was getting to him and catching him with some big shots and it was only a matter of time before I finished it. If he thinks he didn’t get a fair chance and he wants a rematch, then I’ll gladly give it to him.”
Unsurprisingly, Belfast’s Frampton, who will make a second Commonwealth title defense in Sheffield on March 17, was less impressed with Quigg’s latest triumph, stoking up the controversy surrounding the referee’s intervention.
“Arthur is not the biggest puncher in the world and he dropped Quigg with what looked like a jab. Maybe Quigg is a wee bit chinny,” Frampton reportedly told the Belfast Newsletter. “The referee jumped in far too early. Alright, Quigg could have been on his way to victory, but we will never know.
“If the referee thought Arthur was hurt, he should have at least given him a standing count, but he just waved the fight off. It was a crazy decision and when the fight was stopped I had the two of them level.”