If you’re honest, you’ve probably forgotten about Scott Quigg. Until recently, he was one of the most talked about British fighters, yet since his defeat to Carl Frampton back in February he has slipped into the background pretty much unnoticed. There were no great protests at his departure, and there has been little clamour to have him back.
There are reasons why the limelight hasn’t followed him there; he hasn’t fought since the loss, and the British scene has been busy in the meantime. Nearly all our world champions have seen some form of action, there’s been soap operas and Twitter feuds galore, and with fighters like Gennady Golovkin and Luis Ortiz making their way to these shores, we might be seeing the beginnings of a global boxing enterprise starting to develop right here in Britain.
So in some ways, fair enough. Boxing moves quickly, and time waits for no man. But Quigg has also been totally written off by many. The loss to Frampton has weighed heavy on his shoulders, especially as it propelled Frampton to super-stardom since the win, but that doesn’t mean it needs to relegate Quigg to yesterday’s news at the same time. Provided his head and his heart are still in the sport, there is still plenty for him to look forward to in the coming months, and perhaps be back in title contention before too long.
Firstly, his record is still very respectable. Fights against Kiko Martinez and Tshifhiwa Munyai were supposed to really test the 28-year-old, yet he blitzed them both in two rounds. He was given a tough examination by Yoandris Salinas in their 2013 bout (which ended in a draw), but his achievements have far outweighed those of the Cuban since their meeting. A no-contest against Rendall Munroe in 2012 is the only other blemish on his record, a blemish that was resolved after Quigg knocked him out in six rounds five months later.
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Secondly, losing to Carl Frampton is nothing to be ashamed about. The Belfast man is looking every inch a pound-for-pound leader, and may become a future hall-of-fame candidate should he maintain his winning streak. He holds wins over Kiko Martinez, Chris Avalos, Alejandro Gonzalez Jr, and defeated unbeaten Mexican Leo Santa Cruz in his first outing at featherweight, earning the WBA world title as a result. Scott Quigg is in hugely respectable company among such names, and to push Frampton to a split decision after having his jaw broken in the fourth round is testimony to his strength of character, rather than the gaps in his skill set.
Not that he has many gaps. His work ethic and stamina are well documented, and he packs a punch that is overlooked by many. Now having suffered defeat, an opportunity to learn from his mistakes will make him a more wise and experienced fighter. His reaction to coach Joe Gallagher’s news at the end of the eighth round against Frampton was admirable; after being told, to his surprise, Sky had the fight six rounds to one in Frampton’s favour after seven, Quigg really worked his way back into the fight, taking many of the final sessions on all of the judges scorecards. Had he applied that pressure earlier, the outcome could have been very different in what was already a close match.
But he didn’t, and the bout turned out to be a genuine instance of winner-takes-all. Frampton took the belts and the lions share of the purse, and is now on the verge of breaking into the American market after beating and now rematching Santa Cruz, while Quigg has been licking his wounds on the sidelines.
He has his comeback fight on December 10th in Manchester against an as-yet-unnamed opponent, and like Frampton, it will be up at featherweight. A solid performance will do him the world of good, and put him back in line for a shot at a second world title, even in a new division. “I’ve got to go out there and make a statement and get people talking about me again” he believes. “[I need to] put in a performance where people are talking about me and linking me with those [big] names again”.
There is, however, only one big name on his mind. “[I’m moving up in weight] because at the end of the day I want that rematch with Frampton. I see people saying ‘he needs to move on’. Move on to where? I’m a winner, and I want to avenge that loss.”
While that is a commendable goal, a rematch is unlikely to be in Quigg’s immediate future. He needs his momentum back first, and besides, there are other routes to cementing a legacy aside from through Frampton. Getting back in the ring and adjusting to a new weight class is plenty to be getting on with, and once that is out of the way Quigg can once again look for the big fights. And when the big fights come, we should pay attention with renewed interest, because he is better than how we remember him.
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