If Carl Frampton’s popularity and likeability couldn’t get any bigger and better in Belfast, his win against Scott Quigg in Manchester on Saturday in front of 21,000 fans, has propelled his status through the roof.
Frampton is a bona fide idol, a true Northern Irish hero, a man of the people and who could now be regarded as the best Irish boxer ever, with plenty more to come.
His win against Quigg will not be looked back on as a classic, it was far from that. In fact it was a dull fight that didn’t nearly live up to the pre fight hype that has been building for five years and hit a crescendo over the last few months.
In fairness to Frampton, (22-0, 14KOs) he did what he had to do to take the win on points over 12 rounds, without really having to get out of third gear, apparently he has eight! – Quigg, (31-1-2, 23KOs) it seemed froze on the night, either that or he got his game plan and tactics so wrong. Surly his tactics were not; ‘Dont throw many punches for the first half of the fight? Quigg is renowned for his work rate, it is what makes him a world class fighter and is what he is good at, so why not work to his strengths, why didn’t he take the fight to Frampton? He walked right into Frampton’s game plan and didnt change his approach. It was the worst battle plan since since Olaf the Hairy, high chief of all the vikings, accidentally ordered 80,000 battle helmets with the horns on the inside. When he did begin to throw more than one shot at a time, Frampton was too far ahead and finished stronger.
In keeping theme, we were lead to believe that Quigg had a cunning plan, but it was Frampton who set the pace and at times he must have thought what all the fuss was about, he defiantly expected more from Quigg in terms of work rate and power.
On the line for these two top super-bantamweights was Frampton’s IBF world title and Quiggs WBA world title. Both unbeaten, both in their primes it was the perfect time for them to meet. There were many factors going into the fight to consider when trying to pick a winner. Minds can be clouded with the media hype but when the dust settled, we knew this was true match making and a five star fight on paper, it was an anti climax, but answered many questions.
Who has the best boxing brain? That was a big topic of focus in the pre fight pressers. Frampton had suggested he had the better boxing brain! He was saying, he can adjust better than Quigg during a fight, change his game plan, adjust better to what is presented to him on the night in the ring and not what he has studied on fight tapes or these days YouTube videos, and he was correct. When it came to the crunch on the big stage, it was Frampton who won the battle of the boxing brains and his coaches game plan that prevailed. It was a chess match of a fight that never got going and if it hadn’t been for the remarkable atmosphere and good mood generated by all the fans in the arena, it would have stunk the place out. Manchester and Belfast boxing fans both know they are each as passionate and knowledgable about their sport and have a big respect for each other.
Frampton’s key to victory was his judgement of distance, he was never in range to be caught. Quigg behind a tight peak-a-boo guard appeared reluctant to throw shots and when he did he was leaning in swinging and missed widely at times.
Frampton was always a step ahead in punch output while always staying out of danger, he was in and out before Quigg could counter clean. The 4th round was a telling point in the fight for Quigg, it has now come to light he had fractured his jaw after being caught by an uppercut in the round, and fought the rest of the fight in pain. – Quigg came on stronger down the stretch and began to try and claw back some points but Frampton was wise and never took his eyes off Quigg and the prize.
Quigg’s best round was the 11th, he landed more shots than he had in the previous rounds, a right hand was the most significant shot and it knocked Frampton back. The Irishman quickly regrouped and got back to controlling the fight. Frampton put any doubt to bed in the 12th and final round when he stuck and moved to the delight of the Belfast fans who were deafening.
Here is a funny stat about the fight, it was scored a split decision! Yes one judge actually gave it to Quigg! Two of the judges correctly scored it 116-112 to Frampton; the other had it 115-113 to the Mancunian, who we expected so much more from but who failed to deliver.
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When Belfast embrace a sportsman, he becomes them. Boxing is still sacred in Northern Ireland. The people are passionate about boxing, they are a passionate race and the way they expressed their support for Frampton over the weekend arriving in droves from the emerald isle was testimony to how much he means to them. The fans conducted themselves impeccably and Manchester as it always does to visitors, welcomed them with open arms. According to reports the Framptonites had drank the City dry by mid-day Sunday, still celebrating. ‘All the Guinness has gone and we are selling more Boddington’s, the cream of Manchester.’ someone shouted in a bar somewhere down Deansgate last night!
A Frampton fan at ringside summed up what the Tigers Bay lad meant to the people of Belfast, when he said his whole social life is planned around Carl Frampton fighting. Him and his friend’s had been to all the Jackal’s fights home and away and said they wouldn’t know what to do if his man lost. He pointed out, how sad the streets, pubs and homes would be back home if Frampton was defeated and the dream ended. Everyone in Belfast know Carl, from your Granny to the kids an whole nation glued to their tv screens back home.
As the result was ready was read out after the final bell, he said, ‘I’m either going to have a great night or a shit night and my social life in tatters! He and the rest of Ireland are still celebrating and Frampton’s stock has risen in Manchester and beyond.
Watch the post fight press conference video, click play button on pic above.
That was a special night. We did it! pic.twitter.com/m3C6GvfOwU
— Carl Frampton (@RealCFrampton) February 28, 2016