By Kevin Byrne
Carl Frampton or Scott Quigg – it’s the fight that’s occupying minds on both sides of the Irish Sea right now and the answers are possibly based on what side of that divide you reside on.
Common opponents Yuri Voronin and Gavin Reid would probably side with the Belfast man. After all, both were put away in much speedier and impressive fashion by Frampton rather than Quigg.
Quigg’s latest outing saw him put in a career-best performance against the fading Jason Booth. A popular warrior, last year Booth was broken down and beaten down by Kiko Martinez and that fight sees Frampton rate the Spaniard as an even more dangerous for than the Bury super-bantamweight.
Frampton said: “I was at Scott’s last fight and thought Booth would give him a tougher fight than he did but he didn’t. Jason’s a nice guy and I like him a lot but he can still make super-flyweight quite comfortably.”
Frampton has spent a lot of time sparring with Booth and regards him as a mate. But put the two in the ring together however and he feels he would out-perform Quigg. All of this articulated, of course, in the respectful manner which has become the norm when the Tigers Bay man speaks.
“Even though Scott bullied him and beat him up, Booth never really had any marks on him, he never wobbled him, he never hurt him the way Kiko Martinez did.
“I don’t want to sound disrespectful but if I had been in there with Booth I would have had him out of there in half the time,” Frampton added.
Quigg’s trainer Joe Gallagher became the latest to utter odd comments this week on the fight. This week Hatton Boxing released a script which didn’t mention Frampton, as is their wont, and instead focussed on one day emulating Guillermo Rigondeaux.
Gallagher went on Sky’s Ringside show and claimed the Jackal was on the verge of becoming a Junior Witter-like character, shouting from the rooftops about why Ricky Hatton wouldn’t fight him instead of concentrating on his own career.
What absolute nonsense. Quigg is the British champion and if interested in defending his title, his big rival – with less than half the fights and holding the Commonwealth version in that division – is a natural fight.
Question his box-office appeal all they like but from what I see Frampton has just sold out the York Hall for his standard defence against Kris Hughes and Sky’ll be showing him across Britain and Ireland.
Gallagher’s comments obviously irked Barry McGuigan on the TV the other night and he told me: “I believe Scott Quigg’s team are hedging their bets. They’ll let the fight simmer but you never know, if Frampton doesn’t look spectacular on Saturday night they might be on the phone.
There’s a lot of good banter but Joe Gallagher’s been saying stupid stuff like our last opponent Mark Quon was like ‘an Australian doorman’. I don’t know what size their bouncers are over there but Quon was 5ft 4in so they must have small door men!”
I sat just behind Quigg at Frampton’s last fight against Quon, while Frampton spoke live on TV after Hatton’s man put in his last show-stopper against Booth.
Both were paid to be there and I know Sky and Matchroom are looking to put on more domestic clashes in 2012. Less messing, more interest.
Surely the fight will happen and the next two weekends could shed more light on the subject. Maybe Carl will finally know what’s happening by then too.
He said: “I dunno. I want that fight as soon as possible. Every fight I’ve done for this nfight Scott Quigg has been mentioned but I only want to think about Hughes.
“I answer the question about Quigg because I wanna fight him. His team are making statements and sending out mixed signals all the time.
“They’re saying ‘This fight with Frampton could be good’ but then it’s ‘We should hold off for a while, let the fight build’.
“I don’t see the point really. When they’re saying things like that it suggests to me that they don’t really want the fight.
“I know I would beat the guy. He’s a good fighter but I want it. There are big opportunities for me in Europe. Whether Quigg or Martinez comes first, I don’t really care.
“Martinez has been in with tougher opposition and he’s a better professional for me, he’s more dangerous than Quigg. He punches harder.”
For the record, I think Frampton stops Quigg and out-points Martinez.
Kevin writes a weekly boxing column in the Irish Sun but because of space restrictions, normally gets far more information than is required. Follow at @kevoobyrne on twitter.