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The stakes are high for Frampton in huge Quigg clash in 2016

Unbeaten Belfast boxer Carl Frampton proved his worth in the US in July when he defeated tough Mexican battler Alejandro González, Jr. by unanimous decision in El Paso. But it was just a brief foray across the Atlantic as he returns for a huge clash with Scott Quigg in early 2016.

Carl Frampton v Chris Avalos

The bout in Texas wasn’t quite the definitive statement of intent that he’d hoped in front of a significant American viewership, with the fight being aired on terrestrial television. It was far from the performance Frampton wanted as he was dropped for the first – and second – time in his career in the opening stanza. It showed a new side to the “The Jackal” if nothing else, as he composed himself and came back to dominate the contest.

Though the USA is still in his sights, it is a fight in Manchester, England that now has the most anticipation. This is a real Double Down scenario for Frampton, as it presents not only his most high-profile bout to date against a close rival, but it will also dictate the momentum with which he can try and take on the American market afterwards.

frampton piece 2 Doubling down in blackjack entails backing your hand with even more vigour because you feel that you’ve got the edge already. The strategy isn’t fool proof, but there are situations when it is called for. Holding 11 in your hand is the ideal scenario, though it can’t be said that Frampton is so comfortably in line for victory. However, he knows what Quigg brings to the table and therefore a nine or a 10 might be enough to seal the deal.

Like the strategy in blackjack of doubling your initial wager, for Frampton to Double Down he has to already have the favourable circumstances. His cards are on the table and a 21-0 record is worthy of being noticed. However, it also doubles the risk. He comes in to the fight with more to gain, including adding the IBF super bantamweight title to his collection, but there is also a higher stake. A loss and he loses his undefeated record, the WBA title he fought so hard to gain, and the platform as an unbeaten fighter to try and make the big bucks in America.

He did endear himself to the US pundits with his grit despite a slow start, but an emphatic victory over fellow unbeaten super bantamweight champion Quigg will be needed to really gain some more hype.

Quigg (31-0-2) stands one place above Frampton as the world number two, and this really is a huge fight for the division. Citing some issues making the weight last time out, it’s not clear how long the Northern Irishman will remain at 122lbs. But while he’s there, this is as big a spectacle as they come. The fans agree, as the original ticket allocation sold out in minutes.

frampton piece 3

Even Quigg admits this is as big as it comes for him, even over internationally ranked number-one Guillermo Rigondeaux.

The pair have had no shortage of back and forth with one another in the run-up to the bout being announced. That always adds an extra bit of intrigue for the fans, and extra intensity for the fighters themselves. The unification of the WBA and IBF world titles alone would be enough motivation for these pugilists, but there are also other added incentives. Frampton’s coach Barry McGuigan called the talk “childish” given that so much had passed the lips of both men. They have to be careful to immerse themselves in the war of fists, and not the war of words.

That’s why this is such a pivotal bout for the McGuigan-trained Tiger’s Bay boxer. It will have the build-up and coverage of no other bout he’s had in his career. It’s a battle for the ages that takes one man to the next level in their career. Frampton likes the look of his hand and he’s willing to back himself to the maximum. Whether it will all pay off or not comes down to February 27th at the Manchester Arena. Quigg might have the hometown support, but Frampton has the belief.

He will be the favourite when they enter the ring, but of course that can mean nothing once the leather starts flying, particularly when a vocal support can help to spur his opponent. A charismatic Belfast contingent will hope to make their voices heard for their man on the night, and either Quigg or Frampton will hope their performances gets them heard throughout the world.

It’ll be an epic night for the super bantamweight division, and boxing in the UK and Ireland, with two of the finest products going head-to-head. Frampton already has 21. Will it be enough?


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