Talks progressing well for Frampton-Quigg showdown

A much-anticipated showdown between undefeated British junior featherweights Carl Frampton and Scott Quigg finally looks set to happen early next year.

Englishman Quigg (31-0-2, 23 knockouts) and Northern Ireland’s IBF beltholder Frampton (21-0, 14 KOs) are THE RING’s No. 1 and No. 2 at 122 pounds, respectively. But despite huge clamor for the pair to meet during the past 24 months, the fight has never materialized because of disputes over venue and purse split.

However, according to Joe Gallagher, long-time trainer to Manchester man Quigg, talks between the camps are ongoing and progressing well, with two dates in late-Feb. 2016 on the table.

“There have been lots of talks over the last couple years but finally it looks like it will happen. I’m hearing they are talking about Feb. 20 or Feb. 27 and it will be the biggest fight of the year,” said Gallagher in an interview with ESPN.

Until now, Belfast star Frampton, 28, managed by former featherweight titlist Barry McGuigan, held the edge in negotiations with Quigg’s promoter Matchroom Boxing’s Eddie Hearn because he holds a title.

But 27-year-old Quigg’s recent second round TKO over Spaniard Kiko Martinez, whom Frampton only beat on points 10 months earlier, has changed the picture.

Whether or not McGuigan and Hearn can agree on where to stage the bout is now the key issue. The neutral London O2 Arena is unavailable on either of the chosen dates in February, while the Belfast Odyssey Arena, which houses 11,000 spectators, is not deemed big enough to meet the expected huge ticket demands. That leaves the 21,000-capacity Manchester Arena, in Quigg’s own backyard, as the next best option.

Harry Pratt