Boxing’s super bantamweight division is heating up. Earlier this week, the undefeated champions Carl Frampton and Scott Quigg both signed a contract live on SkySports for a fight scheduled on February 27th, 2016, at the Manchester Arena in Manchester, England.
The signing pits two of the division’s top fighters against one another in a fight that had been first proposed anywhere from two to as many as four years ago. As boxing goes, the matchup hit a number of snags to being made, from promoter relations to fighter stipulations. Earlier this year, the most recent holdup was over television rights.
"I'm delighted that we have finally got this fight signed," said Frampton. "This is the fight everyone has wanted for years, none more so than myself. I'm the legitimate champion, and I'm going to his backyard to defend my title because that's what champions do. On Feb. 27, the fans will find out who the real champion is. I'm going to win this fight in style."
Quigg appeared equally confident:
"I've finally got the fight I've wanted for so long. Feb. 27 will be the best night of my life. I've dedicated my life to this sport, and I have never been more confident going into a fight. I know I will beat him in every department. This is a great fight for the sport, and I'm delighted to bring it to Manchester and unify the division," said Quigg.
Frampton will enter the ring with a record of 21-0 with 14KOs, and will put his IBF belt on the line to Quigg’s 31-0 with 23KO ledger and WBA strap. One thing to note, however, is that the “Super Champion” of the WBA is Cuban phenom Guillermo Rigondeaux, and Moises Flores of Mexico is currently listed as their interim champion as well. Perhaps then a more honest way to market the fight is a semi-unification bout with the IBF champ going up against one of three WBA champions.
Semantics aside, it is still one of the best fights to be made in the sport. Esteemed MMA journalist Gareth A. Davies wrote about the matchup: “Styles make fights, and Quigg-Frampton has nuance in power, precision, movement and self-belief. It also has two unbeaten fighters, 53 fights between them, just approaching the peak of their powers, eager to assert themselves as the No. 1 in the division.”
A rematch clause has also been written into the fight contract, so should the bout be close, contested or just a good show, the two could presumably fight again later in the year. While this bout and a potential rematch is a move in the right direction for boxing, both guys should very well know that neither would be considered the division’s champion in without dethroning Rigondeaux. However, judging by the Cuban’s issues with management and sanctioning bodies, there seems plenty of time for this fight and a rematch.
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