By John J. Raspanti
IBF super bantamweight champion Carl Frampton captured the WBA title by winning 12 split decision over previously undefeated Scott Quigg at the Manchester Arena in Manchester, England Saturday night.
Scores were 115-113 Quigg, and 116-112 (twice) for Frampton. Maxboxing and Doghouse Boxing had Frampton winning the fight by a 116-112 tally. The match didn’t come close to living up to pre-fight expectations.
The opening round was respectful. Frampton fired jabs--while Quigg watched and waited.
In rounds two and three, the fight remained on the outside. Frampton was trying to find an opening with a sweeping left. Quigg was having issues with Frampton’s speed. He’d pop the jab and move away. Quigg appeared concerned with Frampton’s countering ability.
Quigg went to the body in round four. Nothing was really landing. Both men were tentative. Frampton was forcing the fight, but the action was limited. Quigg connected with a right hand. Frampton answered seconds later. His superior footwork was causing Quigg problems.
In rounds five and six, Frampton kept shooting his jab. The fight was more chess match than slugfest. Frampton continued to be the more busier boxer. He landed a ripping right to the body. Quigg, with his gloves very high, wasn’t letting his punches go.
Frampton, 29, began round seven with another bodyshot. Quigg connected with a left as Frampton skipped way. Combinations from either fighter were non-existent. Frampton ducked a shot and fired back.
Quigg, 27, connected with a right and left hook in round eight. Frampton countered with a snappy left. Quigg loaded up and let fly with a right. Frampton watched the blow with amusement. He ended the round by punching.
After the stanza ended, Quigg was told by his corner that he was well behind on points. He responded in round nine by finally letting his hands go. Frampton still wanted to box. He’d punch and get out. Quigg landed a strong right. Frampton punched back, but it was Quigg who was coming on.
Quigg did even better in round 10. Frampton punched back effectively on the inside. Quigg’s bodywork appeared to be bothering Frampton.
Quigg’s activity was forcing Frampton to fight more than he wanted. Both men did well on the inside in round 11. Quigg connected with wicked shot to the head.
Frampton worked the body and head. Quigg connected with a big right hand at the bell.
Quigg had rallied, but on this writers scorecard, he still needed a knockout to win. Frampton started the round fast. Quigg connected with a right. Frampton, working off his back foot, punched back. His activity nullified whatever momentum Quigg had built up in the previous rounds. Frampton tattooed Quigg’s face with blows as the crowd roared.
“The traveling support was unbelievable,” said Frampton to his fans in the arena. “We have a great rivalry. We can do it again.”