By Clive Bernath: As another exciting boxing year comes to an end it is again time to reveal the winners of our annual SecondsOut awards. Over the next two weeks we will be revealing the winners in 11 categories and we starts today with the Prospect of the Year award.
Of all the categories the Prospect of the Year proved the most difficult with just one vote deciding the winner. Unbeaten American Mikey Garcia is moving along nicely and at 30-0 with 26ko’s, looks a good bet for world title glory in 2013. Another American, heavyweight hope Bryant Jennings is also marching along nicely. He may be a little old at 28 to be labled a prospect but he is 16-0 with 8ko’s, So 2013 could be the year he breaks out. As I said the votes were tight in this category and the aforementioned were a vote away from winning but new WBA interim super bantamweight champion Scott Quigg’s impressive rematch win over fellow Briton Rendall last month convinced our writers to vote him SecondsOut’s Prospect of the Year for 2012
The year started pretty routinely for the 23 year-old from Bury in the north of England, when he successfully stopped Jamie Arthur in the eighth round on February 4. I say routinely, Quigg was down in round four but recovered to retain his British super bantamweight title..
The big test for Quigg came when he took a massive step up in class to face former European champion and world title challenger Rendall Munroe at the Velodrome in Manchester on June 16. It was a clash that everyone involved in British boxing was looking forward to, the young fresh contender against the older more experienced campaigner. Unfortunately for the fans of both men the fight reached a premature end after just three rounds when Munroe sustained a horrible looking deep cut above the right eye just seconds into the third round. The cut, which required nine stitches, was so bad referee Howard Foster had no hesitation in stopping the fight resulting in a technical draw. Prior to the stoppage, the fight, for the WBA interim super bantamweight crown, was pretty much even with the official scores at 19-20 twice and 19-19.
The bout may have been pretty even up until the premature end but Quigg seemed to be handling the more experienced southpaw very well. Munroe started the bout fast, looking to unsettle the younger Quigg by exerting pressure but Quigg kept his cool, stayed on the move, slipped the punches to perfection and delivered some solid right hands to unsettle Munroe. There was only one way to resolve some unfinished business, there had to be a rematch.
The pair got it on again at the MEN Arena in Manchester on the undercard of Ricky Hatton’s ill advised comeback fight on November 24 and this time Quigg produced a mature and faultless performance. Munroe’s pressure in the opening round caused Quigg a few problems much as he did in the first fight. Quigg, however, found his range in the second session by peppering the advancing Munroe as he walked in in straight lines. Those tactics are never good against a mover like Quigg and that proved to be Munroe’s downfall. Quigg not only slowly broke Munroe down with the jab but he threw in the odd heavy right hand to the head as well but it was the well timed body shots that eventually slowed the advancing Munroe down for good in round five before finishing him off with two superbly executed knockdowns in the sixth round, the first from a left hook to the ribs and the second from a right hand punch to the body. Referee Terry O’Connor had no hesitation in stopping the fight at after 2.37.
The win not only secured Quigg the WBA interim super bantamweight title and also elevated the young fighter onto the world stage. Quigg is definitely a name to look out for in 2013. Hid fitness levels are excellent, he picks his punches well, is light on his feet and carries out his game plan to perfection
He may not be ready for full champion Guillermo Rigondeaux just yet but as long as he gets the right fights in 2013 he is a boxer capable of going to the very top.
Scott Quigg is the SecondsOut Prospect of the Year for 2012
December 24, 2012