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19 FEBRUARY 2018

 

Scott Quigg Vs Carl Frampton Conference Call Transcript




Joe Gallagher

Hi. Thanks for that introduction mate. Yes, listen, we’re really confident in this fight with Carl Frampton. I’ve always liked it to the version of Barrera-Morales 1. I think it’s got all the ingredients; both undefeated fighters, both with a lot of pride at stake. I think the defining factor between the two is Scott Quigg’s punching power. You’ve seen what he did with Kiko Martinez. Before that, which goes under the radar, his fantastic win over Rendall Munroe, who’d already beaten Kiko Martinez. Scott Quigg’s punching power I reckon is one of the hardest punching fighters in the world today. When you come down the lower weights, Scott Quigg is right up there. We’re really looking for a good fight. Obviously, Carl went over to America last time; got put down early. And people say we’re taking that as a kink in his armor. Well, he’s come back with a tail between his legs now. He’ll be going into the fight. (Frampton) has some doubts. And I know once Scott Quigg starts connecting head or body to Carl Frampton it’ll be indeed trouble. I’m really expecting a real good fight, a spectacular win for Scott Quigg, and that’s it. Thank you. And, now, the WBA super bantamweight champion of the world, shortly to become the unified champion of the world, Scott Quigg.

Scott Quigg
Hi, everybody. First of all, I just wanna say I’m delighted to be on SHOWTIME and that it’s to be shown in America on one of the main networks. So, thank you for picking this fight up. It’s a fight I’ve wanted for a long time. It’s a fight that’s been brewing for a long time. And seeing that dotted line was signed on (this was) everything I’ve worked towards, you know, becoming and wanting to becoming the best. This fight’s been talked of for numerous years now and it was getting built bigger and bigger, and people were picking him to be the better fighter. I’ve always wanted the chance to prove I’m the best. And now the fight’s been made, I’m one million percent confident. I wanna go out there, and I’m gonna win in spectacular fashion.

Question

What do you think it indicates about Carl that he was knocked down in the first round by a fighter like Alejandro “Cobrita” Gonzalez? He did come back and win the decision.

Quigg

I mean, he got off to a shaky start. He got put down a couple of times, but that’s not the reason why I take any confidence from, you know, what happened in that fight. He got off to a shaky start. I’ve always said he doesn’t fight well over [the course of a long] fight. He has quite a bit of -- in my opinion, he likes his comfort blanket, which is fighting in his hometown. And he showed vulnerabilities in that fight (against Gonzalez). But he came back. He got the win but he showed these little weaknesses in his armor, that I’d already seen. And it shows that the things I’ve been seeing and the chinks in his armor they are the … I’m expecting him to go back to the drawing board and iron the mistakes out, but there’s a lot more mistakes that I will pick up on.

Question:

Will you be going for an early knockout; will there be pressure on you to try to end this early?

Quigg

My fights have finished early because I’ve done and stuck to what I’ve gone out to do. And I’ve (ended) them early. I’m gonna pick the right shots at the right time. If the knockout comes early, it comes early. If I’ve got to box for six, seven rounds, I’m smart in my boxing, and then the shots [will connect) to take him out. That’s what will happen. People are going now because I’ve been knocking guys out quite early. I’ve been going out for the stoppages. I’ve been going out and I’ve been boxing. If you go looking for the knockout it doesn’t come. You go out, stick to your boxing. You set the shots up. (I land) clean on any super bantamweight or featherweight in the world, I will knock them out. So, it’s about just making sure I pick the right time and I open the gaps. And when the gaps are there then I’ll take them.

Question:

The majority of the fans are gonna be for you in the arena in Manchester. How much does that affect a fighter having the crowd on his side?

Quigg

In my opinion it doesn’t. I don’t take note whether I’ve got the crowd behind me or whether it was behind him. You know, when you’re in that ring there’s only you two and the ref. You can do all the preparation with your team leading up to the fight, but when that bell goes everybody steps down, and then there’s only you and him in the ring. So, whether there’s 25 in there for me or there is 25 in there for him that’s irrelevant to me. I know what I’ve got to do. Well, I know for a fact that he takes comfort from having a lot of support. Especially when he boxes in Ireland, it’s like a bit of a comfort blanket for him. And when he’s taken away from that, he seems a bit -- he shows vulnerabilities. And I think that will affect him on the night.

Question:

In America we’re trying to get a sense of what the rivalry is like between Ireland and England when it comes to athletics. I know it’s not the 1970s anymore at the height of the IRA. But, what does this rivalry still mean to you and your fans?

Quigg

I think the rivalry is very big because, you know, the English fans they’re passionate about the sport in general. The Irish are passionate about the sport. And to be honest with you boxing really is one of the bigger sports that the Irish get behind. So, it does -- the rivalry is very passionate there. They get behind their man. The support that they give all the Irish fighters that they do follow is -- you know, they create a great atmosphere. But the rivalry between the English and the Irish now with this building is gonna be -- set an atmosphere off even more because we’re both at the top of our game. There’s a lot riding on this, and there’s a lot of pride at stake. And I think the atmosphere in the arena is gonna be absolutely electric.

Question:

The boxing scene generally right now in the UK and Ireland is as strong as it’s probably been in 20 years. Do you feel like you’re a part of something special going on right now?

Quigg

Yeah, I think the boxing at the moment in Ireland and England is the best it’s been. There’s a lot of UK British world champions at the minute. You know, we’ve been going over to America and performing well, winning world titles. And it’s showing that everybody’s improving. You know, as we’ve all seen in England, Ireland, the UK, it’s really thriving now. And to be part of this (is exciting). When you’ve got all these world champions now coming from, you know, the UK, you seem to bounce and thrive off each other (and I think it shows) we are as good as, you know, the fighters in the U.S. and Mexico, which people used to question, a few years back. Are we as good? I’ve always believed we’re as good, and it’s proving it that now. Everybody’s learning. Everybody’s improving. And the fighters are doing what they are doing and going over and winning world titles abroad as well.

Question:

This fight is going be seen by the American fans on SHOWTIME. Do you look at this as the first step for you to maybe follow in the footsteps of someone like Ricky Hatton and come to Las Vegas, come to America and become a global fighter? Is that the idea for you? Is that where you wanna be in five years or less?

Quigg

Yeah, 100 percent. That’s why I’m in boxing. I come here to become world champion. And once I achieve that goal I didn’t stop there. I set new goals and new heights because I wanna challenge myself everyday. You know, to be going to achieve and accomplish what, for instance, Ricky Hatton did getting that crossover into the U.S. market world. He ended up taking 40,000 Brits to Las Vegas and being a global star. That’s the next goal that I’ve set, you know, and it’s about just keeping the hard work going, a lot of dedication, staying focused and keep doing what I’m doing every day, because what I’ve been doing so far has been working, and it’s all about improving every day and becoming a crossover (star) in the U.S. market. Getting this chance now and SHOWTIME (taking this fight from) over here for the U.S. to pick up and show on one of the mainstreams in the U.S. that’s the first step. We’ll go out here and do a job on Carl Frampton and win in a spectacular fashion that’s surely gonna give me a real boost to get that crossover into the U.S. and maybe potential fights down the line with Leo Santa Cruz you know, some of the other great fighters in the division.

Question:

Scott, can you give us the timeline between you and Frampton? You have been on each other’s radar from a distance or up close for a long time, haven’t you?

Quigg

It’s nearly four and a half years this has been brewing -- just before I become British champion and he picked up the Commonwealth title. From that point on, there’s been real talk of us always fighting from that point on. Even as we were coming through with both -- when we were both prospects, there was comparing who’s the better the fighter, but there was never really any real talk of it. But, when I become British champion that’s when it really started getting interesting. So, you’re looking at four and a half years this has been building. And I think – well, not think -- I know this is the perfect time now for this to happen. You know, we’re both world champions. We’re both undefeated. And now it shows that this is the perfect time for the fight. And I believe this is the perfect time for me to go out there and do a job of it.

Question:

People look at this fight like it’s a 50/50 fight. Do you look at it as 50/50 fight, or is this gonna be your toughest fight, do you see flaws you can take advantage of? What are your thoughts on that?

Quigg

Well, the way I look at things is, and this is why I never take anything for granted, I’m never complacent in anything I do. I train, and I do what I do everyday because it only takes one punch. You know, you’ve got to be switched on, and every fight’s your toughest fight. You know my previous fight with Kiko Martinez; that was my toughest fight. The training that I did for that, the preparation, the work, everything that went into that training camp and everything I did on the night. Yeah, it might have ended in two rounds, but that was still my toughest fight to date. It ended like it did because I followed the instructions, and I performed to the best of my abilities, which I know I will do on the night against Frampton. So, you don’t know. I can go in there, and I might knock him out in the second round. That still would have been my toughest fight because it’s about the preparation. The preparation makes the fight. You know, the fight’s the easy bit. Everything that you do to prepare is what’s hard. You’ve got to put your body through, get your body in great shape. You know, really just live everyday, day in, day out, boxing 24/7. And the fight comes and you go out there and you enjoy it. You know, you make no mistakes. You know, you’ve got to be switched on. But, every fight’s your toughest fight.

Question:

The winner of this fight will likely have to give up one of his titles to face his mandatory challenger. How do you feel about that? Do you feel like that’s unfair in this type of situation to be in?

Quigg

At the end of the day it’s what (boxing’s) government body is doing. It’s their rules and regulations. So, I can’t really judge on that. At the end of the day my focus is on beating Carl Frampton. I’ll beat Carl Frampton. And then, we’ll look at fighting the best in there, and obviously you’ve got one winner. And I’ve always said, ‘I’m out to fight the best and beat the best.’ So, I’m obviously going to fight Rigondeaux. You know, I’m not scared of fighting him. I’m not shying away from challenges. As I’ve just stated, it’s about what I do. I challenge myself and that’s what I thrive on. And obviously fighting Rigondeaux, who’s rightly so ranked number one in the division because of what he’s achieved and what he’s done so far, I honestly believe that if the time comes and me and him fight, I believe I can beat him.

Question:

You mentioned trying to follow in the footsteps of Ricky Hatton in terms of increasing your profile. Is that part of your strategy just to endear yourself to fans?

Quigg

You’ve got to fight the best and beating Carl Frampton that would then be, you know, (getting) him out of the way. Then obviously the focus is on me at this moment. But a fighter wants to give the fans what they want. You know, I’m not scared of anybody. It’s just about going out there and getting this job done and then we’ll see from there.

Closing Comments

Quigg

I’d like to say, I’m just very grateful for SHOWTIME picking this fight up. The training’s going very well. I’m in great shape already. I’m looking forward to the night. And I’m hoping everybody in the U.S. enjoys the fight and enjoys a spectacular performance from myself and defeating Carl Frampton.

  1. McGuigan

We’re really thrilled to be working with Stephen Espinoza, a brilliant man, who’s done some great things in boxing. And we’re thrilled to be part of the history of his success at SHOWTIME and thrilled to be part of this big fight. It’s a huge fight, massive in the UK, and it’s also massive around the world. And we’re looking forward to it. Carl’s in incredible condition. And his trainer Shane McGugian is here as well.

Shane McGuigan

His preparations have been going great. We’ve been in camp for a very, very long time since the fight was announced. But he had a little bit of downtime over Christmas to allow some festive moments with his family, but that was all good. So, you know, he’s able to come back into camp nice and refreshed and ready for the final stretch. And since being back in camp he’s been performing every day. So, it’s just about making sure we peak correctly, but we’re on track and everything’s going great.

Question:

Anything you care to share about Scott Quigg and what he might bring to the table? What challenges he possesses or weaknesses you may see?

  1. McGuigan –You know, Scott’s a good fighter, but he’s a bit one dimensional at times, but he does everything -- you know, he’s quite neat and quite tidy, and he’s obviously a very decent puncher, but, you know, when it comes to skill ability and punch variety and putting on a show Carl Frampton’s the man, and he’s going to do a big number on Scott Quigg, and he’s gonna look exciting in doing so.

Question:

Carl, there’s been a lot of discussion about your last fight, of course, with Gonzalez, what it signified. A lot of people saw the fight. You went down in the first round, came back and dominated the rest of the fight. What can we draw about that early and unexpected knockdown in that fight?

Frampton

Well, I think that last fight was probably -- I’m going to call it a blessing in disguise, because if I had went in and blew Alejandro Gonzalez away in one or two rounds then you guys wouldn’t be on the phone talking to me about Scott Quigg. Because, I (went down) in the first round is the only reason that (we’re fighting). I’ve been chasing Scott Quigg for a long time. I’ve been chasing him for at least four years when he was British champion, and it’s only now that they want the fight. So, again, a blessing in disguise, but it wasn’t my best performance. But, if you (take the knockdown) out of the equation then it wasn’t a bad performance (and I did what I) had to do to win. But, I’ll need to be at my best to beat Quigg. And so far in the gym everything’s looking like you’re gonna see the best ever Carl Frampton.

Question:

He’s coming off a fight where in the first round he had a little difficulty, but he came back, and he got a big knockout in the second round. He’s gotten a lot of knockouts early in recent fights. What do you think your advantages are over him?

Frampton

Natural talent is the main thing. When people talk about high dedication and high heart Scott Quigg (is a hard worker). But if they think that I don’t train equally as hard as him then they’re wrong. But, the difference is natural talent. Everything that he does is programmed. He’s been taught how to fight. I know how to fight. I’ve been boxing since I was seven. It’s all I know really and that’s gonna be the big difference. You know, he has hard work, but I have hard work and natural talent and that’s gonna be the big difference.

Question:

Do you think it makes much difference the location of this fight? Manchester is almost a road fight for you. The majority of the fans may be rooting for him. Is that gonna make any difference to you?

Frampton

Actually, the majority of the fans will be rooting for me. I know I’m fighting away from home. I know it’s in Scott Quigg’s hometown, but that doesn’t really sell tickets. Because of the magnitude of his faith, he’ll obviously sell a few more tickets. But I’ll have at least 70 percent of the support in the arena. I have no doubt about that. So, it may feel a bit more [like a home game) for Scott. But when he’s standing on the ramp and he gets a worse reception than me let’s see how he deals with that.

Question:

We’re trying to get a sense of the rivalry between Ireland and England when it comes to boxing. And I know Belfast has kind of been at the heart of this storm when it comes to struggles between England and Ireland. Do you have a special perspective about what that rivalry means. And does it still mean a lot to you and your fans?

Frampton

Well, there’s a rivalry. You know, Ireland versus England is a big rivalry and not just in boxing but in all sports. But, I think that’s what Eddie Hearn and Quigg are trying to make out here that this is Ireland versus England. It’s not. I have fans from all over the UK, all over Ireland. This is really the UK and Ireland and my support versus Scott Quigg’s support of Manchester. So, it’s not an Ireland thing here. It’s my support against his, and I have a lot more than him.

Question:

The boxing scene generally in the UK and Ireland is so strong right now. It’s been a very exciting time. Do you feel like you’re participating in something pretty special in this fight?

Frampton

Yeah, it’s a good time for British boxing. Obviously there’s a lot of world champions. I think there’s 12 at the minute. There’s gonna be one less by the time me and Quigg fight, but I know it’s not gonna be me. We’re getting a lot of support from the fans. I think that, you know, there’s 20,000 coming to watch me and Scott Quigg. If it had of been the right time of the year, we could have done it outdoors and maybe sold 30,000-40,000 tickets. So, boxing is in a great place at the minute, and we’re all playing a wee part in it.

Question:

Last year, you came to America for the first time. This fight is gonna be broadcast on SHOWTIME. Is this part of a strategy for you to eventually come fight over here in some major fights?

Frampton

Yeah, I want to fight in the states as much as possible. I’ve always said that. I would love to fight on the east coast especially. I think there’s a lot of -- you know, there’s potential for a big fan base there for me with the Irish American. So, that’s the objective, because I can fight in America more often, but, again, it’s one fight at a time here. I need to beat Scott Quigg first and participate in Manchester on this date. So, once I beat him we’ll look at our options, but, you know, I really wanna take this the state by storm. And obviously appearing on CBS and now this fight now on SHOWTIME, we’re going the right way about it.

Question:

Did you watch the MMA fighter Connor McGregor and see anything that you can take from his game on the promotional side to make your name a little bit bigger over here? Obviously, he’s had huge success. Have you been tracking him and seeing what he does?

Frampton

Well, I’ve talked to him, and I never really paid much attention to UFC or MMA until Connor McGregor got involved. I wanna see him fighting. So, it shows you the type of (ability) that he has, but I’m not the same person as Connor McGregor. I’m not -- you know, I go over and I work quietly and subtly. I just get offered things. I do my business in the ring. But, McGregor is very clever. He’s getting a lot of -- you know, you either love him or you hate him. I really like him. I think McGregor is brilliant. He’s a huge star, has fans, but equally as big in the states, and he’s playing the game, but I don’t really take anything from that. I’m not gonna change my personality just because of McGregor’s success.

Question:

The winner of this fight will likely have to give up a belt to face his mandatory in the WBA. Do you have any preference (who you fight next)?

Frampton

Well, Rigondeaux is the man you have to face if you wanna call yourself the main man. So, whatever happens, happens, but I’m happy to face Reagal. Whatever my team see as the most sensible option that’s what I’m gonna do. I feel a little bit sorry for the position that Rigondeaux has been through. I feel that Scott Quigg should be a little bit embarrassed in how he’s actually -- you know, if we can say win world titles. I don’t know if he’s actually won them. He’s been handed them a lot of time, and he’s been given (them). So, I feel a bit a sorry for Rigondeaux, but I’m happy to fight anyone. That’s why I don’t fear anyone. I believe I’m the best super bantamweight in the world, but if you wanna prove that then you need to beat Rigondeaux. I’m prepared to do that.

Question:

When you say that you feel sorry for Rigondeaux, what do you mean by that?

Frampton

Well, just because of the situation that he (is in). He’s someone I admire. Obviously, the TV (networks), they don’t appreciate his style of boxing. They wanna see blood and guts. (And) he’s, technically there’s no one better than him in the world. But, it’s just the way he’s been treated with the boxing government body. I think he’s been unfairly treated. They’ve given Scott Quigg his title. I just think that’s a bit unfair. So, you know, you have to feel a little bit sorry for him.

 

Question:

This is now the big fight for you, certainly your biggest fight in this weight class. Are you of the opinion that whatever happens on Feb. 27, in particular if you’re winner of the fight, that, you know, you’ve made your statement at 122 and it’s time to go up to the featherweight division?

Frampton

There’s a good chance, you know? We’ll sit there. And after the fight then we’ll make a decision then. But, you know, it’s not easy for me to make 122 pounds. It’s never been easy, but I’ve always done it. And we made a conscious effort for, you know, coming into this training camp. We sat there as a team and the plan behind it, and it came from Shane really getting my weight down as soon as possible and hold it at a weight that I think that I fight best at. So, my weight is pretty good at the minute. You know, we’re three and a half weeks away from the weigh-in, and my weight’s probably better than it normally is. So, we’ve made an effort to do that because but I’m not growing anymore. I’m not getting any bigger. I’m 29 the week before the fight. Obviously I want to move up at some point but that’ll be something that only me and my team will table about after the fight.

Question:

So you want to stick and just keep being the dominant force at 122, or would you like to maybe win a featherweight title, maybe win a junior lightweight title?

Frampton

Yeah, I would. Genuinely I would like that. You know if you wanna talk about legacy it’s about winning as many titles as possible in as many weight divisions for me. And to create a legacy it’s gonna be important for me to win world titles in more than one weight division. So, I wanna move up. You know, I’m not the tallest guy in the world. I don’t really have the frame [to fight in) too many weight divisions, but I’m strong. I’m stronger than most super bantamweights. I’m stronger than most featherweights, other super bantamweights, and I’d be happy to move up to featherweight and probably finish my career at super featherweight. You know, it’ll probably be hard for me to go any further than that, but I’d be -- you know, if I win a world title in another weight division I’ll be very happy, but I’ve got the capability to win world titles in three weight divisions no doubt.

McGuigan – Carl answered (the question) quite eloquently. I mean, the bottom line is he’s a career 122-pounder. We’ve done it for, how many, four years, five years. So, I don’t think if we stick at the weight it wouldn’t be a problem. It’s not easy to make it because he’s a big fella for the division, but 95 percent of guys that are in boxing struggle with weight. The problem out in Texas was he was just drinking too much liquid after the last couple of days after the weigh-in --or after he trained, and, therefore, he was going up again and holding the water. It’s just -- it’s interesting how the different temperatures (can affect you). Now, of course, things are much better. We’re in a temperature we’re used to. We’re used to making the weight. We can do it. But we’re only focused at the moment on Feb. 27. It’s my job to look ahead. (But there are many possibilities for him at featherweight) so he can easily shift to 126 and still be a monster at 126.

Question:

Barry, this is the big one for you guys right now. It was a hard complicated deal to make and you guys went back and forth for quite a while. So, my question is, is this a two-fight deal? That however things go, you know, there could certainly be a rematch between these two guys. Are you tied to the rematch regardless of the outcome, or can you move on and do whatever you want, you know, win or lose?

Barry McGuigan

No, no, no, there--it all depends. It all depends on how exciting the fight is and what sort of response there is, etc., etc. And so -- I mean there’s been mention of a rematch but nothing set in stone, absolutely nothing set in stone. It’s like a cash register. All of the apples have to come up.

Question:

Carl, do you get the sense that this fight is actually happening at the right time or that it’s just kind of been delayed until maybe the other side wanted it to happen?

Frampton

Well, I think it’s probably happening at the right time. But, you know, if you had asked me that two years ago when I was looking to fight and they wouldn’t fight me, I would have said something different, but things have just happened, and it seemed like it’s happened for a reason, and obviously now is the right time. We’re both bigger (and have) world titles on the line. So, the fight is much bigger now than it would have been for a British title when I originally wanted to fight Scott. So, given, you know, a chance for both of us to make a lot of money, obviously, because it’s a bigger fight, but to make our names much bigger. This is a fight, especially in the UK, that’s gonna be really (massive). Scott and I are gonna go big on it starting very, very soon. Obviously, you’re getting a lot of coverage in America from you guys as well. So, it’s given both fighters an opportunity to make their stock raise, but I know for a fact there’s only gonna be one winner. I know that. I’ve known it for the last four or five years that I can face this guy. And I think it tells you enough that he never wanted to fight me until now. He never wanted to fight me for a British title when he would have been making less money. So, I think you can look into that how you want, but I’ve always wanted this fight.

Question:

Do you feel like there’s been a certain evolution between both of you fighters? Like, do you think he’s gotten significantly better since he was first on your radar?

Frampton

He’s probably gotten better, but I’ve got better as well. I think that just happens with development. And, you know, we’re good professional fighters. We’re very dedicated to the sport. So, I think both of us have got better, but I think I’m head and shoulders above this guy. I don’t wanna take Scott Quigg lightly. I don’t wanna (people to think) I’m looking passive. I’m not. I’m training very, very hard for this fight. But, me on my best -- if I put in 100 percent performance, if I put in the best performance I can, and Scott Quigg puts in the best performance he can, then I win the fight and it’s not even close. So, it’s about me and how I perform, because I know if I perform my best and there’s only one winner.

 

 

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February 9, 2016

 




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