IBF 122-pound world champion Carl Frampton unified the super bantamweight division with a split decision victory over WBA titlist Scott Quigg Saturday in Manchester
The long-awaited matchup of unbeaten champions got off to a slow and tactical start, but Belfast native Frampton (22-0, 14KOs) established himself as the aggressor and worked his jab to pocket the early rounds. Quigg didn’t come alive until after the seventh, when trainer Joe Gallagher warned his charge that he was likely down big on the judges’ scorecards.
Quigg (31-1-2) pounded the body and was the aggressor in rounds eight through 11, but it was too little, too late for the Lancashire, England native. Frampton won the 12th and walked away the unified champion by scores of 115-113 for Quigg, but 116-112 twice for Frampton.
“I couldn’t believe it was a split,” Frampton said. “I don’t know what that lad was watching, but as long as I got my hand raised at the end of the fight, that’s the main thing.
“We have a great rivalry, and it was a great fight at the end. The start wasn’t great, but of course I would do it again. I’m happy to campaign at super bantamweight, but if a big fight comes calling at featherweight – Santa Cruz, Selby, any of these guys – I’m ready for them.”
Quigg admitted he should have pushed the action in the early rounds, but still thought he did enough to get the decision.
“I felt comfortable,” Quigg said. “The judges must have been counting his punches as scoring, but I thought I was blocking them. I should have started faster. I felt comfortable and I thought I was winning the rounds because he wasn’t winning clear. I’m not going to complain. I want a rematch. Maybe next time I’ll start a bit earlier.”
After a gritty, rugged and hard fought contest with fellow unbeaten super Bantamweight Jorge Sanchez, Gavin Mcdonnell moves one step closer to realising his world title dream.
The fight was fought at a fast pace from the get go and the Mexican seemed to dominate the first few rounds. His bullish and go forward style proved a difficult task for the Doncaster man.
As the fight progressed, Mcdonnell looked to settle in more. He seemed to have cracked the code, began to land the cleaner shots and worked the body of his opponent brilliantly.
Mcdonnell began to look in charge and took control down the stretch of the fight.
Sanchez looked tired and worn out going into the latter rounds. Mcdonnell showed his class by coasting to a unanimous decision victory and maintaining his unbeaten record.
Tyson Fury’s cousin Isaac Lowe came in to the arena as a massive underdog taking on hard hitting Marco Mccullough fir the vacant commonwealth featherweight title.
McCullough started strongly and ensured that Lowe felt his power early but a cut to his left eye seemed to hinder the work rate of the Belfast man. As the fight grew on, Mccullough began to look one dimensional and out of ideas. Lowe looked to get fitter and busier as the fight went on and began to befuddle McCullough with constant stance switching.
A barrage of unanswered blows from Lowe in the eighth round forced McCullough’s corner to throw in the towel.
This victory for Lowe see’s him catapulted into a very exciting mix of talented featherweights in Britain.
Rising Bantamweight star Ryan Burnett is the new WBC international champion as he impressed in front of thousands of his fellow countrymen whilst taking on France’s Anthony Settoul.
The Frenchman proved very tough and persistent throughout the contest but in the end was completely outclassed by the younger and fitter Burnett.
Questions yet to be answered regarding the power of the northern Irishman but after this performance there is no doubting his engine or boxing ability. A near flawless performance.