Q&A: Scott Quigg on Matchroom, Salinas and Frampton
Undefeated British contender Scott Quigg (25-0-1, 18 knockouts) is THE RING’s No. 4 junior featherweight, which is no mean feat considering the depth of talent which resides within today’s star-studded 122-pound division.
Quigg, at twenty-four years of age, is firmly established as one of the most exciting fighters in British boxing with his lightning speed, dynamic punch power and technical craft catching the eye of fans and media alike.
Last time out the Bury man smashed southpaw Rendall Munroe in six rounds, becoming the first man to stop the former world title challenger in a highly publicized rematch. The show was transmitted in the UK as part of a PPV event and was also available via Showtime in the United States.
A world title shot beckoned but that was November of last year and Scott Quigg hasn’t been seen since.
An unwanted period of inactivity has resulted in the Englishman abandoning Hatton Promotions to follow in the footsteps of Carl Froch, Ricky Burns, Kell Brook and George Groves, who have all ventured to pastures new at Eddie Hearn’s thriving Matchroom stable.
Quigg says he can’t wait to get going and promises that his firepower and talent will seize the day when it finally arrives. Still, there are no easy routes to a world title and a 50/50 bout with domestic rival and RING No. 3, Carl Frampton, remains a white hot topic amongst home fans.
Undaunted, the super confident Quigg is training hard at Joe Gallagher’ Manchester gym and has crosshairs locked on all comers – foreign and domestic. He begins this new chapter on June 29th at the Bolton Arena against an as yet un-named opponent.
RingTV.com spoke to Quigg about his new promotional allegiance and what he has planned in the near future.
RingTV.com: You’ve made the big move from Hatton Promotions to Matchroom. What prompted that decision?
Scott Quigg: A lot of people were wondering why everything went quiet following my victory over Rendall Munroe. After a performance like that we expected a snowball effect which would take me to a world title shot. The downside was that Ricky (Hatton) got beat that night (by Vyacheslav Senchenko) which seemed to stall television dates for Hatton Promotions and led to a long period of inactivity for myself. I know they tried hard for me but I could only sit around for so long and, at twenty-four years old, I’ll never get that time back. It was very frustrating and I needed to make the move.
RTV: What does Matchroom bring to the table that benefits Scott Quigg?
SQ: Matchroom will have me fighting regularly. My first fight with Rendall Munroe (which ended in a technical draw following a head clash) was in June of last year, so I’ve only had one fight in the last twelve months. Matchroom’s deal with Sky Sports will give me a huge platform to showcase my skills and they expect me to deliver, which I’m confident of doing.
RTV: What have you been doing during your time off?
SQ: Although I’ve been out the prize ring I haven’t really had time off. I was in the gym two weeks after I’d beaten Munroe because I expected to be out early this year and there was always the possibility that I would get a phone call offering me an opportunity. I’m always learning and improving my skills because I love the sport and I want to reach the top.
RTV: You’re back on June 29th against an un-named opponent at the Bolton Arena. Yoandris Salinas’ team has said their fighter would like to face you for the full WBA title that night. What are your opinions on this late notice challenge and Salinas himself?
SQ: I’m not scared of taking on Salinas but I’ve been out of the ring for eight months. Over the last year I’ve done nothing but train for southpaws and it would be crazy of me to jump into a fight of that magnitude without the proper preparation. The Salinas people want the fight and I want the fight but I’ll take it when I’m ready. I’ve been inactive and I need to get back in the swing of things, although I’m 100% confident I’ll beat Salinas when that fight is made.
RTV: The unbeaten Jonathan Romero is the new IBF champion. Have you had a look at him and what are your thoughts?
SQ: The junior featherweight division is stacked with top class fighters. It’s tough with the likes of Romero, Leo Santa Cruz and Guillermo Rigondeaux but I believe that once I get the momentum going I can get in there and beat any of them. Coming off the Munroe win we were ready for a world title fight but the eight-month layoff means we need a couple of fights to shed the ring rust and then it’ll be time to crash the world scene.
RTV: Guillermo Rigondeaux is the top practitioner at junior featherweight. How do you rate him and what are his strengths?
SQ: We seen the Nonito Donaire fight and that says it all. For Rigondeaux to make it look so simple against a fighter of Donaire’s caliber was unbelievable. There are people out there who may have found it boring to watch but that was nothing short of pure class. To be able to slow the pace, control the action and do as you please against a man like Donaire was extraordinary. Rigondeaux didn’t even look like he’d broken sweat and his skill, class and defense were exceptional. He is a special talent.
RTV: You’ve always struck me as being very big for the 122-pound division. Are you still making weight comfortably and when do you see yourself moving on to full featherweight?
SQ: I’ve got a big frame and I could go up to featherweight but I don’t need to. When fighters say they are struggling to make weight it means, in my opinion, that they lack discipline. Nobody likes to diet but if you stick to your regime and do things properly then you will make weight comfortably. The other day I was 126 pounds after training and I’m two weeks away from fight night. That is down to dedication and diet and you wouldn’t believe how much food I can eat day to day. That is because I eat the correct foods and I know my body. I live the life of a fighter.
RTV: The ultimate fight for UK fans is between yourself and Carl Frampton. You two are friendly rivals wedged between two promoters (Matchroom and Frank Warren) that are anything but friendly. Being honest, has that fight just become even harder to make?
SQ: People think that but not in my opinion. It’s good for me and it’s good for Carl because there will be plenty of money on offer when it gets made as both promoters will want to stage it. Carl and I both are on the cusp of fighting for a word title and if one of us, or both of us, can get a title then Quigg vs. Frampton becomes a super fight. At the end of the day I’m in this sport to win a world championship and I’m in touching distance of doing that, so I’m not worried about Carl Frampton right now. If I wasn’t as close to securing my shot then the fight would probably be made but it will happen when it makes sense.
RTV: What do you make of Frank Warren’s offer to make the fight for September?
SQ: I’d just signed with Matchroom so this was clearly a publicity stunt. Two days before I signed Carl was saying he was going to fight in October, over in Ireland, and then suddenly Frank Warren wants him to fight me in September? Next thing Barry McGuigan is the promoter, not Frank Warren, so I don’t know what’s going on and I wish them all the best. I have nothing but respect for Carl Frampton but when the fight gets made I’m 100% confident that I’ll beat him.
RTV: You visited the Wild Card Gym last year and got rave reviews for your skill and technique. Now that you’re closing in on a world title shot do you foresee a return to the States to help with preparation?
SQ: I love the sparring you get and the fighters you come across in places like the Wild Card and Gleason’s Gym. The next time we go to the States we’ve also discussed going to Oxnard where Mikey Garcia works out. You want to be around fighters like that and get the best preparation possible so I’ll always do it because you never stop learning in this sport. One day at the Wild Card I had just finished sparring, turned around and Shane Mosley was watching me, which was just surreal. I also did a bit of pad work with Freddie Roach. You can’t buy experiences like that so it’s important to take in what you can.
RTV: What is the ideal scenario for Scott Quigg in the next twelve months?
SQ: The ideal scenario is get some rounds under my belt and then I’ll be looking for a world title shot. Salinas is the fight we want.
Photos: Scott Heavey-Gettyimages
Tom Gray is a member of the British Boxing Writers’ Association and contributes to various publications. Follow him on Twitter: @Tom_Gray_Boxing