Scott Quigg and Anthony Joshua post victories in Manchester
British 122-pound star Scott Quigg blasted his way through late replacement Stephane Jamoye, posting a third-round technical knockout to retain his regular WBA junior featherweight title in Manchester, England, on Saturday.
[Editor’s Note: THE RING only recognizes Guillermo Rigondeaux as WBA champion at 122 pounds.]
Quigg (29-0-2, 23 knockouts) closed with a devastating right hand to the body which sent his opponent head-first to the canvas in Round 3. The Belgium-based visitor was in terrible pain but rose gamely, only for the referee to wave the bout off with Jamoye still in distress.
That looked to be a wise decision and the official time was 1:13.
“I’m happy with that,” said Quigg, when interviewed by Sky Sports. “I went in there and systematically broke him down in three rounds. That’s something that no opponent has ever done to him before.”
Jamoye looked intense throughout the national anthems and got off to a good start by clipping the home fighter with a brace of power shots. The infringement seemed to light a fire under Quigg who immediately went through the gears, hurting his man to the body with a whipping left hook.
In Round 2, Jamoye threw caution to the wind and unloaded with a stream of combinations within the opening minute. Quigg, THE RING’s No. 3-rated junior featherweight, was caught by more than he would have liked but was adept enough defensively to avoid the worst of it and also slotted in some well-timed counters.
The early surge, combined with Quigg’s retorts, had taken the wind from Jamoye and his work rate dropped dramatically in Round 3. The Englishman, sensing a quick ending, went to work, battering his opponent with flush power shots to head and body.
The clock was ticking and, after a brief softening-up process, Quigg released the terminal body-blow.
Attention, during the post-fight interview, quickly shifted to Carl Frampton, who won the IBF junior featherweight title from Kiko Martinez last weekend and the Bury man made his intentions clear regarding the undefeated champion from Belfast.
Quigg said, “If Carl Frampton and Barry McGuigan (Frampton’s manager) want to sit down at the negotiating table then this fight can happen. If they don’t then perhaps Leo Santa Cruz, who fights tonight, does.”
Quigg weighed in at 121.5 pounds with Jamoye officially 121.75.
Anthony Crolla and former WBC junior lightweight title holder Gamaliel Diaz fought to an unsatisfactory third-round technical draw in a lightweight bout.
Both men fenced at long range in the opening sessions with very little to separate them. Crolla (28-4-2, 11 knockouts) held his shape and boxed behind an accurate left jab, but his Mexican counterpart looked ambitious with some sharp counterpunching of his own.
Just as the bell rang to end the third, Diaz pulled away from an exchange and immediately took a knee. The visitor, in clear distress, shook his head in frustration and when his face became visible a wound over his right eye was pumping blood, the result of an accidental head clash.
Diaz (38-11-2, 17 knockouts) and his corner team wore expressions of hopelessness and, according to the official announcement, the fight was stopped on advice from a ringside doctor. The 27-year-old Crolla and Matchroom boss, Eddie Hearn, were extremely disenchanted and there was talk of lodging an official appeal.
“This is massively frustrating,” said Crolla, when interviewed by Sky Sports. “I’m sorry to the fans and I promise I’ll be exciting next time. They’ve called it a technical draw but I think he (Diaz) was happy with that result.
“I’m very confident I would have gone on to win this fight.”
Olympic gold medalist Anthony Joshua posted some overtime with a third-round annihilation of journeyman Konstantin Airich at heavyweight.
The bout marked the first time that Joshua (8-0, 8 knockouts) was taken past the second round in his professional career. The official time was 1:16.
Joshua dominated the first two sessions with the use of a thumping jab and a quick right hand to the head. Airich did manage to return fire, but his successes were met by an intimidating sneer from the colossal Brit, who teed off at will with crunching power shots.
A huge right lead decked the Russia-based slugger midway through the third and Joshua was sternly warned by the referee for releasing shots when his opponent was on the canvas.
The reprimand bought Airich a little time but that was small solace as Joshua unloaded to head and body, prompting the referee’s intervention and a white towel to arrive simultaneously.
Tom Gray is a member of the British Boxing Writers’ Association and has contributed to various publications. Follow him on Twitter: @Tom_Gray_Boxing