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Frampton-Quigg talks hit stalemate over TV rights

25
Mar

The chances of IBF junior featherweight titleholder Carl Frampton facing British rival Scott Quigg this summer hang in the balance with both parties unable to agree on the sale of the UK TV rights.

Matchroom Sport’s Eddie Hearn, who looks after Bury contender Quigg (33-0-2, 22 knockouts), believes a much-anticipated showdown between the two undefeated stars is easily big enough for a Sky Sports Box Office pay-per-view. However, Frampton’s manager, Barry McGuigan reckons they are better off sticking with terrestrial channel ITV.

Frampton (20-0, 14 KOs) made his first successful title defense last month, stopping American Chris Avalos in the fifth round. The bout was shown on ITV and attracted a Saturday night audience of 1.9 million. McGuigan, CEO of Cyclone Promotions, is keen to keep that partnership going for the time being, convinced it will further boost the 28-year-old Belfast fighter’s reputation and following.

And the fact that Frampton, THE RING’s No. 1-ranked fighter at 122 pounds, is the beltholder here means McGuigan is in no mood to budge on the matter.



That, according to Hearn, who has a contract to bring fights to Sky Sports, is proving a major stumbling block in negotiations. He revealed there had been more talks between the camps on Wednesday but they are no closer to reaching an agreement.

“Scott Quigg, Carl FramptonÔǪwe had a meeting today but I think my expression says it all,” said Hearn to TalkSPORT Radio. “We are trying. I want to see this fight, both as a promoter and a fan, and I think we all have a duty to provide these sorts of fights. It’s frustrating at times but we have to crack on and hope these fights can be made. “

When asked why he is being so stubborn over the Sky versus ITV stalemate, Hearn insisted he is obliged to get the best financial deal going for his boxers given the precarious nature of the sport.

“The answer is we go the way that provides the best opportunities for our fighters,” he said. “We know how tough this game is and the dangers that go with it and what these boxers put on the line every time they step into the ring. People who come on Twitter and say to me that these fighters should give something back to the fansÔǪno, no, no. These fighters should be securing their legacy and futures for their families in a sport that is very, very dangerous.

“That’s my job – to maximize the earnings of my fighters. I can do it. I know where to do it and I know where the most money is for [Frampton-Quigg] to happen. And, if they want a piece of it, they are more than welcome.”

 

Harry Pratt is on Twitter: @gharrypratt

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