Scott Quigg: The Greatest Hits
It was mission accomplished for Scott Quigg. Get in, get to the top, reach financial security and get out. The quiet man from Bury, England left his mark in fights against the likes of Rendall Munroe, Carl Frampton, Oscar Valdez and Kiko Martinez before he retired earlier this year following a defeat to Jono Carroll.
Quigg knew right away he didn’t have “it” any longer. “Two or three years ago I don’t think I would have had a problem with him whatsoever,” Quigg said. “That’s taking nothing away from him. He’s improved, he’s still improving, and he boxed the perfect fight. It felt like there was no spark there. I enjoyed training camp, I was out in America, I wasn’t miserable and I thought the work we put in – and I’m not saying I was firing on all cylinders in the gym – but the training camp that we had I believe was good enough to beat Jono. But the thing is, I didn’t think I was going to be as out of timing and distance. And credit to Jono again, he made it more difficult and he boxed the perfect fight but having the two injuries on my arm, and having the full year out, I forgot what real time was like. It’s alright doing it in the gym but on fight night I was a second behind him and credit to him. I was warming up in the changing rooms and I was thinking I would warm into it in a couple of rounds, but after Round 4 I thought, ‘This is going to be a long night.’ Up until coming out for Round 9 I thought I’d land a shot and get to him but by then I thought, ‘It’s not happening’.”
He couldn’t find the openings he’d taken earlier in his career.
“In my head I could see everything he was going to do,” Quigg added. “I knew what he was going to do before he did it. The problem was, he’d already done it before I tried to counter it. I’m not daft, I studied him, I knew him like the back of my hand and credit where it’s due, I knew what he was going to do but I couldn’t prevent him from doing it. I was that step behind.”
But by then, Quigg had already had his six biggest and best nights and here they are:
Date/ Location: October 22, 2011/ DeVere Whites Hotel, Bolton
Titles: British junior featherweight
“It was youth against experience at the time and it was the way I performed as well. Even after my fight with him he was still good. I’m not saying he was in his prime at all but it was his experience and little tricks, I countered everything he was trying to do and I was happy with that. I’m not going to say he was fresh and in his prime because he wasn’t. People were saying he was finished but he still went on and took top fighters the distance (including future world titleholders Lee Haskins and Ryan Burnett) and he got a couple of wins as well. That was one night and a stage in my career where I went to another level after that. If I didn’t beat him, I’d found my level. It was a crossroads fight, a must-win fight and I needed to be switched on because experience can overcome youth, speed or whatever. If you fall for the tricks it doesn’t matter if you’re younger or fresher, experience can take over.”
Result: Quigg TKO 7
Rendall Munroe 2
Date/ Location: November 24, 2012/ Manchester Arena, Manchester
Titles: Interim WBA junior featherweight
“This was the one at Manchester, the rematch on the undercard of Ricky [Hatton]’s last fight. Looking back, I was glad what happened in the first fight happened (stopped in Round 3 and called a technical draw after Munroe was cut by a head clash) because that meant it got to be on the big stage on Ricky’s undercard, but in the first fight I could see everything and I felt so comfortable. He was coming forwards but I could see everything he was doing. What happened in the second fight definitely would have happened in the first fight, there’s no question about it. In a way it did me a favor as we had another camp, we went away to America, we brought sparring in from America for that camp so I got paid twice for the same job and I got more experience. I thought I’d gone to a different level, I thought I was in a different league and I’d just proved I was ready for the next league. I have all the respect in the world for him because when I was coming through I looked up to him. I knew how hard he worked. I admire people like that.”
Result: Quigg TKO 6
Date/ Location: April 19, 2014/ Manchester Arena, Manchester
Titles: Regular WBA junior featherweight
“He was a quality fighter. They called him the Brit-basher because every time he came over he bashed someone up (Martin Power twice, Harry Ramogoadi and Lee Haskins). He came in at short notice but he’d been training for a fight, and what made it more satisfying was in boxing you meet a lot of people and they aren’t true to your face. They smile and shake your hand when they see you but will talk shite behind your back, and the people that were looking after him, and I liked a few of them, but there were other people in that corner on the night saying Munyai has been bashing people up in sparring and there was people at Sky, pundits, who thought there was going to be an upset and saying it wasn’t going to be an easy fight. I have ears everywhere. I knew what people were saying and when I went out and obliterated him, I knew that was going to happen. That was one of the best camps, everything had gone perfect, and when I demolished him the people who had talked nonsense evaporated from his corner. That was one of the most satisfying nights of my career. Knowing what had been said and then the same people came out and said, ‘Great performance!’ I always kept a small circle in boxing from that point on but the amount of rats there is in the sport, it’s unbelievable. It was very satisfying to see them all scurry out of that corner.”
Result: Quigg TKO 2
Date/ Location: July 18, 2015/ Manchester, Manchester Arena
Titles: Regular WBA junior featherweight
“I’ve got to say my best night was the Kiko Martinez night. Up until that point I was on a collision course to fight [Carl] Frampton, he fought on the same night over in Texas, and Martinez was no pushover, he was very dangerous. Obviously, he’d caused Frampton some problems. If I was to get past him and Frampton won there was talk of a fight between me and him, so with the stakes that night, it being in Manchester, and the training camp had gone perfect – it was probably my best camp. I was with Joe [Gallagher] for that one and on that night I felt invincible. Everything we’d worked on, it was no fluke. Some people just thought I’d caught him and it wasn’t that. I’ve got every sparring session for that fight on tape and every day I was in the gym, you see what we were working on and that’s exactly what happened. The feeling I got from that… that’s why I would say it was probably the most memorable night of my career. People thought I was going to win but they thought it was a dangerous fight. I’d been down before, Martinez punched hard and it was the whole thing surrounding it and the way I fought and how what we’d worked on ended up coming to fruition.”
Result: Quigg TKO 2
Date/ Location: February 27, 2016/ Manchester, Manchester Arena
Titles: WBA and IBF junior featherweight
“With what he went on to do and the career he’s had, every credit to him. I always wanted a rematch because I believed that I could beat him. On the night I got the tactics wrong. The [broken] jaw obviously didn’t help for a couple of rounds but I did see that he said I broke my jaw in the sixth [not the fourth] and I’d gone on for six rounds instead of eight rounds [with the broken jaw]. My jaw got broke in the fourth round by a right hook. He caught me and I thought, ‘That doesn’t feel right’. Then, after Round 6, I start going forward. That’s when I start to put the pressure on because when he hit me with that uppercut in Round 6 it completely snapped it, it was completely numb and it didn’t hurt. I don’t need to lie whether it went in the fourth, sixth or eighth, it makes no difference to me because it had no effect on me.
“Normally my style is going forward and putting the pressure on and from Round 7, 8 onwards that’s what I did. Then it caught fire. You could say the tactics from myself didn’t help. I was trying to draw him in because he didn’t fall for the trap. I changed the game plan so from my point of view, I wish I’d gone forward from the start. He was never going to be the one who was going to make the fight exciting because of his style anyway. He’s more of a counterpuncher. I’d take a bit of the blame because I chose the tactics I did, but at the end of the day the pressure didn’t get to us even thought it was a big occasion and the first pay-per-view fight for smaller guys since Prince Naseem [Hamed]. I just think there was a lot at stake. I chose the wrong tactics early on and both of us have to take some responsibility. I thought he was a bit of a tit with some of the things he was saying but I don’t know the fella to really dislike him. I give him every credit for what he’s gone on to achieve and I have no bitterness or anything because I know how hard the game is. For who he’s beat and what he’s achieved, it’s not an easy thing to do.
“If he fights [Jamel] Herring to become a three-weight world champion I’ll be cheering him on. Whether he likes me or not it’s irrelevant, doesn’t mean I hope he goes on to get beat. It’s a tough fight but you can’t say he hasn’t got a good chance.
“[If there had been a rematch] it would definitely be a different fight and it would have been exciting. I would have took more chances and I believe it would have paid off but with taking more chances you make yourself more vulnerable.”
Result: Frampton SD 12
Date/ Location: March 10, 2018/ StubHub Center, Carson
Titles: WBO featherweight
“Because I’d fractured my foot I was limited in training. I couldn’t push my foot down [to run] and I could only do that [cycle] at a certain intensity. I think I could have made that weight if I’d been more educated about food [Quigg came in over the limit so couldn’t win the title]. I cut my food and water down earlier because I knew I couldn’t do certain [cardiovascular] stuff and then the things I was eating, it was probably the worst thing I could do with holding water. So I was in a sauna on Thursday night, in a steam room on Friday night for a helluva a long time and I lost a pound and a half when I should have lost a hell of a lot more. Then, at four o’clock in the morning I was in the bath for an hour and a half and I lost 0.4 of a pound. When I got out I thought, ‘I’m not doing anymore.’ I just thought if he doesn’t take the fight, he does me a favor. On the day I woke up and I was a pound and a half over and I went and had a coffee and things kickstarted and I put more weight on. I needed water and I had a drink of water. People had travelled over from the U.K. and I was ready to put my hand in my pocket and pay everybody’s flight and accommodation.
“I think it was nearly a year to the day when I fought him that I’d done about 60 rounds with him in the [Wild Card] gym. The way we belted the shit out of each other, it was really good quality sparring and I thought from that if he comes and does that with me with the small gloves on, I’m going to win. That was not taking anything away from him and I’m not saying I beat him up every day in sparring because I didn’t. We had good, competitive, back-and-forth sparring but I believed I’d beat him in a fight like that. Then, with the things I had to go through in camp, it being over there in America, where I had to adjust and adapt, and the way the fight was, I just loved it. The only thing that didn’t do me any favors was when I broke his jaw because he changed his game plan up, boxed and moved, and I was too slow on my feet, I was too flatfooted. Credit to him because he boxed a very good fight, especially under the circumstances of him having a broken jaw and having to keep his composure. My nose was splattered across my face and I looked like an Avatar monster at the finish. I didn’t know that I’d broken his jaw or knocked a tooth out. If I did, maybe I would have thrown more caution to the wind and put more pressure on. I knew I’d damaged his mouth because of the way the blood was coming out but I didn’t know I’d broken his jaw.”
Result: Valdez UD 12