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Carl Frampton is our greatest, says former world champion Barry McGuigan

By David Kelly

Published 29/02/2016

Power and the glory: Carl Frampton on his way to a points victory over Scott Quigg
Power and the glory: Carl Frampton on his way to a points victory over Scott Quigg

Former World champion Barry McGuigan says Carl Frampton is "the best Irish fighter we've ever had".

McGuigan punched the air in delight after embracing Frampton following his split decision points victory over Scott Quigg in the Manchester Arena on Saturday night, insisting this was just the start of a series of fights that would make the Jackal an all-time great.

Manager McGuigan said: "This kid is the best Irish fighter we've ever had. That's a bold statement and I'll get told off for that but he has time to prove that and we have to give him the fights to prove it.

"The Scott Quigg re-match is not an attractive fight for us, we have to look at the money fights and a fight with Leo Santa Cruz is a breathtaking fight and the difference between Scott and Santa Cruz is that Scott was unsure and he didn't want to throw, he was just apprehensive because he was being hit so hard he didn't want to let go.

"Santa Cruz isn't as hurtful a puncher as Quigg but he's a better attacking fighter, he throws a relentless amount of punches."

McGuigan (right) also spoke of how "proud" he was of Frampton who handled all the pressure and expectation upon his shoulders with consummate ease.

"Personally I felt under pressure but I felt calm because Carl looked like he was in control the whole way through," added McGuigan.

"And then a few rounds near the end Carl decided to sit with him and exchange and that made it exciting because he hurt Quigg with a couple of body shots - a double left hook made Quigg's knees dip.

"We got annoyed with all the gamesmanship the week leading up to the fight and I know people ridiculed us about the dressing room thing but we knew that Quigg's a guy who needs all his ducks in order and you can't be trained that way without it having a negative side and that negative is if it doesn't all go right then it messes you up.

"For us as a team it was a great night. Shane is Carl's trainer, Jake and Blain are his promoters, I'm his manager and you have mother hen Sandra who takes a helicopter view of it all.

"We're a strong independent promotional company that develops talent in a fairly unique way, very much like the Duvas did in America - we've got a 360 degree process.

"We have a young Scottish guy Josh Taylor coming through who is world class and we're going to do with him what we have done with Carl."

As for the manner in which Frampton out-foxed and out-fought Quigg on Saturday night in an atmosphere that many regarded as the best they had ever experienced, McGuigan purred at the Jackal's display.

"I felt Carl's performance was fabulous and he still had far more gears to go through - we still haven't seen the best of him," he said.

"What he said in the last three or four rounds was 'ok if you want to stand toe-to-toe then let's do it' and he hurt him to the body and he broke his jaw.

"You could see that Quigg didn't want to let go because he was being hurt.

"I'm so proud of him because it was just a great performance."

Meanwhile, the vanquished promoter Eddie Hearn pointed to Quigg's early tactics when he tried to win the rounds from distance which only made life easier for Frampton.

Hearn said: "The first six rounds were a little bit stale, but these fighters were not going to go toe-to-toe from the off. Carl is a great fighter and a good man.

"Quigg needed to use his assets better. I think he broke his jaw in the fourth round. I wish he started faster, because I believe he would have won the fight.

"I just feel Scott started too late. By the time Scott got his hands dirty, he was making up. I felt like he gave him too much respect."

Deposed WBA champion Quigg insisted he wanted a re-match to put the record straight, despite the comprehensive manner of the loss.

"The re-match is the fight I want, I 100 per cent think I can beat him," said 27-year-old Quigg, who suffered a broken jaw in the fourth round.

"The first four or five rounds were a bit of a chess match. He was probably being a bit busier, but nothing was landing on me and I felt quite comfortable.

"At the end of the fourth round he caught me with a peach of an uppercut that did my jaw.

"I wanted to start going through the gears, but we had to re-evaluate and be a bit more careful for a bit longer."

Belfast Telegraph

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