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Frampton v Quigg: There's only room for one of these men at the top

By David Kelly

The rows between Carl Frampton's and Scott Quigg's camps over dressing rooms, officials and ticket sales have openly revealed the behind-the-scenes acrimony as fight night approaches.

Throughout the past two months, barbs have darted back and forth leading up to this pay-per-view World title unification clash at the Manchester Arena and it spilled over at yesterday's final press conference when Quigg insisted he would be having what he described as "the home" dressing room - the one he has enjoyed on numerous occasions.

Team Frampton were having none of it, with the Jackal insisting he was the "A side", the main attraction and consequently entitled to the bigger dressing room.

This, it was later revealed, came 10 days after a dispute over officials which led co-promoter Eddie Hearn to fear the fight would be called off.

The issue of the dressing room has clearly rattled Quigg, according to former World champion Barry McGuigan who admitted that the WBA champion's mindset is more akin to his as a fighter than IBF kingpin Frampton.

"I would have been more like Quigg, everything had to be lined up, all the ducks had to be in order. I recognise it, I know that because he is more like me than Carl is and he fights more like me than Carl. Carl has more dexterity and that's why he wins this fight," said McGuigan.

"The dressing room situation has to be resolved. Quigg has his idiosyncrasies and superstitions and that's why he wants it but it's important for us - fair is fair. If we don't get the main dressing room then he doesn't get it so lock it up and use both dressing rooms either side of it. It's not being unreasonable, it's a point of principle."

That was one matter that McGuigan and Hearn seemed to both agree on, though the Matchroom boxing boss insisted it would be a principle going in favour of Quigg.

"We gave up a lot for this fight to happen - the left side of the poster, ring walk second which was probably the biggest thing because the champion always walks second. So Scott feels, 'I'm the home fighter, I'm in the home corner and I get my dressing room'. I don't know how it's going to be resolved - it's just the start of 48 hours of problems," said Hearn, who then revealed his concerns over the officials dispute.

"I wanted the British Boxing Board of Control officials to officiate. This is a huge fight and they as our governing body deserve to be the officials. We ended up getting one judge. This was in the contract but the Board came back two weeks ago and said 'no, we want a British referee'.

"Barry wanted a neutral referee so I had to convince Robert Smith of the British Boxing Board of Control to stand down which was very difficult."

Frampton manager McGuigan insisted it was a case of "common sense" and that the issue - brought up by Quigg coach Joe Gallagher - should not have been made public.

"That was a Non Disclosure Agreement issue but let's talk about common sense," he said. "If you have two UK fighters who are World champions it would be better to use neutral officials - that's all I asked for. I asked for two American officials and an American referee who would be unbiased."

With the issue over officials sorted out, it leaves the dressing room debate still to be resolved and Frampton clearly feels that it has Quigg rattled - to the point where he started playing Stevie Wonder's hit 'Superstition' through his phone to the gathered media.

He said: "What's he going to do if he doesn't get the dressing room, pull out? I don't think so. He's so superstitious and it's a real sign of weakness.

"They've tried to act calmer than they are but it showed they are worried with the way they are trying to wind me up - Joe Gallagher, Eddie Hearn and Quigg let themselves down.

"It is hilarious that they're so weak. If he backs himself so much, does it really matter what dressing room he is in? I don't think so."

"I'm not moving, I'm in the dressing room or the dressing room is locked - I'm not giving in to Quigg, I'm the A side. I'm coming to Manchester to fight him.

"The band Elbow are from Bury, U2 are from Dublin - if U2 come to the MEN supported by Elbow, who gets the main dressing room? U2, that's it.

"It's not his arena as he says, it's not his dressing room. He's showing so much weakness, it's unbelievable. He's the one that is rattled."

As for who has sold the majority of the tickets, manager McGuigan revealed there was no argument to be had. He said: "We went back to the arena and they told us that the most tickets were sold from Belfast and the next were people from London and the third most was people from Manchester."

Frampton added: "I even bought 10 £200 tickets for my mate from Quigg's granny's chippy."

Whatever dressing room they come out of tomorrow night, everyone hopes the fight lives up to the hyperbole.

Belfast Telegraph


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