Barry McGuigan says that Frampton will become ‘the best Irish fighter of all time’ after his win over Scott Quigg made him unified champion at super-bantamweight
The 29-year-old Belfast fighter now has the Bury man’s WBA belt to go with his own IBF title after his fight went the full twelve rounds. His 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.”
Frampton, who took dual Irish-British citizenship so he could contest domestic titles in the UK, won by two judging decisions of 116-112 but lost a strange 115-113 score from one judge.
He was in full control of the first half of the fight, one of the most eagerly awaited in years, as was the first time two undefeated British boxers had fought to unify a world title. With a massive travelling support for the Ulsterman; his fans in the crowd included James Nesbitt, Martin O’Neill and AP McCoy, Frampton joked that he did not even realise it was in Manchester.
“Seems like it is Belfast. I couldn’t believe it was a spilt [decision].
“I don’t know what that lad was watching. He needs to take a long hard look at himself. I knew it was going to be a boring fight – I had to sell it for TV. I knew I had the brain to do that and make it boring.”
There was no rematch clause in the contract, and Frampton said straight afterwards that he would not go fighting for the sake of it. McGuigan said: “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.”
It was Quigg’s first defeat in 34 professional fights, stretching back to 2007.
Frampton is undefeated in 22 fights since turning pro in 2009.
“I’m happy to have a rematch if the public demand it,” Frampton said, “but I’d rather move on to bigger and better things now.”