When a bout is so poor that James Nesbitt can sway in and provide the stand-out moment in a pre-match interview, then you’ve got a problem.
Frampton v Quigg was a let-down, mainly because Scott Quigg seemed unwilling to engage. His approach was understandable and certainly the most advantageous to securing a victory.
After all, it was this approach that saw him beat Kiko Martinez. He surrendered the centre of the ring and used his superior fitness and footwork to avoid any lasting damage. Had he utilised this with his advantageous reach and powerful right hand he may have made it a contest against Carl Frampton. The fact that he didn’t should undermine any claim for a re-match.
It was clear to all bar Levi Martinez, incidentally the same ref who scored Alvarez-Lara, which Lara blatantly won, 117-111 to Alvarez, that Frampton was vastly superior to Quigg and well worth his victory.
As for where to next, the WBA have ordered a contest with Guillermo Rigondeaux, the IBF meanwhile want a defence against Shinji Wake.
Carl Frampton’s camp seem to like the idea of a bout with Leo Santa Cruz. It makes sense, both these fighters are under Al Haymon, Barry McGuigan said this is a fight they would love, while Frampton himself said after the fight that he wants to make it happen.
This once again raises the question of Guillermo Rigondeaux.
Rigo is seemingly punished for being unmarketable, one of the most avoided yet talented boxers of his generation. The man is well familiar to Irish boxing fans after blowing through Willie ‘The Big Bang’ Casey in 2011 while he also became World Amateur Champion in Belfast in 2001.
Guillermo unified the junior featherweight titles before being stripped of them for inactivity but he fights this week in Liverpool against Dickens. This is a bout that could build his profile and ultimately lead to a fight with Frampton.
Despite the unattractive financial pool and the belief that Rigo’s style would ensure it is an unsightly fight (when compared to the wonderful sceptical that was the Quigg fight?) this is the fight that Frampton truly needs. Rigo is unrivalled in this division. He is easily in the top five pound for pound boxers in the world, and is the only thing that could threaten Frampton’s lasting legacy.
The appeal of this fight is small for Frampton.
It would present his biggest challenge to date. It’s not lucrative. He’s a difficult fighter who’s ability on the back fought is supreme. If Frampton does go for Santa Cruz it will be at 126lbs which would mean cutting down again to 122lbs afterwards to then fight Rigo.
Yet the overriding fact, that Frampton himself has admitted, is that he would have to beat Rigondeaux to prove he is undoubtedly the number one. His camp seem content to sit and wait until after this week’s fight before deciding what Frampton’s next step is. A victory this weekend must ensure Rigondeaux is looming on the horizon.