Carl Frampton confident of support in Scott Quigg fight

By Ben DirsBBC Sport
Frampton-Quigg 'tops Froch-Groves'

Carl Frampton has taunted Scott Quigg before their world title unification fight, saying it will be "Bury versus everywhere else".

Bury's Quigg, WBA super-bantamweight champion, will fight IBF champion Frampton in Manchester on 27 February.

But Belfast's Frampton believes he will have more support, despite the fight taking place near Quigg's home town.

"I'm a bigger draw. I'm confident I'll have the lion's share of fans on the night," said the 28-year-old.

"There will be more Irish in the arena. Whatever it takes for them to get in, they'll get in. But it's not really about Ireland versus England.

"Judging by the response I've had so far, people from Ireland, Manchester, Liverpool, London, Wales and Scotland will all be supporting me."

Frampton denies Quigg knockout claim

Frampton and Quigg, 27, have been circling each other for four years, with both camps blaming each other for repeated breakdowns in negotiations.

But Quigg denied the fight was only taking place now because of Frampton's under-par performance in his most recent contest, which he won on points despite being knocked down twice by Mexican Alejandro Gonzalez.

"They're fooling themselves if they think that's the case, we've been trying to make this fight for years," he said at a spiky news conference in Manchester.

"They thought they were going to crack America and if he'd beaten Gonzalez in exciting fashion, he wouldn't be back here fighting me. Instead, they went over there and he was up and down like a yo-yo.

"He couldn't go back to Al Haymon [the American adviser and media mogul] and demand big money when he'd almost been upset by a blown-up bantamweight. He knew the only way he could make any money was by fighting me."

While Frampton and Quigg have largely been respectful of each other since the fight was officially announced, there has still been plenty of flak flying on their three-city promotional tour, which finishes in Belfast on Wednesday.

Frampton called Quigg's promoter Eddie Hearn "the smuggest man I've ever come across", while Frampton's manager and British and Irish boxing legend Barry McGuigan called Quigg's trainer Joe Gallagher "an eejit and a fool".

Carl Frampton considers move to featherweight after win in US

For their part, Quigg's team seem convinced they have got under Frampton's skin, with Hearn announcing he had breakfasted on "three pints of banter juice".

"Carl's rattled and there are still 100 days to go," said British trainer of the year Gallagher, who also handles Liverpool's title-winning Smith brothers and Anthony Crolla, who fights for a world title on Saturday.

"Carl was down twice last time and Scott has just knocked out the best person Carl has beaten [Quigg stopped Spain's Kiko Martinez in two rounds in July, while Frampton beat Martinez on points to claim the IBF belt last September].

"He will have a lot of demons and his camp has a lot of work to do, mentally and physically, to make him believe he's going to win this fight.

"I've got the man with the power in either hand to do the damage on the night. As soon as Scott lands, head or body, it will be over."

Frampton, who is undefeated in 21 professional fights, replied: "Quigg is a dangerous fighter. But I can make this fight easy and win it, even if I'm not at my best. In every department, I'm just that bit better than him."

Responding to Frampton's claims that Quigg was "still eating crayons" when he had his first bout at the age of seven, the Bury boxer, who has 31 wins and two draws from 33 professional fights, said: "I have been in the ring since the age of nine and had 70-odd Thai boxing fights before I started boxing.

"I've got just as much experience in the ring as he has. And I've not done bad for somebody who eats crayons. I might start eating some more of them."