Dressing-room farce as Quigg and Frampton seek star billing
The biggest super-bantamweight fight in European boxing history between world champions Carl Frampton and Scott Quigg descended into farce yesterday as the rival camps refused to budge on which side had the right to the 'star' dressing-room at the Manchester Arena tomorrow night.
That dressing-room is much bigger than the others and both Quigg and Frampton wanted to rule that roost.
Quigg, from Bury, was insistent yesterday that, as the 'home' fighter, he would get the bigger room to prepare in.
Throughout the negotiation, however, Barry McGuigan and his sons insisted to Quigg's promoter Eddie Hearn that Frampton would have superior billing on the promotion.
Frampton is on the left-hand side of poster, it is called 'Frampton-Quigg' and the Belfast man will walk into the ring last.
"I'm the 'A side' here and I'm not giving in to Quigg," vowed International Boxing Federation champion Frampton yesterday.
"I'm entitled to that dressing-room. Either I'm in the dressing-room or the dressing-room is locked. That's the bottom line.
"Let's say the band Elbow are from Bury, his home town. U2 are from Dublin. If U2 come to the Manchester Arena, supported by Elbow, who gets the main dressing-room? U2 or Elbow? U2.
"It's not his arena, as he claims. They've got to work something out."
While Frampton insisted that he would "not back down", Quigg said: "I'm the home fighter. If (Manchester) United are playing at Arsenal, they don't say 'if we can't have your home changing-room we're not playing'."
There has been a deeply personal edge to the fight since it was announced and sold out in minutes. If it had fallen in the summer then a crowd of 50,000 would not have been a shock. This is not a phoney war.
Millions will be at stake when two fighters who have come up the hard way do combat.
When Quigg turned professional in 2007 he was fighting way under any radars in front of 200 or so at dinner shows in obscure hotels, where the topless raffle ticket sellers and blue comedian are the real attractions.
Frampton went pro two years later after a short journey near the elite level of the amateur business. He also fought in obscurity, but he was being protected from the inevitable pressure and expectation firmly attached to any quality Belfast product.
He won in Huddersfield, Middlesbrough and Bethnal Green; his first fight was at a venue in Liverpool that once had two camels living in its basement. (© Daily Telegraph, London).