Friday 23 March 2018

Quigg ready for toughest test yet

Scott Quigg is eager to prove a point by defending his WBA super-bantamweight title on Saturday
Scott Quigg is eager to prove a point by defending his WBA super-bantamweight title on Saturday

Scott Quigg is ready to prove a point to his domestic rival Carl Frampton when he defends his WBA super-bantamweight title against Spaniard Kiko Martinez in Manchester on Saturday night.

Quigg knows comparisons with the Belfast IBF champion are inevitable since Frampton beat Martinez in Belfast in 2013 and again last year.

But Quigg, who has racked up an unbeaten 32-fight record and is desperate to take a big step towards unifying the world 8st 10lbs titles, insists he is relishing the extra pressure that brings.

Quigg told Sky Sports: "This is the toughest fight of my career and I'm chomping at the bit to get in there on Saturday night.

"It does make it even more pressure because there are going to be comparisons between how I beat him and how Frampton beat him, but I couldn't be in a better place physically and mentally.

"The rivalry is good for both of us. People are picking him over me, but I've got the chance to go and show everyone why I'm the best super-bantam in the world."

Unpredictable Martinez rebounded well from his first loss to Frampton, going to the United States where he scored a superb sixth-round stoppage over then unbeaten prospect Jhonathan Romero.

But since a points defeat in Belfast last September he has only fought once, a simple two-round win over Georgian journeyman George Gachechiladze in Barcelona in December.

Also on the bill, Manchester's Anthony Crolla will challenge Darleys Perez for his WBA lightweight title just months after he feared his career was over.

Crolla suffered a fractured skull when he was attacked by burglars outside his home in December, but has made a speedy recovery leading doctors to give him the all-clear.

Crolla's trainer Joe Gallagher said: "It's going to be an emotional ring walk on the night, but he's got to keep those emotions in check.

"We've spoken about discipline because he knows he's in against a quality opponent and he can't afford to get 'giddy', as I call it.

"He can't take that risk because Perez only needs one shot - he's got a dangerous left hook on him and Anthony can't slip up by being reckless."

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