QUIGG VS CARROLL: A CROSSROADS BATTLE



It's not unusual to see clichés banded around on the lead up to a big fight. I'm sure the prelude to this Saturday's Manchester showdown between these two Super featherweight operators will be no different. Promoters are often the biggest instigators, finding and expanding on an angle that can be utilised like a sporting cattle prod to muster as much interest and intrigue in a fight as is possible.


Plenty of boxers have survived a loss and continued to further their career despite a 'last-chance saloon' billing, however, this fight does play up to the cliché a little in as much as both fighters are at a juncture in their career where a defeat for either would be extremely detrimental towards manufacturing another world title shot.



Ironically this fight-despite fitting the narrative-has no marketing gimmicks, it's simply Quigg vs Carroll. It's indicative of the reputation that both of these tough boxers possess and also that there are no explanations required for the potential ramifications facing the loser.


Scott Quigg has of course already held a world title at super bantamweight, having beaten Diego Silva for the WBA strap back in 2013. It launched a string of impressive victories culminating in the obliteration of the well-respected Kiko Martinez, in turn setting up a mouth-watering unification with IBF champ Carl Frampton.


A split decision loss and surgery to his jaw (as a result of an injury sustained during the defeat) resulted in Quigg relocating to Los Angeles to work under the tutelage of Freddie Roach. An immediate move up to featherweight followed and it wasn't long before the man from Bury found himself with another world title opportunity. That opportunity sadly dissipated before he set foot in the ring as he missed weight against WBO belt holder Oscar Valdez.



The fight still went ahead, it was a bruising affair with Quigg taking some hellacious shots from Valdez in a unanimous decision loss. It punctuated an indifferent couple of years for the former WBA bantamweight champ. By his own very high standards and despite a couple of victories, he would have hoped for better after switching camps.


Quigg has now rejoined forces with Joe Gallagher and although he has insisted the door will always be open at The Wild Card Gym, he admits that he is focused on delivering world title success with Gallagher and won't be a 'one-off' collaboration.



Carroll is one of the most colourful characters on the boxing circuit and won't shirk the big occasion, that's not an indictment on his boxing skills, he's more than capable and not just a 'character'. He has been in with Tevin Farmer and held his own despite a unanimous decision points loss, he has never been stopped and he will definitely feel like he belongs at world level.


Whether he believes-as he says he does- that he saw opportunities he can exploit against Quigg during his fight against Martinez, or whether he is exercising his psychological prowess, there's no denying the confidence of Carroll. He may be referring to the wild hooks that Quigg threw when he beat Martinez but boxers only really throw caution to the wind when they sense a fighter is there to be taken.



Carroll is the younger of the two at 27 and would appear to have less pressure in the sense that he would have time to rebuild should he lose. Quigg, on the other hand, will be 32 this year and will surely hope the fight will act as a catalyst for attractive bouts at the top end of the super featherweight division. A division where he certainly needs to make some ground, having not fought last year through injury.

Carroll will be equally frustrated as he expected to face Quigg in Saudi last December, he'll relish the challenge and having not been stopped in his twenty bouts, will undoubtedly prove a stubborn opponent, the question is whether he can impose himself on such an experienced fighter like Quigg. In fairness to Carroll, he has intimated that he intends to go to war with the Lancashire man. It won't perturb Quigg who would surely welcome such an approach.


Quigg is a puncher and has a commendable knockout ratio with 26 of his 35 wins coming inside the distance. His Gallagher-esque style of a high guard, creeping forward and throwing hooks when the opportunity presents itself, hasn't changed too much despite his sabbatical to the U.S.


Carroll doesn't boast the same knockout power at the weight but he is a pressure fighter and is very comfortable at the weight having fought at super feather throughout his professional career.

The fight is a huge opportunity for 'Celtic Warrior' Carroll who will hope to utilise his size to bully and force Quigg onto the back foot, take what Quigg has and come through it. That approach doesn't accommodate the small matter of not having faced too many with his quality and experience.


Will the fact that Quigg is only fighting for the second time at super featherweight be a factor? you would imagine not as it's more a case of growing naturally into the weight as opposed to leaping up quickly from super bantam and featherweight.


Quigg has a superior resume which probably gives him the edge in the eyes of the bookmakers, but nearly a year and a half is a long time to be out of the ring and picking as dangerous a fighter as Carroll as your return could be perceived as ballsy, it could also be viewed as the selection of a man who exudes self-confidence. Dubliner Carroll will be hoping that decision is retrospectively looked upon as fool-hardy.


The fight is the Matchroom main event at The Manchester Arena and will be live on Sky Sports Main Event.

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