Scott Quigg looks ahead, as he faces Oscar Valdez
By all accounts, Scott Quigg has had a successful career. A veteran of 37 professional bouts (in which he has amassed a record of 34-1-2, 25 KOs), who has won a major world title (the WBA 122-pound belt), for all his accomplishments, Quigg will be most remembered for his loss to archrival Carl Frampton.
In February of 2016, he and IBF counterpart Frampton met at the Manchester Arena, as undefeated junior featherweight beltholders. What was expected to be a combustible affair was largely a letdown of a fight. that saw Frampton come away with a unanimous decision.
It was a bitter defeat for Quigg but, when he asked if this loss haunts him, after a few seconds of contemplating the question, he stated, “No, I learned from it and you’ve got to move on. Obviously I’d love to fight (Frampton) again. I believe I’ve gotten the best of him. I got it wrong on that night but the thing from that, I don’t want to look back at it now, I’ve learned from it and I’ve moved on.”
What probably frustrates Quigg the most was, while he came on late, he was dormant in the first half of that fight, as Frampton built a sizable lead on the scorecards. He will keep that in mind as he faces WBO featherweight beltholder Oscar Valdez, this Saturday night, from the StubHub Center in Carson, California. (ESPN, 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT)
“Yeah, it was simple,” said Quigg, looking back at that defeat. “Nobody trains harder than me. There’s nobody more dedicated than me. What it was is we got our tactics wrong and I didn’t get out of the gate quick enough. Soon as I put the pressure on, the fight changed dramatically in my favor but it was too little, too late.”
In that contest, his trainer at the time, Joe Gallagher, was strangely placid in the corner, as Quigg fell behind in the fight. There were many things in that corner that night; a sense of urgency certainly was not one of them.
“And from that performance, since then – obviously I had another fight with Joe against Jose Cayetano (in December of 2016) – I boxed quick for that one,” said Quigg, who now trains with Freddie Roach at his Wild Card Boxing Club, in Hollywood, California. “I made the move over here and I’ve learned from it.”
After notching victories over Viorel Simion (UD 12) and Oleg Yefimovych (TKO 6) in 2017, the fight with Valdez was consummated. Quigg says, “I mentioned it to (Matchroom Boxing Group Managing Director) Eddie (Hearn) probably about six months ago. Obviously we sparred each other, last April, preparing for fights and, from the sparring, I know the fans are in for a real treat.”
Asked what he recalls about moving around with Valdez last year, Quigg told UCNLive.com, “It was quality work. It was great preparation for the fight that I had coming up against Simion. (Valdez) was fighting (Miguel) Marriaga, the Colombian, and it was great work but I enjoyed it. We were in there and both giving up good whacks and it was good competitive rounds and these are the fights I want to be involved in.”
With those rounds, it was planted in his mind that, one day, he might square off with Valdez on a much bigger stage.
“I was always hoping that fight would be made because I knew, at the time, but nobody really mentioned his name. At the time he’s 23-0, 19 knockouts, so he’s not really far along and he’s looked destructive against some of his performances,” says Quigg. “So nobody was really mentioning his name. Frampton wasn’t mentioning his name or (WBA featherweight titlist Leo) Santa Cruz or (Abner) Mares. Valdez was never really, ‘Oh, we want to fight him.’
“So I always thought he was avoided because of the performances he was putting in but that opportunity came up and I want to tackle it with both hands.”
Roach, who admits he doesn’t recall too much about their sparring session (because “it was too long ago”) believes Valdez-Quigg is “a great fight. They’re built for each other and I wouldn’t miss this one. It’s going to be a good fight.”
And the respected trainer says he will be going to the whip early on, if need be, in the corner.
“Right from the beginning, I don’t play that game. But in the Frampton fight, (Quigg) had a broken jaw right in the beginning and he went 12 rounds. So he showed some heart but, the thing is, he needs to start quick and go right through (Valdez) because his conditioning is great. He doesn’t get tired. The other guy fades towards the later rounds. We’re going to take control from round one.”
Like peanut butter and jelly, these two just might be made for one another.
“Definitely,”agreed Quigg, “I do think the styles are going to gel and the fans are in for a real treat. I do think it’s going to be a real cracker.”
Victor Conte joined Gabe Montoya and me to discuss Saul Alvarez’s testing positive for clenbuterol, on this week’s edition of “The Next Round.”
This week’s “The 3 Knockdown Rule,” with Mario Lopez and me, you’ll hear from Valdez and Quigg, among others.
OK, seriously, everyone, do your anti-rain dances for Saturday in Carson…Showtime soundly defeated HBO in the ratings, last weekend. While HBO had a peak audience of 674,000, Showtime peaked at 1.2 million (Wilder-Ortiz Showtime’s Highest-Rated Fight Since Wilder-Stiverne)…I’m scheduled to go up to Big Bear today and hopefully get a comment from unified middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin on the ongoing situation…Interesting story on the NSAC and “BoxRec” Bob Bennett (Cromwell Gordon – Disgruntled Trainer Sues the NSAC Alleging Unfairness in Approving Matches)…”‘Q” (of Showtime’s “The Chi”) is one of the most fascinating characters on television, currently…So with NFL referee Ed Hochuli retiring, will he now focus on making biceps workout videos?…I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and I tweet (a lot) at twitter.com/steveucnlive. I also share photos of stuff at instagram.com/steveucnlive and can also be found at tsu.co/steveucnlive.