At the start of this month we put out a piece about how February could be one of the greatest months in Irish boxing history.
Sadly, things have not gone to plan so far. Indeed they could be described as being catastrophic.
Firstly, and most noticeably, the two MGM shows on February 5th and 6th were cancelled, denying seventeen Irish pros the chance to box in Dublin.
On the same weekend, James Fryers was defeated in his British super featherweight eliminator against the slippery Maxi Hughes.
And the misery would not end there. There were debut defeats for Ray Moylette and Darren O’Neill in the APB and WSB respectively, as well as the retirement of Irish boxing stalwarth Anthony Fitzgerald. Finally, only a few days ago, we saw the postponement of Pajo Hyland’s World title fight against Gary Russell Jr.
It’s fair to say that February has not been kind to us.
However, one night could save this, and that night is tonight.
Carl Frampton takes on Scott Quigg after five years of build-up and more trash talk than a bin man’s lunch break.
The Manchester Arena-hosted bout will see thousands of Irish descend on the venue and take over the city. The PPV bout is sure to generate millions of pounds in revenue and make a certifiable superstar.
The hype machine has been in full flow and has adequately supplemented the real tension between the two camps (although perhaps not the two fighters themselves).
The characters have been cast, Frampton the established champion, the favourite – and Quigg, the workaholic, the ‘local lad.’
We all know that the personalities, dynamics, and background prove that this fight is way more than these typecast roles. We all know that the fight is not a pick’em so to speak. But we all know that the fight is too close to be banking on a fantasic Frampton victory.
With the fight being on Sky, there certainly is a sense that Frampton is being set up for a fall, however ‘The Jackal’ has proved he is a World class boxer and the icy-veined Belfast man can deliver a big win on Saturday.
While the events of February have been damaging, to end it on a high note would give the sport a much-needed boost on this island.
Irish boxing needs a win and Carl Frampton is the man to provide it.
Photo Credit – Ricardo Guglielminotti – The Fighting Irish