By Lucas McDonagh
The Carl Frampton-Scott Quigg, Cyclone-Matchroom debate has once again raised it head this week with the revelation that Eddie Hearn has had another offer to make the fight rejected by Cyclone. The offer fell short of the guaranteed 60:40 split demanded by Frampton and co., but was an improvement over previous offers.
Neverending Negotiations – 12 rounds before they even get into the ring
It is rumoured that this new offer from Hearn gave a guaranteed 55:45 split in favour of Frampton – and these terms, if true (and Frampton did come out yesterday to chastise the Matchroom head honcho for lying), add yet another dimension to Irish boxing’s biggest question for years: Should Carl Frampton and Cyclone Promotions accept Eddie Hearn’s offer to make the fight?
Hearn’s previous three offers were all quite easily dismissed:
1) A 50:50 split should not be in place for a fight which is not 50:50 – Frampton is a legitimate world champion, Scott Quigg is not.
2) a £1.5million lump-sum, while flashy looking, could and now probably would end up being only a fraction of what the bout would generate.
3) 60:40 to the winner raises the most questions. Most would pick Frampton as the favourite and many believe that he should just take the offer, and win the 60% share – but this offer opens a can of worms. In boxing nothing is sure, and a Hail Mary punch can change any fight – how would it be fair if a World Champion is caught by a lucky shot, or robbed by the judges, and walks away with just 40%? There are too many variables and it is no wonder that this form of split is rare in boxing. Even if one ignores such variables, a 60:40 to the winner split also suggests that the fight is 50:50 – which we all, hopefully, know that it is not.
Making sense of the situation
Now, 55:45 or some close variation is different. Should Carl Frampton take this? In this writer’s opinion – yes – although judging by the ‘The Jackal’s’ comments last night, I’m sure there are some hidden details that cast a shadow on Hearn’s latest offer.
I, and most, would agree that, judging each fighter on their achievements and merits, that 60:40 Frampton, nevermind 55:45, is unfair on the Belfast man. Frampton deserves much more – Frampton is a real world champion, Frampton’s following and recognition dwarfs that of Quigg, Frampton is a better fighter. However, we all know it is not that simple and that the situation is complicated by money.
Specifically, Scott Quigg has a British promotional Goliath and the power of Sky PPV behind him.
For those who watched the IFL video yesterday, Hearn’s use of a car salesman to describe the negotiations was somewhat cringeworthy, a more apt comparison is a game of poker, and both players have good hands.
Why Carl Frampton needs Scott Quigg and Eddie Hearn
Cards on the table, we here at irish-boxing.com are massive fans of Carl Frampton. A big supporter of our site, we can’t get enough of ‘The Jackal.’ We believe that Quigg is somewhat over-hyped, part-and-parcel of being with Matchroom and Sky Sports. Indeed, we think that Frampton stops Quigg, easily.
From a boxing purist’s point of view, Carl Frampton should fight Leo Santa Cruz or Guillermo Rigondeaux. However, money talks. Frampton-Santa Cruz at Madison Square Garden next St. Patrick’s Day sounds brilliant, but it does not make nearly as much money as Frampton-Quigg on Sky PPV.
When Mares and Santa Cruz, both infinitely better than Scott Quigg, fought on a Premier Boxing Champions card last month, they each made $1.25m/£700k/€1.1m. These were two well-known Mexican-American’s in a grudge match in California. Carl Frampton against Leo Santa Cruz in New York (which is probably unlikely anyway with Mares looking for a rematch), would do well to match these purses. The power of PPV is great, and Frampton will not get that in the States, he needs to do a deal with the devil on this side of the pond – here he can make three times what he would get for a tougher fight in America.
Yes he would be underselling himself, but surely the benefits outweigh the costs? Frampton’s full house is missing one card, the mammoth money-making potential of PPV backing.
Why Scott Quigg and Eddie Hearn Need Carl Frampton
Scott Quigg does not fill out arenas, when he KO’d Kiko Martínez it was a hell of a stoppage and the Manchester Arena rightly went wild. However only a tiny fraction were there to primarily see the Bury man, most attended to see Anthony Crolla, the headline act and a household name since his recovery from assault. Scott Quigg is a fighter who holds a semblance of a world title, someone who’s name can be tacked onto a card to make it look more appealing. Scott Quigg will never headline a PPV show in his own right – unless it is against Carl Frampton.
And Eddie Hearn knows this. In the same interview where he placed the blame for the fight not happening at Frampton and Cyclone’s feet, he also admitted that a fight between Quigg and Nonito Donaire is almost too difficult to make.
Why? Because Quigg is not a headliner in his own right and Donaire, a worldwide star (although quite faded), would not be content being in the second or third headline bout of a Sky PPV. Where Hearn can attract someone like Evegny Gradovich to fulfill this role, Donaire would not.
If Quigg were to fight Frampton on the other hand, the fight immediately becomes headline material. The Sky Sports News machine would kick into overdrive, Scott Quigg and his very interesting backstory will be built up, Frampton would tap into the relatively underutilised market in the Republic of Ireland as well as garnering the support of Celtic allies in Scotland and Wales. A shove here, a slagging there, and suddenly Hearn does not need three world title fights to justify a PPV. Suddenly he has a money-making bonanza on his hands
Another option – Wait it out?
Eddie Hearn has proven that he is desperate to make the fight. Maybe he is afraid that Scott Quigg will lose soon? Maybe he is afraid that Carl Frampton will lose soon? Maybe both? Maybe he feels that the paying public will soon tire of the protracted negotiations?
If both stay unbeaten, if public demand grows, Hearn will surely offer the guaranteed 60:40 split. He already said after the pair’s contrasting performances on July 18th that he would not offer Frampton improved terms – yet he did. A few more months, a few more fights and Hearn could blink. The question is, do Frampton and Cyclone risk waiting it out?
Careers in boxing are short, especially at the lower weights. Yes Frampton has options in the U.S., yes Frampton is concerned with the future successes of Cyclone Promotions, yes he deserves more, yes Hearn has been a bit of a cock during these negotiations, but there is one important no – No fight makes as much money for Carl Frampton as a PPV clash with Scott Quigg in the very near future.
Take the fight Carl.