Can Frampton-Quigg be this generation's Barrera-Morales?
By Hector Franco
Coming up on February 19th of this year is the anniversary of one of the greatest fights in the history of the sport. Barrera-Morales I. It took place in the year 2000. It’s one of the greatest rivalries the sport has ever witnessed. On February 27th of this year in Manchester, England one of the most anticipated bouts in boxing will finally be taking place. IBF Jr. Featherweight Champion Carl Frampton will meet longtime rival WBA Jr. Featherweight champion Scott Quigg.
This fight has been years in the making, as both men could not come to an agreement to meet due to different factors. Whether it was deciding who was the fighter who deserved the bigger share or promotional issues, the bout is now upon us. It’s taking place at the right time. Carl Frampton and Scott Quigg have a lot to live up to in their respective rivalry. We’ll see on February 27th just where this rivalry and fight ranks.
This bout at first hand may mirror more of the rivalry between Chris Eubank and Nigel Benn. Eubank and Benn were based out the UK like Frampton and Quigg. That rivalry took place at middleweight and super middleweight. The fact is these two men are in a division where there is a history of great rivalries and great fights. Who can forget the battles between Puerto Rico and Mexico with Wilfredo Gomez taking on the likes of Carlos Zarate and Lupe Pintor. More recently the rivalry between Rafael Marquez and Israel Vasquez with fights that all took place at 122. Two of those fights winning fight of the year honors. The animosity in these fights was left in the ring. Frampton and Quigg are more like Barrera and Morales. They do not like each other in the slightest bit.
There are similarities and differences between these men. Barrera and Morales were much more proven by the time they met in the year 2000. Both having participated in fight of the year candidates. They also had wins over the likes of Kennedy McKinney, Junior Jones, and Daniel Zaragoza. The animosity between the two men, however matches that of Barrera and Morales. Frampton and Quigg’s best wins are against the same man, Kiko Martinez. Before Scott Quigg stopped Martinez in July of 2015, Frampton was heavily favored in a potential match up between the two. Frampton also had a lackluster performance in his U.S. debut against Alejandro Gonzalez. Now the bout is viewed as a 50-50 fight.
Frampton being from Northern Ireland and Quigg from Bury, Lancashire in England there is a natural rivalry. This goes beyond their own hatred for one another. Barrera and Morales was similar. Morales is from Tijuana where he lived in one of the poorest neighborhoods in all of Mexico. While Barrera lived in Mexico City from a middle-class family.
The hope is for Frampton and Quigg to resemble Barrera and Morales inside the ring. Fans this year are being treated to forced rivalries that aren’t sparking much interest such as Pacquiao-Bradley 3. This fight could be the start of a rivalry that sparks a trilogy of great fights. Both Frampton and Quigg stated in their sit down face off with Johnny Nelson, that they believed that this bout wasn’t a 50-50 fight. Fan’s hope that both men are wrong and they both turn in performances that give fan’s memories of great rivalries of the past.