There were still moments of excitement in a slow-burning contest, most notably in Round 11 when Quigg looked to give himself renewed hope of victory. However, Frampton—who must have felt he was back home in Belfast, considering the support he received inside the venue—earned a split-decision victory from the judges.
Yet again they were sold a pup.
Advertisement If the name-calling had have ended there, no one would have cared. Each camp, however, wanted to show aspects of their personalities that were more interesting than endearing.
The Hearns were arrogant, we were told.
Shane McGuigan was derided for being born with a silver spoon in his mouth. Frampton's manager McGuigan [Picture: Getty] Barry McGuigan — normally the most warm-hearted and generous of men, got dragged deeper and deeper into the argument.
And all the while Sky Sports packed their schedule with footage of the drama — a script which had all the depth and class of an omnibus edition of Eastenders. The fireworks stayed in their box. Instead, 20, people paid in to see two men play a game of chess, wearing a pair of gloves.
I knew it would be technical like that. Except there was a difference.
Benn-Eubank and Collins-Eubank were classics. Nonetheless, while the fight lacked incident, it remained strangely engrossing. Both men showed courage — Quigg fighting on for eight rounds with a broken jaw, Frampton staying upright after getting clocked with some ferocious shots late on.
That the Ulsterman should persuade the judges he was the better man was no surprise.
As for now, we have to wonder which fight Frampton will take next. Frampton broke Quigg's jaw with a fourth round uppercut [Picture: Getty] Advertisement Rigondeaux, however, is as tough to watch as he is to fight, which is why the McGuigan camp are sensibly steering clear of him, especially as he isn't a ticket seller.
And now he is looking for more. Windsor Park.
Possibly Madison Square Garden. McGuigan is already suggesting he is the greatest Irish boxer of all time and certainly he is on his way to becoming that. Victory over Rigondeaux or Leo Santa Cruz would go some way to cementing that reputation.
Victory over Quigg, unfortunately, only provides a passageway to make more money, not to gain entry into a hall of fame.
Remember it was Frampton who pointed out that the Lancastrian was not a legitimate world champion. Having travelled to Manchester in anticipation of a war, they instead were told about the post-fight peace treaty.
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Both did their jobs well. Too well.