By Terence Dooley
Bury’s Scott Quigg breaks a brief ring sabbatical when meeting Brazil’s William Prado, 21-3-1 (14), on a Eddie Hearn promotion at the Bolton Arena live on Sky Sports on Saturday night. Quigg has been MIA since beating Rendall Munroe by sixth-round TKO last November, a win that cemented Quigg’s position at the top of the British Super bantamweight rankings, and the 24-year-old has filled in the spare time by eating, sleeping, breathing and watching boxing.
Indeed, Quigg turns up at his trainer Joe Gallagher’s Bolton-base early each morning, prompting Gallagher to arrive even earlier in a bid to beat his fighter to the door. The 25-0-1 (18) interim WBA world title-holder believes this commitment to the cause will elevate him to the upper echelons of the division.
“You’ve got to dedicate yourself to boxing,” said Quigg when speaking to BoxingScene. “Study old fighters and keep your mind open. You have to want to develop. I was watching Pernell Whittaker the other night, the way he moves and punches. I tried a few things in sparring the next day and sparred very well.
“When you see something being done in a fight, you know when to throw it and when not to, and how to set it up. These old fighters, you see them doing things that don’t get done today. That’s what you’ve got to go back and look at if you want to be like them, you learn things from watching these great fighters.”
This belief in paying close attention to his art is encourage by Gallagher and was instilled from an early age by Quigg’s former trainer, Brian Hughes MBE. Hughes is often referred to as “The Godfather of British boxing” and churned out highly skilled boxers before retiring from the sport. Hughes must be proud of the way his former fighter has applied his teachings.
“I was with Brian and [former world title challenger] Pat [Barrett] at the start of my career. The way Brian educated me about skill and the art of boxing was by giving me tapes. Then he’d know if I’d watched them because he’d ask me in the gym the next day. He’d pile tapes on tapes and I’d sit and watch them to learn how to break someone’s rhythm, when to put the pressure on and take it off, then do it in the gym.”
This has remained a huge part of his training under Gallagher; the trainer’s attention to detail is legendary. “It is not just his hard work in our gym, Joe’s very technical and comes up with great plans — his tactics are spot on in a fight,” revealed Quigg.
“I’ve learned a lot of things from him about combinations. I rate Joe as one of the best trainers I’ve trained with. Joe is big on the team thing, and I agree that it’s good to have banter and that, but I know that when you’re in that ring you’re on your own. It is just you. The lads can’t help you in the ring, so I’m big on training just as hard on my own as I do with the lads.
“But I always know that Joe’s up at half-five in the morning to time the swimming then on the track at seven at night. The trainer’s got to put as much in as the fighter, and that’s why me and Joe click — we want it was much as each other.”
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