Scott Quigg Focused on a Big Year, Not Frampton Clash
By Simon Crawford
Scott Quigg hopes a "perfect 2012" will see him end the year as European and British super-bantamweight champion.
The unbeaten 23-year-old from Bury makes the first defence of his British strap on Saturday, when he faces well-schooled Welshman Jamie Arthur at Bolton's Reebok Stadium.
Quigg (23-0 16KOs) impressively won the belt when he stopped Jason Booth in seven rounds last October, with many - including a hopelessly outclassed Booth - tipping him to be a future world champion.
But Quigg - already ranked third by the IBF and WBA - insists he has time on his side and is in no rush to achieve his dream of being the best in the world.
"It's always been my goal to be a world champion and I believe I have the ability to achieve it," Quigg told sportinglife.com.
"I went to Freddie Roach's Wild Card gym in Los Angeles [at the start of last year] and sparred with some great fighters. I handled myself well and that gave me the belief that being a world champion was a realistic goal.
"It was also a real confidence boost to hear some of the things Jason Booth said about me as he is a fighter who has performed at the highest level.
"But I'm in no rush. I'm 23 and have time on my side. At the moment it's about picking up experience and waiting for the right fights coming along at the right time.
"A perfect 2012 for me would be to make a couple more defences of the British title and then fighting Kiko Martinez for the European belt. By 2013 I'd like to think I'd be ready for world-title level."
But Quigg is refusing to look beyond Saturday's showdown with Cwmbran-based Arthur, a former Commonwealth champion before he lost it to Booth in his last outing 12 months ago.
The 32-year-old (18-5 4KOs), who was born in Aberdeen, also fought Martin Lindsay for the British crown in 2010, losing by a unanimous points decision.
"Jamie is someone I have 100 per cent respect for - he lives the life, had a great amateur career with a Commonwealth gold medal and has fought at the top level," added Quigg, who is promoted by former world champion Ricky Hatton.
"I know from my own experience that when you are handed the chance to fight for a British title then you automatically go up another gear and you become fiercely determined so I know I'm in for a tough night.
"I realise that it's harder to stay a champion than to become one so that's why I can't afford to look beyond this fight on Saturday.
"My training camp has gone well - I know all boxers say that but it really has been perfect. I'm now settled in with new trainer Joe Gallagher and I'm learning a lot of new things - I feel as though I have improved.
"It will also be good to be fighting in Bolton again. It's a great venue and close to Bury so my supporters will be out in force."
Quigg's domestic rival Carl Frampton successfully defended his Commonwealth title when he stopped Kris Hughes in the seventh round in London at the weekend.
Belfast prospect Frampton is now unbeaten in 12 fights and has made no secret of the fact he wants to face Quigg - but the Bury fighter insists he has no thoughts of a showdown for now.
"If we both keep winning then it's inevitable we will fight in the future," said Quigg.
"But I'm not interested in Carl Frampton. I've got a tough fight on Saturday and that's all I'm putting my focus on.
"I didn't even watch Frampton's fight to be honest. I know there's been a lot of speculation but for now it's not in my thoughts."