By Ben Jacobs
Scott Quigg retained his WBA super-bantamweight title on Saturday despite the official judges on the night scoring a majority draw in his battle against Yoandris Salinas. One of the judges had the bout 115-113 for Quigg, as did I. The others scored it 114-114.
BoxingScene caught up with Quigg’s trainer, Joe Gallagher, for his thoughts on the fight and a look ahead to the near future.
Joe, what did you make of the judges’ scorecards?
I watched it back and had it 116-113 and one judge had it 115-113, so I thought no problem. There’s no way Salinas won six rounds, I don’t know what they were watching. (Two judges scored the bout 114-114.)
Salinas is a lot better than what we saw in there, the fact that we limited him to the shots that he did throw was a compliment to the work Quigg did.
Did you feel Salinas came out a bit timid?
I think Salinas came out well with a good, sharp, razor jab but I think the mental intensity of the pair of them in the first four or five rounds can take a bit out of you. I think they nullified a lot of each other’s work early on.
I think he [Salinas] got bollocked at the end of the fifth round and came out in the sixth really strong, but he had that protector really high which was a disadvantage to Quigg. You could see the body shots slowed him down and he couldn’t handle them. It’s hard to get them through that hard protector but once he [Quigg] did get them through he made his mark on him. Never mind that smiling stuff from Salinas. Don’t fall for mental games, you just keep chipping away at the body and the head will fall.
I thought the kid would be sent out to win the last round but he came out on the back foot trying to nick it, but Scott was really pressuring and hunting him down. It would be funny to see how people scored that round because Scott was the aggressor and Salinas was flicking jabs.
Scott’s a very meticulous person, his first words out of his mouth when he beat Jason Booth were “It was sh*t, that”. I said, “Sh*t? You’ve just won the British title!” So the standards he sets himself are high. I said to Scott, you’ll find out tomorrow, go and watch it and you’ll see that you’ve won it. Everyone’s saying you won it.
What will be next for Quigg?
The plan now is to get him out in early November and get another defense. You can’t pick and choose your opponents but the fact is that he took on a real live fighter who was undefeated. I think Scott’s fights in total are 40 fights, amateur and pro, and he fought a kid who had nearly 350 amateur and pro, so when you look at it like that, Scott Quigg did very well on the night and credit to him for taking on an undefeated, slick fighter.
How far away is he from facing a Guillermo Rigondeaux?
I put Rigondeaux up there in my top three pound-for-pound fighters today. He’s an exceptional, world-class fighter, amateur and pro. I liken Scott winning to Ricky Hatton beating Kostya Tszyu. He was allowed to grow into the role of a world champion, making defenses, packing out the MEN arena. After he beat Tszyu he wasn’t ready for Mayweather next. He [Quigg] is turning 24 and he’s achieved a lot. I think it’s been two years since he fought Booth so the progression he’s made is immense. I wouldn’t say I’d like to put him in with Rigondeaux next - put it that way!
He’s got to be active now and put out regularly with that belt. He was inactive since the Munroe fight and didn’t have anything until Prado. He’s getting used to being out every few months again.
Kiko Martínez would be a great fight for a unification. I wouldn’t be surprised though if Martínez wins his next fight and then they try to make the [Leo] Santa Cruz fight. I know [Carl] Frampton would like to get him but I don’t think they’ll give him a voluntary.