By Alex Beard (@alex_beard17)
There are not many all-British fights that would be able to compete with a clash between Scott Quigg and Jamie McDonnell.
WBA bantamweight champion McDonnell (28-2-1-KO13) has intimated this week that he would be willing to move up to super-bantamweight to take on former titleholder Quigg (31-1-2-KO23). There have been whispers about this fight in the past, and it would truly pit two of the best in the UK against one another.
McDonnell puts his belt on the line in Monte Carlo at the weekend when he defends against Liborio Solis on the undercard of heavyweight Luis Ortiz’s Matchroom debut against Malik Scott. If he comes through that bout as expected, McDonnell has said he would target a fight with Quigg: “It’s more than a possibility.
“If we move up that fight can get made next year, he’s said he’d take the fight and I would take it with both hands,” McDonnell told Sky Sports.
For McDonnell, the attention this fight would generate is exactly what’s required. His resume has never received the acclaim it deserves, with the Doncaster man comfortably Britain’s most underrated world champion. A domestic clash with Quigg would bring more eyes to a McDonnell fight than any other.
Quigg is looking to rebuild now, having suffered a broken jaw in his unification loss to Carl Frampton in February. He is scheduled to face an as yet unannounced opponent on the Anthony Joshua undercard on December 10, but that shouldn’t be anyone too taxing. Quigg got a taste of a massive fight against Frampton and would surely love another next year.
We know what Quigg likes to do, cover up and make his way inside where he can unload heavy shots to the head and body. He also showed improved boxing skills against Kiko Martinez in the fight before Frampton. But with all due respect Quigg is a grinder. He is widely regarded as one of the hardest workers in boxing, practically living in the gym. This is what he would need to do against an elusive fighter like McDonnell – grind him down.
Excellent footwork, ring IQ and fast hands are key for McDonnell. He can box both on the outside and inside, and is adept at slipping shots and replying with hard ones of his own. He is a very clever fighter, one who can work out what his opponent is doing and adapt mid-fight to ensure he gets the win. His wins over Tomoki Kameda in Texas were stunning – two of the best by a British fighter on the road in recent memory.
There are some intriguing possibilities for domestic bouts next year such as Terry Flanagan vs Anthony Crolla, Amir Khan vs Kell Brook and James DeGale vs Callum Smith. Arguably, none of those fights are as evenly matched as a Quigg-McDonnell contest. And none may be as interesting a clash of styles.
McDonnell deserves a fight of this size, Quigg needs to get his career back on track. This is the perfect fight for both men, and the perfect fight for British boxing fans. Both men are promoted by Eddie Hearn so let’s get this bout booked for next year.by