Originally posted on The Queensbury Rules  |  Last updated 2/5/12

(Photo via)

Scott Quigg found himself resting on his face in the 4th round of his British junior featherweight title defence against Cwmbran challenger Jamie Arthur, yet the Bury starlet managed to react like the fighter of real quality he shows continuing signs of becoming in clambering up to stop his assailant in round 8.

After a cagy opening quarter at Bolton’s Reebok Stadium, Arthur threaded home what appeared in real time like a fight-ending punch. A straight left hand which found Quigg simultaneously wide open and squared up ensconced itself in the champion’s face and he went down hard, spinning over onto his front before scrambling up instinctively and then remembering to take a knee. After shrugging at trainer Joe Gallagher in his corner, he righted himself back vertical and didn’t look back.

Arthur, burning with ambition and a huge underdog here, was the bigger man and the aggressor from the opening bell. Quigg, exhibiting the sound defence marked by the upper body movement and smart pivots he had honed under previous trainer Brian Hughes, had set out to box on the counter -- a tack which left him a less vital force than we have grown accustomed to expect.

Quigg had already walked onto a similar straight left in round 3, a darting shot which flicked across his mug like a chameleon’s tongue descending upon a bug. After it smacked home again in the next, Quigg trudged back to his stool and apologised to Gallagher before getting back to what he excels at as a fighter: breaking his opponent down with a scholarly brand of attacking.

As the pair (who both weighed in at 121.7 lbs.) went back and forth at one another in the 5th, Arthur fought hard against relinquishing control. He could do very little to halt Quigg’s charge in round 6, though, as the local hero backed Arthur into the ropes and from thereon in he waited patiently while feinting before dropping in the deadening right hooks he’d pinpointed pre-fight as a potential hadouken.

With both men sporting facial damage, Quigg planted a walloping left hook into his opponent’s midriff at the beginning of round 8. Arthur, who looked equal part winded and furious, immediately turned away and began walking back into retirement before pirouetting to face his tormentor with his hands down by his sides. As Quigg lashed out at his man with an opportunistic straight right hand, referee Mark Green, who’d looked nervous even before the opening bell, panicked dreadfully and leapt in between the fighters at 0:35.

Arthur, bleeding and wounded, had few complaints. However, his manager Chris Sanigar could barely contain the steam funnelling out from his ears. There seemed little doubt that Quigg would have ended matters within that session or the next yet it was a discomforting stoppage in any case -- more so even in light of events over in Frankfurt later that night where referee Eddie Cotton allowed Philadelphian Steve Cunningham the chance to impersonate Matthew Saad Muhammad after the American had danced undisturbed along the fabled street of dreams.

A rematch would settle any arguments arising from Green’s folly and would indeed be welcomed after such an entertaining affair. Quigg, though, looks destined for bigger things. Grace under pressure is a rare commodity. He showed it here. He could be going places.
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