Dave Oakes previews Saturday's British super-bantamweight title clash between Jason Booth and Scott Quigg.
The British super-bantamweight title bout between Jason Booth and Scott Quigg is an intriguing battle. Most readers will know Booth, whose remarkable career has been wrote and read about numerous times, not many outside of Britain will have heard of Quigg.
The Bury boxer has been touted as a future star ever since he turned pro back in 2007. He’s been busy in those four and a half years, winning all twenty-two of his bouts with fifteen coming early. He’s also managed to overturn a boxing ban in his hometown, which the local council, in their infinite wisdom, had made in the aftermath of the Tyson/Holyfield ear-munching debacle.
Quigg is often described as a come-forward fighter. Whilst he is better on the front foot, he has shown he can counter well off the back foot as well. He isn’t a face-first fighter either; he has a solid defence and nice skills to go with his pressurizing style.
Booth represents a step-up in class for Quigg, whose opposition has been average until now. His most notable opponents being Ukrainian warhorse Yuriy Voronin and onetime prospect, now journeyman, Franklin Varela.
Booth looks to be coming towards the end of his boxing career, or second career as it should be viewed – his fifteen year long, multi-title at multi-weight’s career being separated by a two year hiatus due to much publicised out of ring difficulties. Booth has struggled in his past three bouts, starting with his world title defeat to Steve Molitor last year. Booth started well against the Canadian but faded badly in the second half of the fight to lose a majority decision.
He returned to the domestic scene following his world title disappointment, eking out a split decision in an entertaining scrap with Jamie Arthur. Booth seemed to be easier to hit than he’d been previously, which was a worrying precursor for what followed in his most recent fight, a European title bout with big hitting Kiko Martinez.
Martinez was on top of Booth from the opening bell, with the Nottingham man’s notorious movement and timing nowhere to be seen, Martinez bludgeoned away until Booth was stopped in the tenth round. It was the first stoppage loss of Booth’s career. It remains to be seen whether the Martinez loss is a clear sign that Booth should think about retirement, nevertheless, one feels he needs to produce an impressive performance on Saturday if he’s to continue at title level. This is a great match-up, it’ll be interesting to see how much Booth has got left and how the inexperienced Quigg copes in his first title fight. I can see Quigg’s youthfulness and stamina helping him to a points victory despite a gallant effort from Booth.