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British Scene: Scott Quigg vs Stephane Jamoye Plus Undercard Preview

Alex Livesey

With arch-rival Carl Frampton defeating Kiko Martinez so impressively last weekend, the pressure is now on Scott Quigg to produce an eye-catching performance this Saturday night. He takes on Stephane Jamoye at the Manchester Arena in what will be the third defence of his version of the WBA super-bantamweight title.

It's becoming almost impossible to mention Quigg without mentioning Frampton, and vice versa. Hopefully they will face each other soon, there's no doubt both of them are keen on the fight but with them being with rival promoters and fighting on rival networks, the chances are looking slim.

Without being disrespectful to Jamoye, who is a good fighter, this bout shouldn’t be viewed as anything other than a keep busy fight for Quigg. Jamoye is coming in at three weeks notice as a replacement for the injured Paulus Ambunda and is moving up a division when he wasn't the biggest of bantamweights to start with.

Whilst no-one is expecting Jamoye to win, he won't fold easily, he's a former European champion and holds solid wins over the likes of Lee Haskins and Ashley Sexton. He's most likely remembered by fans of British boxing for his fight with Jamie McDonnell, whom he lost to via a majority decision after a close and hard fought fight.

There are two noticeable things when looking at Jamoye's record, one is that he's lost every time he's fought a world level opponent (Tomoki Kameda, McDonnell, Leo Santa Cruz and Shinsuke Yamanaka), and the second one is that he struggles when an opponent is bigger and stronger than him, which is a big indication as to how he's going to fare against Quigg, who is huge at the weight.

Jamoye fights on the front foot and likes to bully opponents, which he's great at when facing physically weaker opponents, but you only have to look at the way Yamanaka dealt with him to see how vulnerable he is when he's being met head on and pushed backwards. Yamanaka dropped Jamoye four times on route to a ninth round stoppage victory – it's not hard top envisage a similar scenario happening this Saturday.

The undercard has plenty of reasonable fights on it, the best of which is probably the lightweight match-up between Anthony Crolla and Gamaliel Diaz. Diaz is a former world title holder at super-featherweight and is rarely in a bad fight, which could make for fireworks given that Crolla's no stranger to entertaining bouts himself.

You know what you're going to get with Diaz, he'll bustle forward throwing punch after punch and will try to unsettle Crolla in any way he can – he's certainly not shy when it comes to low blows and the occasional forearm. The big test for Crolla will be keeping calm under that kind of pressure and being able to punish Diaz's mistakes.  There should be plenty of those as Diaz leaves his chin vulnerable at times and also has a habit of squaring his feet up, a habit that has seen him visit the canvas on numerous occasions throughout his career.

Crolla should win handily if he doesn't get drawn into a toe-to-toe battle, and whilst not being a big puncher, the Mancunian should be able to catch Diaz clean enough and often enough to secure a late stoppage victory.

Anthony Joshua gets another outing two months after bludgeoning Matt Skelton.  This Saturday's victim is Konstantin Airich, who is actually a nice step-up in class for Joshua. Airich always has a go and carries decent power even if he can be a touch agricultural in his approach work.

Joshua will have to be more careful in this fight than he has thus far in his career - he should be able to see Airich's meaty swings coming a mile away but still can't afford to walk into too many of them.

Hopefully Airich will last a few rounds as Joshua needs the experience, alas, with the kind of knockout power Joshua possesses the fight could be over at any moment, most likely inside two or three entertaining rounds.

Rounding the card off is a good domestic fight between Denton Vassell and Sam Eggington and a British title eliminator between Kirk Goodings and Scott Cardle. Both should be close affairs but the more experienced Vassell and Cardle look to be the favourites.

e-mail Dave Oakes

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