In a fight that didn't come close to living up to expectations or at least hopes for action, Carl Frampton unified the IBF and WBA super bantamweight titles with a split decision win over Scott Quigg, taking two cards on 116-112 scores, and losing the third, which was curiously 115-113 for Quigg. BLH had it 116-113 for Frampton.
It was a very odd fight, as Frampton (22-0, 14 KO) certainly seemed to most the clear winner, but the rounds he won were largely due to the total ineffectiveness of Quigg (31-1-2, 23 KO), particularly in the first half of the fight. The opening round saw neither man land a significant punch, or perhaps really land a punch at all, and the next three or four rounds continued on a similar pattern, but with Frampton doing just a bit more, landing a few jabs and a decent hook in the fourth round that Quigg admitted after the fight hurt him a bit.
Starting in the eighth round, Quigg finally started to pick up the pace a bit, and forced a fight. After what was truly an awful fight in terms of action for seven rounds, there was finally something to see. Not quite fireworks, but something, anyway. Quigg started to dig to the body, and looked the fresher man in the late rounds. In the 11th, there was some real back-and-forth, with Quigg hurting Frampton a bit and really doing some effective work.
To Frampton's credit, he dug down deep and found another gear in the 12th, moving effectively, landing some shots, and neutralizing Quigg's attempts to continue his rally.
It's certainly a fight that Scott Quigg will likely look back and regret, though in the immediate post-fight interview he said he felt the early rounds were even. There's some reason to think that, probably, since nobody really did anything, but Frampton was the guy controlling those rounds from an outside perspective, as he was leading the action, making Quigg's odd lunge miss, and doing just that slight bit more.
Frampton, in some ways, may have been lucky the fight started the way that it did, too, as he tired down the stretch. Had he been forced to expend more energy early in the fight, perhaps he wouldn't have been able to hold on.
That was the story of this fight. "What if?" will dominate the conversation now. What if Quigg had started quicker? We'll never know.