By George Ogier
Saturday’s much-anticipated super bantamweight clash between Scott Quigg and Rendall Munroe ended in bloody disappointment after an accidental clash of heads. The fight was ruled a technical draw and we’re back where we started in terms of defining the division.
Much had been made of the battle to decide Britain’s premier 122lb fighter. Munroe, the experienced campaigner faced off against one of the new generation in Quigg. Despite Quigg’s British title it was Munroe that sat atop of the domestic rankings going into this bout.
Rendall Munroe had regarded his opponent with little more than casual disdain in the run up to Saturday’s contest. Munroe felt, with some justification that he was the forgotten man of British boxing. Scott Quigg on the other hand was keen to cement his place as a genuine rising star.
A virtually partisan crowd at Manchester’s Velodrome met Munroe’s ring walk with apparent indifference. Predictably, the arrival of Bury boxer Quigg resulted in a slightly more vocal welcome. Strangely this fight wasn’t for Quigg’s British belt. Instead the two men were competing for the distinctly uninspiring interim WBA world super bantamweight title.
The fight itself was a genuine pick ’em affair. Fans and experts alike were split when it came to deciding the favourite before the first bell. Unsurprisingly, when the first bell sounded it was seasoned campaigner Munroe who settled into an early rhythm.
Scott Quigg’s game plan was to make Munroe miss with his attacks and then capitalise on that inaccuracy with counters. This had a limited success in the first stanza and Munroe bossed Quigg around the ring, catching him with some sharp, clipping shots.
Quigg’s strategy was much more effective in the second round. The British champion visibly grew in confidence and at times he had Munroe chasing shadows. At the same time Quigg was finding his own range and landing eye-catching shots himself.
Most observers had the fight all square as the third round began. However, what was shaping up to be a promising fight came to an abrupt end. What at first seemed to be a fairly innocuous clash of heads soon showed itself to be much worse.
Rendall Munroe’s right eyebrow was split almost completely and the ringside doctor had no hesitation in waving the fight off. An understandably angry Munroe turned the air blue with a string of expletives but there wasn’t any malice towards Quigg. As Munroe said himself after the fight, that’s boxing.
As disappointed as we all are at the outcome the safety of any fighters must be paramount in the minds of authorities. Sadly, not everyone in the arena was of the same opinion and trouble flared up in the crowd as the fight was called off. As a result there were reports of ambulance services being called to attend to some crowd members.
All in all it was a rather unedifying end to a fight which had promised so much. There was a talk of a rematch immediately after the bout but TV money may be a stumbling block. This promotion was the last in Ricky Hatton’s deal with Sky Sports. Hatton Promotions have yet to announce a deal with an alternative broadcaster so we will have to wait and see what the future holds for both Scott Quigg and Rendall Munroe.