Carl Frampton has dismissed suggestions that he will struggle to make the 122lb super-bantamweight limit for his showdown against Scott Quigg on Saturday, while a row over dressing-room allocation has erupted in advance of the bout.
An ongoing war of words between Frampton and Quigg was reignited at Thursday’s final pre-fight press conference as news emerged that the pair are at loggerheads over who will take the “star” dressing-room at the Manchester Arena for this weekend’s world super-bantamweight title unification bout live on Sky Box Office.
Meanwhile, Frampton moved to dismiss claims from Quigg’s trainer Joe Gallagher, who this week suggested that the Belfast native is ‘tight at the weight’ ahead of Friday’s weigh-in.
“Because of the magnitude of this fight everything had to be perfect,” said Frampton when questioned on his ability to make the 122lb limit. “I’ve done everything right this time (to get his weight down) simply because I’ve had to. I don’t want to lose and that’s the bottom line.
“I’ve spent 17 weeks in training camp, the longest camp I’ve ever had,” added the Irishman.
While the dressing-room row may appear trivial, it is just the latest topic to cause ill feeling between both fighters’ backroom teams in a rivalry that has been brewing since the pair were first mooted to fight over five years ago.
"Scott wants the dressing-room that the star of the show normally gets… He’s very superstitious."
Frampton appeared to be citing the issue in order to wind up Quigg, who is apparently superstitious over preparing in his preferred changing room on fight night and amusingly played a clip of Stevie Wonder’s 1972 hit ‘Superstition’ through his iPhone during the press conference.
“It’s a bit of a laughing matter on my part anyway. There’s a bit of a dispute about the dressing-room,” explained Frampton. “Scott wants the dressing-room that the star of the show normally gets… He’s very superstitious and wants that dressing-room
“It’s not the ‘home’ (home fighter) dressing-room. It’s the star of the show dressing-room… I’m the A-side fighter here.”
Frampton defends his IBF world title on Saturday while Quigg puts his WBA belt on the line, but Quigg’s team have agreed to Frampton being afforded the privileges normally associated with being ‘champion’ on fight night and the Belfast native has had first billing in the promotional build-up and will walk to the ring second.
However, Bury native Quigg has argued that he should have the “star” dressing-room at Manchester Arena as the ‘home’ fighter, while Frampton claims that he is the “A-side fighter”.
Frampton continually questioned Quigg’s apparently superstitious motivation for his demand throughout yesterday’s press conference as the pre-fight mind games took a bizarre turn.
“I think we’ve got to them, the tables have turned now,” said Frampton after a press conference which saw both fighters’ teams attempt to undermine and mock the opposition.
“I can’t get too emotionally involved and that’s what they’ve been trying to get me to do,” continued the Belfast native on Quigg’s trainer Joe Gallagher and promoter Eddie Hearn’s earlier efforts to rile the Irishman.
While the dressing-room debate seems unlikely to derail the fight, Team Frampton have maintained that the issue will only be resolved if Quigg agrees to leave the disputed changing room vacant or allows Frampton to occupy it.
Frampton’s mentor Barry McGuigan also later complained that Hearn had broken the terms of a non-disclosure agreement in revealing details of negotiations to make the fight after the Matchroom promoter mocked Team Frampton throughout the press conference.
Hearn, however, insisted that the dressing-room drama will be resolved once the parties sit down to talk over pre-fight issues.