Slow starter Quigg forced to settle for draw against Salinas but holds on to world title
By Jeff Powell - dailymail.co.uk
Scott Quigg clung on to his WBA ‘regular’ world title with a majority draw at London’s O2 Arena.
In a fight of two halves, the 24-year-old from Bury came back from a tense, nervous start to salvage equality in the eyes of two of the judges.
The third scored it by two points in favour of the Englishman but that was hard to reconcile with the dominaition of Cuba’s Yoandris Salinas through the first seven rounds.
Stalemate: Scott Quigg and Yoandris Salinas fought out a draw but the Brit holds on to the world title (below)
There can be no arguing with the outcome in a fight this close, although I had Salinas too far ahead to be caught without a knock down and scored it 115-114 in his favour.
However, Quigg was rewarded for tremendous grit and persistence after being impaled on the left jab of the skilfully superior Cuban for more than half the battle.
That phase was more tactical but Quigg’s recovery finally roused the home crowd and was the more eye-catching.
Quigg, who had declined to term himself a champion – having been promoted to the belt without throwing a punch – finally laid hands on the belt and said: ‘I feel I deserve it now. I thought I won the fight. I stuck to the game plan, controlling the fight and coming on late, although maybe I took a risk letting some early rounds slip away.’
Not that promoter Eddie Hearn should be in any rush to match Quigg with the unified title holder and WBA super champion, Guillermo Rigondeaux.
Slow start: Quigg grew into the fight but almost gifted it to the Cuban as the judges scored it a draw
Scott Quigg battles to majority draw with Yoandris Salinas
Scott Quigg retained his WBA super-bantamweight title with the judges scoring a majority draw against Cuba's Yoandris Salinas.
Quigg, 24, defended his title for the first time having been upgraded to full champion status outside the ring and improved steadily throughout the fight.
But two of the judges scored the fight 114-114 and the other awarded it to Quigg 115-113.
"I feel I won the fight, by a round or two rounds," he told Sky Sports.
"I think we got the tactics spot on. I believe I won the fight."
The Cuban started strongly but Quigg stepped up his tempo midway through the bout and took control, giving Salinas a torrid finish to the fight.
Quigg stood by his tactics but acknowledged he might have won if he had pressed earlier.
He added: "In the first five or six rounds we knew he was going to be sharp and couldn't have gone like I finished at the start.
"I stuck to the plan, felt in control all the way through and I'm gutted I didn't get the win. He's a world-class fighter and I've proved I belong at world level.
"Maybe I should have put the gas on a round earlier."
Quigg is not a world champion in the strictest sense because Cuba's Guillermo Rigondeaux is the WBA's so-called 'super' champion.
On the undercard, Barry's Lee Selby held on to his British and Commonwealth featherweight belts after a hard-fought victory over Norfolk's Ryan Walsh.
Walsh was a rank underdog but demonstrated tremendous fitness and determination, making things very uncomfortable for the champion at times.
But Selby, despite suffering cuts to both eyes, had too much ringcraft for the challenger and was awarded a wide unanimous decision.
Former world title challenger Kevin Mitchell continued his rebuilding process with a sixth-round stoppage of Mexico's Marcos Lopez.
Mitchell was knocked out by Scotland's WBO lightweight champion Ricky Burns last December but the Essex boxer is now the holder of the fringe IBF inter-continental lightweight title after a devastating three-punch finish.
Mitchell is now expected to fight Liverpool's Commonwealth title-holder Derry Mathews, with promoter Eddie Hearn saying they could meet in December.
Scott Quigg keeps his WBA title after draw with Yoandris Salinas
Scott Quigg retained his WBA super-bantamweight title with a majority draw against Yoandris Salinas at London's 02 Arena.
Quigg was making the first defence of his newly acquired WBA title and struggled to pin down the slick Salinas in the cagey early rounds, but his late charge closed the tally on the scorecards.
Two judges scored the bout 114-114, while the other made it 115-113 to Quigg and the two fighters were unhappy with the unsatisfactory verdict.
Both men swapped range-finding jabs in a cagey opener and Salinas appeared to edge the round with his swift left hand.
A body shot appeared to briefly bother Salinas in the second, but the Cuban continued to pump out his accurate jab and Quigg was caught by a steady stream of lefts in the third.
The slow pace suited the patient Salinas, but Quigg raised the tempo in the fourth and landed a decent right hand, while the Bury man sunk home body shots in the fifth.
Salinas responded well in the sixth, dictating the round with his precise jab, and there was little to split the two in a scrappy seventh with both men struggling to land clean punches.
Quigg showed more urgency in the eighth and enjoyed success with hooks to the body, while Salinas was unsettled by some crisp combinations in the ninth.
With just a few rounds remaining, Quigg appeared to have timed his charge well and hooks hammered into Salinas' ribs in the tenth.
Salinas sensed the fight was turning against him and stood and traded in the 11th, but Quigg was relishing the battle and unleashed a barrage of punches.
A hurtful hook seemed to unravel Salinas' defences in the final round, but there was a brief scare when Quigg fell to the canvas which was correctly ruled as a slip.
"I feel I won the fight," said Quigg afterwards. "I feel I won it by a round or two rounds.
"I stuck to the gameplan for five or six rounds. We knew we were going to be sharp early on and I couldn't have gone how I did in the last five rounds like that from the start because I would have been picked off.
"We stuck to the plan. It felt like I was in control all the way through. Obviously I'm gutted that I didn't get the win.
"I've just been in with a world class fighter. He had 300 odd amateur and I had 12. I belong at world level and I think I just proved that."