THE bright lights of America beckon for Bury boxer Scott Quigg after putting down an impressive calling card in Saturday’s six round annihilation of Rendall Munroe.
Billed as the battle of Britain – the fight was supposed to be the 24-year-old British super-bantamweight champion’s toughest test.
Yet rather than wilting in front of 20,000 fans at the Manchester Arena – packed in to watch Ricky Hatton’s ill-fated comeback – Quigg rose to the challenge superbly.
He dismantled his more experienced opponent – a former British and European champion who had never been stopped before – with a series of cruel body blows to score his 18th knockout in 26 unbeaten professional fights and claim the WBA interim super-bantamweight belt.
The plan now is for a fully fledged world title fight in the next 12 months, with Oscar de la Hoya’s Golden Boy promotions company thought to be first in the queue to set up a bout Stateside.
“I’m sure from that performance that the Americans will be watching and wondering,” said Quigg’s manager Paul Speak.
“It’s down to (his promoters) Team Hatton to come up with an opponent and tell us where they see him going, but I don’t think it’s going to be too far away before he is going across to fight in America.”
Quigg’s plan to become world champion by the end of 2013 was put on the back burner after his last fight against Munroe, at the Manchester Velodrome in June, when a clash of heads in the third round opened a deep cut above his opponent’s eye.
But the Bolton-trained fighter, who works under Joe Gallagher at Amir Khan’s Gloves Gym, is now well and truly back on track after a demonstration of controlled aggression in the rematch. He felt his way into the bout before showing his true class, pouncing on Munroe’s first show of weakness in the fifth round, when the 32-year-old dropped his guard, claiming Quigg had landed an illegal blow.
The Bury boxer grasped the nettle – using a series of body punches as a launch pad to open Munroe up for a flurry of punishing combinations.
He finally floored the former Leicester binman early in the sixth, a swinging left to the ribs forcing him to take a knee.
A standing count just delayed the inevitable, and when Munroe went down for a second time, referee Terry O’Connor stopped the contest.
“That was my best performance yet and I think it showed that (my goal of being world champion by 2013) is a realistic expectation,” said Quigg.
“Munroe is tough, no-one has ever stopped him before, but I was hurting him and it shows I have the power to go up a level.
“I’ve always dreamed of being a world champion. I want to beat all the top guys in the division, that’s who I want to be able to mix with, and this performance proves I’m on the right track.”