It wasn’t the result he wanted, but Scott Quigg could at least leave the O2 Arena with his world title still around his waist.
His eventual draw with Yoandris Salinas was the sort of contest that is made for the “bout of two halves” cliché. Early on the slick Salinas dominated in a slow paced bout behind his jab with Quigg content to throw single shots and try to counter the quick Cuban. As Salinas reddened Quigg’s face the British hopeful couldn’t find his range or timing and frankly was made to look a little foolish, his usual effective counter-punching style falling apart against the quicker, smoother man. At about the midpoint however Quigg changed tactics, starting to press forward and throw in combination, raising the tempo and targeting the body. He clearly discomforted Salinas when he did so, at one point appearing to have the former amateur star in real trouble. Quigg swept the latter rounds and on my scorecard did enough to sneak the win (115-113). That said I cannot complain about the draw; Quigg simply left it too late. After the bout he said that if he’d tried his later tactics earlier he’d have risked walking onto punches but I suspect that was merely regret talking; he cost himself that bout by being too passive early on even when it was clear he was losing the battle on the outside.
Despite the disappointing result Quigg still holds onto his world title. As mentioned in my preview there are domestic superfights to be made with Carl Frampton (assuming Frampton gets passed Frenchman Jeremy Parodi, which he should) or Kid Galahad but promotional issues might make those bouts somewhat difficult. Outside of those two most of the top contenders and champions in the division are US or Mexican based; the most likely major bout is probably a unification with the winner of the Kiko Martinez and Jeffrey Mathebula for the IBF strap.
As for Salinas, he shouldn’t be too disappointed. The draw means he doesn’t lose his ranking with the various alphabet soup organisations and he may be in line for a rematch in the short to medium term. Beyond that in his first real step-up bout he showed he belonged at this level as well as his strengths and weaknesses. Counter-intuitively it may be the weaknesses that help him most; while he proved himself slick and awkward he also showed flaws when the pace increased and when Quigg got inside. Those flaws mean a promoter or manager looking at opponents for their star boxer are more likely to select Salinas then if he remained an unknown boxer without any noted weaknesses.