Scott Quigg can shine on big stage this weekend, says Jim Watt
Scott Quigg will revel in the limelight to seal his world champion status at the O2 Arena, says Jim Watt.
Last Updated: 03/10/13 2:55pm
The Bury-born super-bantamweight was due to defend his interim WBA title against Yoandris Salinas on the undercard of that bout but there hadn't been much focus on their world title match-up, with most people's attentions on the headline showdown between Haye and Fury.
However, when Haye's injury forced the cancellation of that bill, Quigg and Salinas quickly had their match moved to this weekend at the O2 Arena in London and Quigg's first outing with the vacant WBA title he has been handed will gain a lot more attention.
Anthony Joshua's pro debut may top the billboards, but this is the main fight of the night, without question.
You want your first world title bout to be a special occasion and I expect Quigg (26-0-1) to revel in the extra attention on Saturday. He eats, sleeps and drinks boxing, gives it everything and is a terrific little fighter.
He says himself he doesn't consider himself world champion until he's won a world title fight and I like to hear kids say stuff like that; it shows he's not carried away and knows there's still a job to be done.
He wants to prove he deserves to be world champion - and I expect him to do just that this weekend.
Quigg's performances have been improving all the time and he's got a real confidence in his boxing. When he attacks he puts everything into it, while he also has a good defence and is always in good shape.
He has been caught a few times early on in fights and been put down, but that is largely due to lapses in concentration; he can certainly take a punch. You have to say he's got the all-round package - although he's not the finished article yet.
His opponent, meanwhile, won't have too many concerns about travelling to the UK for his shot. Cuban Salinas has had in the region of 300 amateur fights and boxed all over the world during his career.
Like Quigg, Salinas is unbeaten but he was never among the elite Cuban amateurs and, although he had loads of fights in 2011 and 2012, where he built up his 20-0-1 record, he hasn't fought for a year and that will be an important factor.
As with all talented Cuban fighters, I expect him to be a good, smooth operator but, looking through his record, he hasn't beaten anyone Quigg wouldn't have beaten just as well if not better.
Given Quigg's recent good wins, including his stoppage of Rendall Munroe, and Salinas' inactivity this year, everything nudges towards a Quigg victory and I'm not sure the Cuban will be able to live with him.
If Salinas is a smooth boxer, as we expect, he might struggle with what Quigg puts into his attacks. Salinas is going to have to be in really good shape to stay with the home fighter who always sets a terrific pace.
Victory for Quigg would raise the prospect of a match-up with Carl Frampton, which is certainly a fight the public would like to see and if Frampton was able to secure another bout with Kiko Martinez and take his IBF title then that would add even more to the appeal as a unification fight.
However, I'm not sure how makeable it is because of promotional issues and there's no doubt Quigg will be fully focused on Salinas at the moment and establishing himself as a genuine world title holder.