Manager Barry McGuigan separates Carl Frampton and Scott Quigg.
# tensions rising
Carl Frampton accuses Scott Quigg's camp as pair exchange verbal blows in Belfast
The pair clashed as their media tour ended in heated fashion.

CARL FRAMPTON BELIEVES Scott Quigg’s team are trying to lure him into a brawl after a heated finale to their first press tour earlier today ahead of a February showdown.

The pair are set to clash at Manchester Arena on 27 February in a world super-bantamweight title unification clash and the hype machine has already been in full flow ahead of the Sky Box Office bout, which will see Frampton defend his IBF crown while Quigg will put his WBA belt on the line.

A three-leg press tour to launch the fight concluded in Belfast on Wednesday, with the intense rivalry between Team Frampton and Team Quigg reaching new levels in front of a crowd of close to a thousand in the Europa Hotel.

With the venue open to the Belfast public, Quigg and his trainer Joe Gallagher were treated to a hostile reception from Frampton’s home support, while Matchroom promoter Eddie Hearn was also loudly heckled throughout the press conference.

Frampton’s mentor Barry McGuigan labelled rival promoter Hearn an “arsehole” after the latter had claimed the Belfast fighter is only in line for a big payday thanks to his Matchroom promotional team and Sky Sports.

While the scene made for an entertaining Punch-and-Judy-style atmosphere at times, tensions heightened during the top table questions after Hearn, who previously promoted Frampton, was pressed about a 2013 prediction when he claimed the undefeated Belfast ‘Jackal’ would beat Quigg if the pair ever clashed.

Carl Frampton v Scott Quigg Press Conference - Europa Hotel Niall Carson Frampton (left) and Quigg during a press conference at the Europa Hotel. Niall Carson

Hearn has changed his tune since linking up with Quigg, with the Matchroom promoter claiming: “Two years ago, Scott wasn’t anywhere near the fighter he is now… Taking nothing away from Carl, it’s not a gimme, but I think this is a fight that Scott Quigg is going to win comfortably.”

Belfast native Frampton, loudly cheered by his home crowd, quickly interjected to say: “You’re just lying again, like you lie to all your fighters, pretending you actually give fiddlers about them.

“The mask is slipping and everyone is seeing the real Eddie Hearn. He loves the green, he loves the bit of money and that’s it, that’s all,” added Frampton.

Hearn countered to say that “Money is relevant, but you’d be getting nowhere near this payday without us and Sky”, while McGuigan hit back by saying: “You’re working for Carl, he’s not working for you… don’t be so smug, mate, you’re an arsehole.”

The battle of the undefeated fighters has been over five years in the making, with both fighters progressing from highly-rated prospects to become world champions.

Twenty-eight-year-old Frampton (21-0) has claimed he will easily defeat 27-year-old Bury native Quigg (31-0-2), who has also predicted victory.

Even though the fight is set for Manchester, Frampton is expected to have the vast majority of support with a big Belfast crowd set to travel although tickets do not go on sale until Friday morning.

Team Quigg have continually made reference to the fact that Frampton will not be able to bring his fans into the ring to help him, but the Belfast native believes his rivals are attempting to get his blood up and lure him into a brawl.

“They think they’re winding me up but they’re not… Eddie Hearn and Joe Gallagher are dickheads but they’re not winding me up,” said Frampton.

Such is the expected demand for tickets, Frampton’s promotional team are encouraging Irish fans to visit the Manchester Arena website to purchase tickets in the Frampton-fans section as well as Ticketmaster from 9am on Friday.

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