WORLD boxing champion Scott Quigg steps into the ring at Manchester’s Phones4U Arena later this month hoping to make his fellow Buryites proud once more.
The 25-year-old tops the bill for the first time just along Bury New Road in the heart of the city on April 19.
And after experiencing the big-fight atmosphere in November as chief support on the Carl Froch v George Groves bill, he is again expecting to be blown away by a partisan Mancunian crowd when he defends his WBA super-bantamweight title against Venezuelan Nehomar Cermeno.
Quigg’s hometown pride is evident when he recalls that night and the support he has experienced throughout Bury since his successful defence against Diego Silva.
He told the Bury Times: “The support I get from Bury and the people is unbelievable.
“I was running the other day and the amount of cars that beep and people who shout your name is amazing.
“I was running on one of my long runs uphill and someone shouted ‘Go on Scott’. Things like that give you a lift.
“It makes the hairs stand up on the back of your neck to think that people appreciate what you do.
“They don’t need to cheer me on or beep their horn when they see me out running but they do and it means a lot.
“Everyone follows me on Twitter as well and the support is fantastic.
“It makes you feel that people recognise what you are doing and you cannot buy that level of support or the boost it gives you.
“The people of Bury are the best people and I would not change the town where I come from.
“Everyone says they have the best fans but I genuinely could not ask for better people behind me and love being from Bury.
“It is where I was born, it is my town and having the whole of the town backing me has been humbling and I pinch myself sometimes.”
Quigg is not your typical boxing superstar.
His nan, Sheila Rowles, gives away a free bag of chips to locals buying tickets for his fights from her Brandlesholme Chippy in the town.
Meanwhile, he still lives at home with his parents and is shy and unassuming away from the ring.
In fact, he admits he finds it strange when he is labelled a sporting superstar.
He added: “I was in Manchester recently and a lad came up and asked for a picture and it was really strange for me to see how made up he was that he had met me.
“I go red and get shy and embarrassed when someone comes up to have a picture or wants an autograph.
“I just see myself as a normal lad who likes to box and is good at it.
“It is good I inspire people and I hope youngsters can see that if you work hard, you can achieve anything you want if you keep belief and your vision.
“When I was a kid and said I am going to be a world champion boxer one day – the teachers laughed.
“But I kept going and going and now am going to be the main event at the Arena – it is a dream come true.
“To be on the undercard of the Froch-Groves fight and walk out at the arena in front of 18,000 people was unreal – especially in my own backyard in Manchester.
“No-one can ever take that away from me. No-one can know what that feeling is like. It still gives me shivers now just remembering it.
“It is something I thrive on, so to be top of the bill this time and follow in the footsteps of the big names like Joe Calzaghe, Ricky Hatton and Lennox Lewis who have fought there is amazing – and to be defending my world title as well.
“It’s a reward for the discipline and dedication I have put in over the years.”
For ticket details for Quigg’s big fight, visit his website at www.scottquigg.com.