- Dan Rafael, ESPN Senior Writer
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Junior featherweight titlist Scott Quigg will defend his belt for the second time when he faces Diego Silva just seven weeks after his initial defense, Matchroom Sport promoter Eddie Hearn announced Thursday.
Quigg-Silva will take place Nov. 23 (AWE) at the Phones 4u Arena in Manchester, England, as the co-feature on a loaded card headlined by super middleweight titleholder Carl Froch's much-anticipated defense against British countryman George Groves.
Quigg (26-0-2, 19 KOs), 25, of England, who held an interim title before being elevated to a full titleholder last month, made his first defense Oct. 5 in London, retaining his belt on a majority draw with Yoandris Salinas.
"It will be only seven weeks from Scott's last fight against Yoandris Salinas, so it's been a real tight turnaround," Hearn told ESPN.com. "We all felt Scott did enough to get the decision that night, so we wanted to put it right as soon as possible. Silva is a live threat, and while Scott is expected to do the business, Silva is awkward and dangerous, racking up six wins since his last defeat at the hands of three-weight world champ Fernando Montiel."
Silva (29-2-4, 15 KOs), 30, of Argentina, is also coming off a draw. He fought even up with Nestor Paniagua in June but is unbeaten in his six fights since being stopped by Montiel in the third round in March 2009.
Hearn said he attempted to get Quigg a fight with Carl Frampton, a rising star from Northern Ireland, in what would have been a huge fight in the United Kingdom. However, Hearn said he has not heard back from Frampton's team after making an offer.
"It's all gone quiet so we are switching our focus to a big unification fight with IBF champ Kiko Martinez," Hearn said, although Martinez would have to get through a Dec. 21 defense in his home country of Spain against former titleholder Jeffrey Mathebula of South Africa.
Hearn said he has a good relationship with Martinez's team and hopes to make the fight for Quigg for next spring or summer. Frampton, however, is in position as Martinez's next mandatory challenger.
Also Thursday, interim middleweight titlist Martin Murray (25-1-1, 11 KOs), 31, of England, was added to the card after a defense against Garth Wood scheduled for Dec. 11 in Wood's home country of Australia fell through. Murray does not yet have an opponent, and it has not been determined whether his fight will be a title defense or a nontitle bout.
Murray was added to the card when Richard Poxon of Hatton Promotions was able to work out a deal with Hearn.
"Due to the disappointment of the Australian show falling through, we've worked as quickly as we can to get Martin another opportunity in the same time frame," Poxon said. "After all the hard work that went into making the fight with Wood, everyone is gutted about what has happened. I feel for Martin and Garth Wood, but every cloud has a silver lining, and thanks to Eddie Hearn and Matchroom, Martin will still get to box.
"Going to Australia was a chance for him to win over a new crowd. Now, though, he gets to box in a huge arena at home and he can look forward to some big fights in 2014."
Also on the Nov. 23 card, Hearn announced that Anthony Crolla (26-4-1, 9 KOs), Quigg's gym-mate, will challenge Martin Gethin (24-4-1, 11 KOs) for the British lightweight title; Rocky Fielding (16-0, 9 KOs) will defend the Commonwealth super middleweight title against Lennox Allen (17-0-1, 10 KOs); and former bantamweight titlist Jamie McDonnell (21-2-1, 9 KOs), recently stripped of his belt, will appear against an opponent to be determined.
The two 2012 British Olympic gold medalists Hearn signed will also appear -- super heavyweight Anthony Joshua (2-0, 2 KOs) and lightweight Luke Campbell (3-0, 3 KOs), both in scheduled six-round bouts. Joshua first has a bout scheduled for Nov. 14, but if all goes well, he will face Hector Avila, who lasted into the ninth round with contender Dereck Chisora in April.
4dMalik Smith, ESPN Stats & Information