Jason Quigley, right, in action in the ring.
By Jay Mwamba
When your Latino training mates nickname you “El Animal,” expectations about your fighting career can shoot straight to the top. That’s the case with Donegal native Jason Quigley, Ireland’s most promising middleweight prizefighter who’s jockeying for a world title shot in 2018.
The undefeated Quigley [13-0, 10 KOs], who’s 26, fought just once in 2017, but that lone outing earned him the NABF title and a top ten ranking in the World Boxing Council middleweight division. He’s also ranked 11th in the WBA [World Boxing Association].
He injured his right hand in the second round of that contest -- a gutsy 10-round points victory over veteran Glen Tapia --and required surgery and a lengthy rehabilitation period. Quigley is now eyeing an early 2018 return.
“I’m hoping February [or] March and I’m really looking forward to it,” he told the Echo. “I’ve been out of the ring a long time. If I fight in March it would have been a full year since I’ve been out of the ring, so it’s gonna be like letting a lion out of the cage again. I am ready to rock and roll.”
Quigley would like to fight at Madison Square Garden, in what would be his New York debut, on St. Patrick’s Day.
Jason Quigley, left, holding his NABF middleweight belt with old Donegal family friend Paddy McCarry, who is coach of CSL Over-30 soccer side, the Shamrocks. PHOTO BY JAY MWAMBA
“I’ve talked to Golden Boy [his promoters] and I’ve told them – there are four venues I want to fight in -- New York, Boston, Las Vegas and Ireland. I have fought in Boston already, I’ve fought in Vegas already, I haven’t fought in Ireland as a pro and I haven’t fought in New York.
“These fights are going to happen. It only makes sense in every aspect for me to fight on the East Coast – why not have me fight here, Madison Square Garden, March 17, Saint Patrick’s Day – why not? I’m Irish- born and raised, I’ve never forgotten my roots.”
He was impressed by the turnout of fans -- including old family friend and Shamrocks Over-30 soccer coach Paddy McCarry – during a recent visit to New York.
“The amount of people that came out to support me, and say hello, and I was not even fighting, was unbelievable. Imagine what it would be like if I was fighting? I want to fight here on St. Patrick’s Day,” noted Quigley.
On his likely opponent in his first scrap of 2018, Quigley raised the possibility of a tussle with Philadelphia’s Gabriel Rosado –the first fighter to defeat Arklow transplant James Moore.
“A lot of people are talking about the likes of Gabriel Rosado. I heard he was talking about me,” said Quigley. “If Gabriel Rosado wants this fight I’ll happily take [it]. I’m on a mission, I’m on a path to becoming world champion and if he wants to stand in my way, I will have no problem removing him from my path."
Although he will continue to fight States-side, Quigley is moving his training base to Sheffield, England, from Los Angeles. There he will be under the tutelage of Irish trainer Dominic Ingle, the son of Prince Naseem Hamed’s former coach Brendan Ingle.
Quigley hopes to line up a world title eliminator or even a world title shot by the end of 2018.