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"If I didn't think I could be world champion, I would have chosen an easier job!" - Jason Quigley

Ciaran Bradley
Ciaran Bradley

10:30 21 Mar 2019


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Donegal boxer Jason Quigley is one of those sportspeople that just gets universal goodwill. In this interview with Off The Ball, he is candid about his hopes for a world title and missing out on a bout with Ryōta Murata.

With his upcoming fight with Mathias Eklund on Saturday, Quigley will make his first professional fight on this side of the Atlantic, having been based in Los Angeles, learning a 'Mexican style' of boxing.

Quigley is effusive in praise for the experience with Manny Robles' 'The Rock' gym in Carson, saying that the style meshed the blood and thunder instincts of both Mexican and Irish boxing styles. But it is missing out on a recent bout in Japan that Quigley joked had left him sore.

"That was going to be my first-ever first class flight - it's hard to adjust after that," said Quigley.

"Don't get me wrong, there was a massive buzz and lift after that fight - as soon as you turn professional, you want a world title shot. Obviously not right away, but those are the things that you are aiming towards. Mine came on me, and it was right in front of me - flights were booked and I was two or three days out from my flight to Tokyo to announce the fight."

It was a faux pas on behalf of Top Rank - Murata's promoters - in overlooking a mandatory defence for Murata against the American, Rob Brant.

This has led to a sanguine Quigley taking his time in choosing opponents, starting with Eklund this weekend in London.

While it may appear fairly straightforward, he is convinced that this is the right road to both winning a world title, and hearing his name read out as a prize fight on these shores.

"This is what I trained for. This is why I turned professional. This is why I do what I do – if I didn’t think I could be world champion I would have picked an easier job!

"I believe that I can and will become world champion - Saturday night is another stepping stone to getting the ball rolling in 2019, and keeping it rolling!"

But it is a fight at home that particularly excites the Laghey native, who has been enjoying the relative proximity of the Ingle gym in Sheffield after tiring of the glitz of L.A.

Not that Sheffield isn't glitzy in own, steely way. Asked whether we can expect to see him in Ireland soon, Quigley was unequivocal.

"Without a doubt.

"I have a great mixture of the UK/Irish and American/Mexican because of the last few years, but now is the time to bring the two together again - but bringing it together back at home.

"It makes more sense for me to be fighting in the UK at the moment, but when I come back to Ireland - I want it to be a big fight. What better way than to bring Golden Boy Promotions to Ireland for a massive fight, one day?"

With the mixture of influences, and no question of any dilution of Quigley's down-to-earth nature, Ireland can but dream.

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