One more step closer to the dream. On July 12th five years ago, Donegal’s Jason Quigley made his professional debut in the MGM Grand Las Vegas on the Canelo Alvarez versus Erislandy Lara undercard.
This Thursday, he is topping the bill - for the third time - as he puts his record on the line when he defends his North America Boxing Federation middleweight title against the experienced Tureano Johnson at the Fantasy Springs Casino in Indio, California.
Quigley has long stated his ambition to be a world champion, and this is seen as a major hurdle which, if negotiated successfully, will surely open further doors.
This is Quigley’s 17th professional bout and he has had 12 knock-outs in his 16 wins.
and the bout with Johnson will be the main event of a Golden Boy Boxing on DAZN card.
The fight will be broadcast live on eir Sport (with Quigley expected to be in the ring between 3.00 - 4.00 am Irish time on Friday morning).
The fight and its undercard will be streamed live on Facebook Watch via the Golden Boy Fight Night Page.
Johnson (20-2-1, 14 KOs) will be a formidable opponent.
But Quigley is all set for the occasion,
“I am taking on one of the world’s classiest fighters. He is better than anyone I have ever been in (the ring) with before. He has been in the Olympics, and is a more experienced professional boxer,” he told the Post.
Quigley recently revealed that the fight is the latest step en route to a potential world title fight.
"I was in LA recently and met with Golden Boy Promotions and we have a three-or-four-fight plan now to get to a world title,” he said last month, adding: “I’m on an amazing journey and to be possibly three fights away from a world title fight is so exciting for everyone following me."
Having finished up his camp and sparring in Sheffield, Quigley relocated to California two weeks ago.
“It’s a nice set-up here, and just what I want, something chilled and relaxed,” he explained.
He is now tapering ahead of the big fight, having had his last session of note on Thursday.
Indeed, when being interviewed over the phone last Friday, in his typical affable manner, he quipped that he was “having a day off, and going to get his hair cut!”
In the days up to the fight, he will be doing some light training and eating carefully. Quigley always looks after himself well so there will be no problems with the weigh-in.
So, what does he know about his opponent?
“I always like to concentrate on myself and being 110%,” he responds.
But, of course, he looks at footage of his opponent, to try and access the strong points and the weak points, all of which will be taken on board as the fight plan is formulated.
It’s a scheduled ten round contest, and it will certainly be a real test for the Twin Towns man.
Interestingly, Johnson was on the undercard when Quigley won his NABF title, and both boxers know the venue pretty well.
Seasoned boxing observers believe that the next 12 months will be pivotal in Quigley’s quest for glory.
He is ranked number five in the world in the WBC rankings.
On paper, the 35-year-old Bahamian will be a formidable opponent.
Johnson’s only two defeats as a professional have come against world-level opposition in Curtis Stevens and Sergiy Derevyanchenko.
But a combination of injuries and a late cancellation have seen limited ring time over the past year.
Johnson has silenced an Irish roar before, getting the better of the now-retired Derry native Eamonn O’Kane in a bout in 2015.
Indeed, Quigley’s opponent has certainly been bullish in the build-up.
And recently stated: “I am very fit, I feel far better conditioned for this fight than I have in the past as I have taken a more scientific approach to training for this fight. I have felt a massive change and I feel that I will show a different and a far better version of myself on 18 July.
“I have worked in both Atlanta and in New York with Andre Rozier and the team for this fight and found a really good balance for this camp and that is where I am getting my confidence from.
He added: “Quigley is a dangerous opponent — he can really fight — but I am excited about this fight as it’s going to be a great fight for the fans and one that I believe I will win in an entertaining fashion.”
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