THAT Boxing News is reporting at all on a small show headed by Jason Quigley can be traced back to when he was an amateur star in Ireland. Had he not turned professional under the Golden Boy Promotions banner in 2014, Quigley would have probably been competing in the Olympics two years later as one of the favourites to bring home the gold. And just imagine what the expectations for his professional career would have been had that medal been draped around his neck.
So the point of the above is that it’s easy to forget that Quigley was once considered one of the best prospects in the world, who more than a few thought would be a world champion by now. But the man from County Donegal has progressed much slower than expected, and his one loss, a stoppage to Tureano Johnson last summer, was a major setback. Which is why Quigley’s second fight since then, against Fernando Marin at The Hangar, had the feel of a new beginning. How could it not be, with new trainer Andy Lee in tow.
If anyone is qualified to tell Quigley, 28, about the long and winding road to the top, it is fellow Irishman Lee, who persevered over a long period of time before ascending to the WBO middleweight title. And that is exactly what Lee did as the men met to have lunch one day. It was then that they agreed to join forces.
The partnership got off to a good start as Quigley halted his Mexican opponent at 1-47 of the third round of a scheduled 10. Marin had come in at short notice when Quigley’s original opponent, Oscar Cortes, pulled out.
Quigley was relaxed, doubtless trying to work on some of the things Lee taught him. But it became apparent early on that Marin was hittable, making it a straightforward fight for Quigley. Left hooks to the body hurt Marin in the opening round. Quigley looked like he had planned to bide his time, but the temptation to end it early soon took over. Marin was continuously forced back as Quigley constantly connected with an assortment of blows.
Marin had taken a beating over the first two rounds, but showed heart in coming out fast for the third and forcing Quigley to box from long range. For a fleeting moment the thought occurred that Quigley, who has had mild stamina issues in the past, might be tiring, but that soon proved to be an illusion. The fight-ending punch occurred when Quigley was moving back and shot out a right. It caught Marin on the right eye. He backed off in pain and went down. Referee Jerry Cantu then stopped it.
“Working with Andy has been great,” said Quigley. “I’ve been maturing and progressing.” And should that continue a big fight will surely come the California-based Quigley’s way. Golden Boy promotes both Canelo Alvarez and Jaime Munguia, who they can slot Quigley in to face somewhere down the road. But first Jason has to prove himself worthy of the opportunity. His fan base that was out in force this evening let Quigley know they still believe in him.
Armenia’s Ferdinand Kerobyan dropped Panama’s Azael Cosio twice with powerful jabs in the opening round of their scheduled eight, before finishing things at 2-07 of the second. It was stopped by referee Thomas Taylor as Cosio was going down after being battered on the ropes. Cosio was slipping and sliding throughout the fight, a sure indicator that his footwear was giving him problems, in addition to his opponent.
Former top amateur Mihai Nistor, from Romania, stopped Californian Jaime Solorio at 2-24 of the first round. Right hooks to the body floored Solorio twice before referee Rudy Barragan halted matters. It was scheduled for eight rounds.
Nineteen-year-old prospect Gregory Morales overpowered fellow Mexican Giovanni Delgado, stopping him at 0-58 in the fourth round of a six. Mr Cantu refereed.
Mexicans Eduardo Reyes and Daniel Perales laboured through four rounds. Reyes threw more punches and was rewarded by judges Raul Caiz Snr (39-37), Ron Stevens and Fernando Villarreal (both 40-36), who scored it unanimously for him. Mr Taylor refereed.
The Verdict An important year for Quigley starts off brightly.
Jason Quigley (164 1/2lbs), 18-1 (14), w rsf 3 Fernando Marin (162lbs), 16-5-3 (12); Ferdinand Kerobyan (153 1/2lbs), 14-1 (9), w rsf 2 Azael Cosio (152lbs), 21-9-2 (18); Mihai Nistor (244lbs), 2-0 (2), w rsf 1 Jaime Solorio (234 1/2lbs), 12-4-2 (9); Gregory Morales (123 1/2lbs), 11-0 (7), w rsf 4 Giovanni Delgado (125lbs), 16-10 (9); Eduardo Reyes (143 1/2lbs), 10-17 (6), w pts 4 Daniel Perales (144 1/2lbs), 11-20-2 (5).