After 18 frustrating months of crumbling fights and big names slipping by the wayside, Jason Quigley finally has his chance at world honors.
In the early hours of Saturday, the Irish boxing star is expected to step into the ring to challenge Demetrius Andrade for his WBO world middleweight title.
In what will be his 21st professional fight, this is the first time Quigley has fought for this coveted world title. Despite an extensive and particularly successful amateur career, as a professional the 30-year-old has yet to have that career-defining fight which could turn out to be this weekend.
“I have come my way so far and I have one more step to take, and that is to become the world champion,” said Quigley.
This fight will be anything but simple for the man of Donegal against an opponent who believes himself to be one of the most avoided fighters in the world.
It is certainly the case that Andrade, world two-weight champion, Olympian and former amateur world champion, brings a lot of pedigree to the ring.
Quigley knows the scale of the task ahead, but firmly believes he has the tools to dethrone the man known as “Boo boo”:
“I’m 110% confident. My whole career I’ve been the man who’s been the big favorite in every fight I’ve fought, it’s going to be a little different but I’m thinking in a good way. It’s not going to be pressure on me, it’s all going to be on Andrade, ”continued Quigley.
“It’s in his hometown, he’s the world champion, he’s the undefeated fighter. So I’m going there as an underdog, but it’s something very exciting and I believe in 110 % that I can go in and leave as world champion on November 19. “
“I don’t let boxing define me”
One thing that might come in handy for Quigley is the fact that he has Irish boxing superstar and former WBO middleweight champion Andy Lee in his corner.
The Ballybofey fighter, who has 19 wins and one loss in his professional 20-fight career to date, believes having Lee in his corner on Friday could be crucial and that the experience he gets will be invaluable at the time. of the fight.
“You can’t buy that kind of experience,” he said. “He lived and is doing exactly what I want to do in my life and in my career.
“It’s also the actual belt Andy once held, the WBO middleweight title, so she won’t just come back to Ireland, she’ll come back to the same team and also go to Andy.”
Quigley feels an immense sense of pride in representing his country and is desperate to bring this illustrious world title back to Ireland.
“I’m looking to come out and be the next world champion for Ireland,” he said.
“I am privileged and honored to represent not only Ireland but also my County Donegal in this fight. I am going to go there, make them proud, and I have no questions in my head that I cannot bring to this world title in Donegal. More importantly, I want to bring this world title back to the Irish people. “
Considering he’s been a boxer since he was a kid, it’s no surprise that the sport remains a cornerstone in Quigley’s life – but the former amateur European champion likes to detach his life from his career.
Quigley admits that while winning this fight and becoming a world champion would be pivotal to his career, he doesn’t let boxing control his life outside the ring.
“Winning this fight will change my life in the direction of my career, but I don’t let boxing define me and define my life and my happiness,” he said.
“But becoming world champion will definitely make me a lot happier, I can guarantee that.”
If Quigley wins this weekend, it could turn out to be one of the best wins in Irish boxing history, against one of the most avoided and esteemed men in boxing circles.