The Golden Boy-promoted Donegal middleweight had been reported to be all but signed to fight Japanese star Ryōta Murata [14(11)-1(0)] at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas on Saturday October 20th.
Murata’s WBA ‘regular’ belt was to be on the line in the fight which would headline an ESPN+ Top Rank card that was also set to feature Belfast featherweight Mick Conlan.
27-year-old Quigley confirmed that he was in talks for what many described as a ballsy move considering he is just one fight removed from a long injury lay-off and a change of trainers, and the bout was said to be almost 100% over the line.
However, less than a day after the match-up was initially reported by ESPN, the WBA ordered a purse bid for Olympic gold medallist Murata to defend versus their mandatory challenger Rob Brant [23(16)-1(0)].
This order looked to have to torpedoed the fight for Quigley [14(11)-0] and promotional events for the proposed bout were cancelled as World Boxing Super Series entrant Brant looked likely to move in.
The purse bids for Murata-Brant took place earlier today and just one was entered. With Murata’s promoters Top Rank and Japanese giant Teiken keeping schtum, Brant’s promoter Greg Cohen submitted a relatively small bid of $202,114 which came in just over the $200,000 minimum decreed by the WBA.
AsianBoxing.info report that Cohen intends to promote a card headlined by the fight on Saturday October 27th in either Minneapolis, New York, or Atlantic City.
However, and most importantly, it is also relayed that Murata’s team are keen to offer Brant step aside money to facilitate a more lucrative fight with a more attractive opponent, namely Quigley – who has shared on social media these reports.
Ballybofey’s Quigley is currently in camp in Sheffield alongside WBO middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders who is preparing for a defence versus Demetrius Andrade in Boston on October 20th – which would lead to a dilemma regarding coach Dominic Ingle should the Murata fight indeed be saved.
More as it emerges.