Jason Quigley [18(14)-1-0] needs to be fighting on the east coast of America.
That was Andy Lee’s message to Golden Boy after Quigley put two wins between himself and his surprise defeat to Tureano Johnson late last month.
Eighteen of Quigley’s fights under the powerful promoter have played out stateside, but has only fought twice on the east coast, boxing in Boston both times.
It’s something that has surprised a lot with knowledge of promoting an Irish fighter in America.
Having fought in places like New York and Chicago former world champion Lee knows the benefits of tapping into the strong Irish populations in those areas – and he wants that for his new charge.
In fact he has all but demanded the east coast be the next port of call for the Donegal middle.
“I’ve asked Golden Boy to get Jason to the east coast. He’s an Irish fighter and that’s where he needs to be,” said the Limerick man.
Lee was speaking after cornering the first Irish fighter ever to reach an amateur World Championship decider.
The Kronk schooled fighter turned coach was pleased with the former Manny Robles and Dominic Ingle trained fighters performance over Mexican Fernando Marin, but suggest there is still a lot more to come.
“It was a huge improvement from the last fight. He’s starting to show little bits of what he can do.
“I’m happy with it. He’s still only showing glimpses of what he is doing in the gym. There is a different tension when there is a real, live opponent trying to knock you out. Overall, I’m happy with that improvement.
“I thought the referee was going to step in during the second round. Jason really hurt him and then a sneaky right hand did the damage when all those heavy shots would budge him.”
Marin came in as a late opponent, but just like Eric Donovan who Quigley was ringside to support at the Devenish on Saturday, Lee argues that although the late sub didn’t have as sexy a record he was a tougher foe.
“Marin was much tougher than Cortes would have been, even though he had a worse record. He dealt with all the adversity of changing opponent, he controlled himself and he picked his shots. He fought brilliant and got his stoppage.”
Quigley also seems to be enjoying the new link up and is bringing that into his fights.
“It’s the first time in a long time that I enjoyed a fight. It’s the first time I controlled my emotions, I let my shots go and did what I do best,” he said before highlighting just how tough his last opponent was.
“He’s got one hard head. I’m surprised it wasn’t stopped earlier. He was responsive and wasn’t sitting on the ropes. He’s a tough operator and this is a tough game. I dominated him in the second round and he looked like he was ready to go. I wasted too much energy trying to get him out in the second round. He was stunned a few times, but didn’t go down. Eventually he did in the third.
“Performance-wise, I’m very happy. Things me and Andy are working on in the gym are starting to come together. I felt good in there. I want to push on now. This keeps the momentum going and now I want to keep it going.
“I said a prayer that I’d go in and perform to the best that I can and that I’d be happy with the performance. I was in there to box my best. I know that I have a good boxing head and a good boxing IQ.”
The 28-year-old, who now could be just one or two wins away from a world title challenge, had a difficult period after the Johnson defeat.
Some soul searching lead to changes, which were supported by Golden Boy and Sheer Sports and now with things firmly on tact Quigley took time to thank those who supported him through tough times.
“I had a great chat with Eric Gomez after the fight and I want to thank them for standing by me. I know people have been doubting me and I doubted myself at times. I went downhill in terms of the boxing world. It took a lot of change and a lot of people that I love standing by me.”