Jason Quigley [13(10)-0] didn’t just have to deal with the toughest opponent of his career so far last night.
The Donegal middleweight overcame Glen Tapia at the Fantasy Springs Casino last night in Indio, and did so despite suffering a painful hand injury early on in the bout.
Quigley revealed afterwards that he hurt his right hand in the second round, and found it hard to throw the big backhand shot for the remainder of the ten-round bout which he won via unanimous decision.
Indeed the injury curtailed a period of dominance from the former European gold medalist, where it looked that he would stop the grizzled former light middleweight contender Tapia [23(15)-4(3)].
Quigley told Highland Radio that “I felt very comfortable in the fight, in first, second and third round. I felt in control and I felt it’d be an early night – that I’d stop him.
“But in the second round I kind of of hurt my hand a little bit and I couldn’t really throw my right which was the shot that was hurting him.
“They were calling me the one-handed bandit after the fight, my team. They knew, after the second round, all I was really using was my left hand Every time I went to throw the right hand, I felt like crying every time I landed, because it felt like I was cracking it up.”
However, the Ulsterman was happy with how he dealt with adversity.
“This was great experience that I did deal with the hand injury in the second round,” he mused. “I hurt the hand so I had to change my gameplan, I had to get on my bike, had to start boxing smartly, using my jab, I wasn’t really able to throw power shots because of my sore hand, and I outboxed him. I had to stay controlled, stay focused, and take it one round at a time.”
Quigley’s, admittedly imperfect, performance came in for some rather heavy criticism from ESPN analyst Teddy Atlas, and the Manny Robles-trained starlet knows he does have some improving to do.
“Out of ten, I would rate myself maybe a six and a half or a seven,” he said.
“There was a lot of mistakes made by me. It wasn’t a perfect performance by me, I could have been a lot better and I know that myself. We’re going to go over things and see what we can make better for future fights.”
Despite this, Quigley is grateful for a tough fight, and believes it will help him springboard to bigger things.
The 25 year old noted how “this was vital for me, this was a learner for me, it was a graduation for me, to get in there and go 10 rounds with a top quality opponent. This was my first main event, first title fight, live on ESPN against a top-quality opponent.”
“This is only the start for me, just a stepping stone. It’s great to get the victory and now it’s time to sit back and relax, enjoy the victory and enjoy the belt. It’s a pretty nice feeling.”
“A man coming from Ballybofey in Donegal to selling out the Fantasy Springs Resort and Event Centre here in California, it’s pretty much a dream come true for me. I’m delighted now, looking back, I have accomplished that and did what I set out to do.”