Jason Quigley goes all Rocky IV as he prepares for Jack Cullen and Eddie Hearn’s back garden

Jason Quigley [18(14)-1(1)] has gone all Rocky IV as he readies himself for an a good aul back yard brawl.

The Golden Boy fighter has brought an old school approach to lock down training and is keeping ready as an August fight with Jack Cullen [18(9)-2(2)] remains on the cards.

That clash with Bolton’s Cullen looks set for any rescheduled Dillian Whyte- Alexander Povetkin card, a card that will also play host to Katie Taylor versus Amanda Serrano – and take place on the lawn at Matchroom headquarters.

The work Quigley is doing isn’t the prettiest, but it’s taking place in scenic surroundings and will help ready him for a fight in a ring with a very unique view.

“It’s very old school,” Quigley, who turned 29 at the start of the month told Donegal Sports Hub. 

“It’s sort of ‘Rocky’ stuff. I’m doing a lot of 10k and 16k runs – stuff I’d never have done before. I’m training in a garage or training outside. I’m just doing what I can do and trying to make the most of it.

“It doesn’t matter where in the world you are, you can put in the hard work.”

Quigley relocated to LA when he turned over first, before Sheffield became his base. The World Amateur Championship silver medal winner is now closer to home working with Andy Lee in Dublin, but lockdown has him training in Donegal. And he rejoices in the home comforts.

“This is the first time that I have had real stability in my career.  Usually, I’m away at training camp, off foreign for boxing, whereas now I’m in the hills in  Donegal training away. I’m not coming home to just an empty house and Netflix on my own. I’m coming back to the people I love and the people I want to be with.”

Considering the Sheer Sports managed fighter is said to be two to three good wins shy of a world title fight, you’d assume the current shutdown would prove frustrating for a middleweight eager to enjoy world level action.

Yet, Quigley seems quiet zen about the whole thing and used the time to reflect and reevaluate.

“We don’t need a busy lifestyle to get through life.This lockdown has made everyone pause,” he adds.

“If people take the pause right, they’ll see what they enjoyed doing. A lot of things in life took up a lot of time but had no real purpose or value. This shows us that we can sit back, relax and see what we love to do ourselves. 

“I’ve had time to pause, to look at my career, look at where I’m going and figuring out how I can be the best that I can be. I’m looking forward to taking that into fights now.”

While he has taken time to reflect, Quigley hasn’t quite sat out on the veranda every night with champagne and cigars.

Indeed, he assures he has put the boxing graft in and will be in peak condition when boxing resumes.

“At the very start of the lockdown, for the first two weeks, I didn’t do a thing in boxing. I tried my hand at a bit of DIY – some worked and some didn’t! I didn’t do a lot of training. I just didn’t want to burn myself out but once I saw a bit of light coming, I started to pick it up and broke myself back in. I’ve kept myself in great shape and I’m actually lighter now than I was before lockdown.”

Quigley had been slated to fight Jack Cullen on the undercard of a bout between Dillian Whyte- Alexander Povetkin for the WBC interim heavyweight belt in March. The card in Manchester, also set to include Katie Taylor’s eagerly-awaited clash with Amanda Serrano, was shelved.

Quigley said: “Of course I was disappointed and annoyed that the fight was cancelled, but there’s nothing anyone can do about it. It’s out of my hands so all I can do is keep working on becoming the best boxer I can be. 

“I’ll keep working so that I’ll be ready when things come back. I’m not getting too down or too pissed off. Everyone is in the same position so no-one will have massively progressed. It’s a worldwide problem so there’s no-one out there who is benefitting from it.” 

Eddie Hearn has ambitious plans to roll out a series of open air shows from the garden of Matchroom Boxing’s headquarters in Brentwood.

Hearn has already stated his intention for a Quigley-Cullen meeting as part of one of those cards.

And Quigley is eager for the bout to happen. He said: “I really want to fight, whether it’s in my own back garden or in Eddie Hearn’s back garden.

“It would be great to get on a show like that if it happens. It’ll be one of those events people will look back on years down the line. It would be in the history books and it’s something that not many boxers will get a chance to do.”

Jonny Stapleton

Irish-boxing.com contributor for 15 years and editor for the past decade. Have been covering boxing for over 16 years and writing about sport for a living for 19 years. Former Assistant Sports editor for the Gazette News Paper Group and former Tallaght Voice Sports Editor. Have had work published in publications around the world when working as a freelance journalist. Also co-founder of Junior Sports Media and Leinster Rugby PRO of the Year winner. email: editoririshboxing@gmail.com