Jason Quigley misses out on top middleweight Murata


The Jason Quigley-Ryōta Murata-Rob Brant saga has been brought to an end and the Donegal middleweight will not be taking his major step-up just yet.

The past month has been something of a rollercoaster, with Quigley looking as if he had secured a fight with Japanese star Murata before governing body politics looked to have scuppered this chance – only for the Irishman to come back in the frame once more.

Last night, however, it was being reported by ESPN that an agreement has been reached and that Murata [14(11)-1(0)] will box Brant [23(16)-1(0)] at the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas on Saturday October 20th.

Quigley, just one fight in to a comeback and a new training setup, was first reported to be taking on Murata at the above date and venue. However, as the London Olympic gold medallist holds the WBA ‘regular’ belt, the body subsequently insisted that he face mandatory challenger Brant and put this match-up to purse bids.

The purse bids came and went, with Brant’s promoter, Greg Cohen, submitting the only offer to take control of the contest and he intended for the fight to take place in New York, Atlantic City, or the challenger’s hometown of Minneapolis.

With the fight being unwanted, and the purse-split being an unappealing 50-50, Murata’s team indicating that they would not be proceeding with the fight and that Quigley [14(11)-0] remained the main target.

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However, an agreement has been reached between Cohen and Murata’s stateside promoter, Top Rank, who have now taken control of the bout and will run the match-up on the date originally intended for Quigley.

The Ballybofey 27-year-old is currently in camp in Sheffield with new trainer, Dominic Ingle, as he awaits a new date from promoter Golden Boy.

It is understood that Quigley had been due to have a substantial, albeit not at the level of Murata, fight this month but this was shelved in anticipation of the big Vegas night.

October looks a likely landing time for World silver and European gold medallist’s next contest.

Quigley returned from a year-long absence back in March, destroying Daniel Rosario in Boston, and he is ranked at #3 with the WBC and #9 with the WBA. Both of these belts are held by Kazakh king Gennady Golovkin who puts them on the line in Vegas on September 15th in a rematch with Quigley’s promotional stablemate Canelo Alvarez.

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Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: joneill6@tcd.ie