Jason Quigley is seeing his chances of a dream meeting with Canelo Alvarez seemingly increase by the day but, while the shortlist for the fight shortens, the Donegal middleweight has become embroiled in verbal fisticuffs with Eddie Hearn.
Quigley is in the mix for a September showdown with his Golden Boy stablemate but a side-show with Matchroom boss Hearn has really gained traction over the past day.
‘Professionalism’ and Quigley’s reasoning for pulling out of a Matchroom card are the nub of the issue and the back-and-forths began last month when Hearn announced the Fight Camp.
Quigley had been due to face England’s Jack Cullen as part of the Dillian Whyte v Alexander Povetkin PPV on August 22nd at Matchroom’s Essex HQ – refixed from the Manchester Arena on May 2nd.
However, this agreed middleweight clash was not announced and Hearn vented on IFL, outlining how “we did have Jack Cullen against Jason Quigley. Jason Quigley pulled out of that fight last night which was really disappointing to be honest with you.”
“It baffles me, some boxers that haven’t been able to get themselves ready… maybe I don’t know the full story. It was disappointing.”
Team Quigley did not comment at the time but the issue was brought back up again as part of the coverage of Quigley’s quest for the Canelo fight.
Speaking on OTB:AM yesterday morning, the 29-year-old explained how “I’ve been slated by a certain promoter that because I didn’t take the Jack Cullen fight that I can’t keep myself in shape over lockdown – but there’s always a bigger picture.”
“I thought it was very unprofessional of Eddie to come out and say that because he’s not my promoter, he has nothing to do with me, and for him to come out and say that – my promoters know me, I’ve never missed weight in my life, I’m always in shape, I’ve taken fights on a week’s notice before.”
“I was a little bit taken aback by that from Eddie. It was very unprofessional by him, the way that he came out and said it.”
“Anybody that does know me – and that’s why it didn’t fire up too much – because everyone was like, right away, ‘this isn’t what Jason does, there must be something bigger lined up’.”
“For Eddie not to understand that. I thought it was a little bit slack on his behalf. He knows this boxing game more than anyone, there’s always stuff changing in the background.”
“I had to bite my tongue anyway and stay quiet awhile because I knew there were bigger things on the horizon.”
“Yes, it got to me when I heard it but I just brushed it off then after it. But I know I’m going to come in shape, I know I’m going to come ready, I know I’m going to make weight, everything like that, and once the word comes out then that there was a possible fight against Canelo then Eddie will be like ‘maybe I shouldn’t have said that’.”
More kindling was then put on the fire yesterday evening during another Hearn interview with IFL where he laid out his version of events.
The OTB:AM footage was put to the English promoter who questioned how “basically, it was unprofessional for me to say that he wasn’t professional enough to be ready for the Jack Cullen fight? Then I don’t really understand it.”
“We gave him the fight with Jack Cullen, he agreed to the fight, his promoter agreed to the fight, it was all approved and agreed, then he said he wouldn’t be ready in time.”
“So that’s it.”
The DAZN and Sky Sports-backed promoter then dismissed the possibility of Quigley facing the Mexican megastar, stating that “Canelo isn’t going to fight Jason Quigley, he ain’t going to fight Tureano Johnson, I don’t believe he’s going to fight [Anthony] Dirrell.”
“The great thing about Canelo is that he’s a real champion and he wants to fight great fighters.
“You know who I believe Canelo wants to fight? Callum Smith.”
“He could go and fight Jason Quigley if he wanted to… not in a million years, he wouldn’t do that.”
“It wouldn’t be approved, I don’t believe,” he concluded cuttingly.