Irish Boxing has a long, rich, history of producing some of the best fighters in the world. Exposure to Irish boxing has been rare in recent years. Thanks to the recent success of Irish boxing greats such as Katie Taylor, and Carl Frampton, that void is about to be filled. There is a new crop of upcoming Irish boxers ready to explode on the scene.
We will explore the rise of 2 highly anticipated up and coming Irish boxers, Michael Conlan, and Jason Quigley.
No Disputing The Undefeated #1 Contender
After a boxer’s 30th birthday, it may seem odd to refer to them as up and coming, but when it comes to Michael Conlan, there is an exception to every rule.
Michael John Conlan, was born in Belfast, Ireland. Conlan turned professional in 2016 after winning the gold medal at the 2015 (AIBA) World Championships. Conlan did not simply appear on the scene or magically step into Professional Boxing. Conlan paid his dues in the Amateur ranks, and his track record shows it.
Conlan, the 3-time flyweight champion, debuted at the 2012 London Summer Olympic Games. After a bye and a slim victory on points in the semi-finals, Conlan won the Bronze medal, earning the respect and drawing the eyes of the boxing world.
How could anyone who follows the sport of boxing, or calling themselves a fan, justify ignoring this man’s obvious path to a career in Pro Boxing? All Conlan had done from the time he entered the boxing ring as an amateur was win.
Take a quick look at Conlan’s Amateur resume. He has won silver at the 2013 European Championships, gold at the 2014 Commonwealth Games, gold at the 2015 European Championships, Gold at the 2015 World Championships, all before a loss in the quarter-finals 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
The Irish are a passionate and proud fan base, and it is no surprise that one of their own sons, Conlan, has his own history of controversial moments that have not slowed his growth, but fueled it.
Lately, Conlan has not only become a well known fighter, but also a betting favorite. However, before you jump on the bandwagon and place a bet yourself, take a close look at how boxing betting works.
As previously mentioned, Conlan failed to make the semi-finals of the 2016 Olympics. Conlan and his camp contend corruption and voiced displeasure with the judges’ decisions at the Games. It was not the first time Conlan maintained that all amateur boxing judges were corrupt and gave double middle-fingers to the judges after they rendered their scores.
There is one incident that has possibly put a stain on an otherwise promising career as a pro, and that is when Conlan was busted for illegally placing bets on boxing events at the 2016 Olympic Games. Rightfully so, Conlan was seriously sanctioned and punished by the Disciplinary Committee of the I.O.C..
Conlan is undefeated in his 16 professional fights. There is an even split of the wins, 8 came via the knockout, and the other 8 by decision. Today Conlan holds the Interim WBA Featherweight title and awaits his next big moment.
From One Golden Boy To Another
When searching for upcoming Irish boxers, fans should look no further than at Jason Quigley. Quigley shot up the amateur ladder ranking system to become number one in the AIBA (International Boxing Association) world and European amateur lists.
Quigley collected a lot of medals boxing as an amateur in international and European competitions. After winning gold medals in several European amateur championships, Quigley decided to turn pro after getting a silver medal at the World Amateur Boxing Championships in Almaty, Kazakhstan.
The 6’ 1” Quigley has a reach over 71 inches, has 2 defeats in 21 career professional fights, 14 of the wins came by knockout. He also had 5 decisions, the most notable coming in May of 2021 against Shane Mosley Jr.
According to legendary fighter, and Golden Boy Promotions founder and president Oscar De La Hoya, “Quigley has what it takes to be a champion…that’s why we signed him!” That is extremely high praise coming from De La Hoya, widely respected as one of the greatest boxers of all time.
The 30 year old Quigley had a bout on November 19th 2021 for the WBO Middleweight bout, losing in a 2nd round TKO to the United States’ Demetrius Andrade. Quigley has come a long way from his first professional fight 2014 as a middleweight, a match which he won in 82 seconds with a TKO.
Ireland boasts a long tradition of producing some of the world’s best boxers. Irish-born boxers have grabbed title belts in all classes and divisions. The sheer dominance of female boxer Katie Taylor, currently holding titles for over 2 years as the WBA lightweight champion, the IBF, WBO, WBC, and Ring Magazine titles. Today Michael Conlan is the number one contender in the WBA featherweight rankings.