Andy Lee has backed Jason Quigley to return better after suffering surprise defeat to Tureano Johnson in America last week.
The Limerick fighter turned respected pundit knows all too well how the Donegal fighter is feeling having suffered a similar high profile first defeat at a similar stage to Brian Vera back in 2008.
Lee suggests some tough moments and soul searching may await, but like he bounced back to eventually win the WBO world middleweight title – getting revenge over Vera on the way- he is confident the World Championship silver medal winner can return stronger.
The former world champ claims the bottom line is the Golden Boy puncher is a talented operator and advises that is what he should hold onto over the coming weeks and months.
“I have sent Jason a message and I have been supportive. The same thing happened to me in my 15th fight against Vera and it’s how you come back from it,” Lee said whilst on Off The Ball’s weekly boxing podcast Off the Brawl.
“That’s a hard lesson to learn and such a hard way to learn it. The same thing happened to me. My first headline fight on national TV against a guy was meant to beat the difference being I had Vera down and I went for the kill and punched myself out. Then he came on strong and I got stopped in a trade off.
“It’s not the end of the world he will come back and he can comeback. He is going to have to do it the hard way. It will be a test of his character. He won’t be getting the calls, he won’t be getting the opportunities. He is going to have to build himself up again,” Lee adds before claiming Quigley shouldn’t allow one bad night to define him or overly dent his confidence.
“Nothing changes. Jason is still a world class boxer. He is European (amateur) champion, Worlds silver medal winner and undefeated up to this point. There is a way back. This doesn’t change anything you have done before this. On his day he would beat Johnson. Hold that in the forefront of your mind.
“It’s by no means the end of the world for Jason Quigley. He is still a prospect and there is still an appetite for him.”
While he was supportive the Donegal favourite Lee didn’t appear to happy with Quigley’s team. He agreed with fellow former middleweight’s Matthew Macklin’s criticisms of those around the middleweight prospect, but seemed to direct a degree of ire the way of the coaching set up rather than the managerial situation.
The Kronk family member is adamant Quigley is capable of beating the Bermudian, who holds a win over Eamonn O’Kane, but was shocked he wasn’t prepared for the battle everyone knew was coming.
“I can’t believe that Quigley wasn’t prepared for that kind of fight with Johnson. What did they expect?
“You have a short guy who is an impressive fighter, fast and strong. Did they not do there homework. Jason should have had the tools and the skills to beat that guy. Being a boxer you have to have that kind of calm, that kind demeanour that when someone is up close you don’t panic or when your in there with him you know what to do. You tie him up, you punch with him or hit him with something so that he respects you and can’t walk into range at will.
“I don’t want to slate Jason he is down. This is not slating Jason.. it’s not about him, putting him in there with that guy and not being prepared for it. He looked tired after two rounds.”