Monday 5 December 2016

Quigley enhances reputation with impressive Vegas victory

Bernard O'Neill

Published 09/05/2016 | 02:30

Jason Quigley celebrates his unanimous-decision victory over James De La Rosa during the middleweight fight at T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas. Photo: Christian Petersen/Getty Images
Jason Quigley celebrates his unanimous-decision victory over James De La Rosa during the middleweight fight at T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas. Photo: Christian Petersen/Getty Images
Jason Quigley, right, throws a right at James De La Rosa during the middleweight fight in Las Vegas. Photo: Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Undefeated Jason Quigley impressed in his first big outing to improve to 11 straight wins in Las Vegas on Saturday night.

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The Donegal middleweight, fighting under Oscar de la Hoya's banner, took all 10 rounds to record a shut out 100-90 decision against the experienced James de la Rossa.

The Texas-based Mexican, in between absurd bouts of showboating considering his position on the scorecards, found the target with some shots which were a bit too close for comfort for Quigley's corner in Nevada.

But most of the crisper work came from the ex-Finn Valley BC man, who was the sharper and more focused fighter throughout.

California-based Quigley, the first Irish male boxer to reach an AIBA World Elite final, enjoyed his first ten-rounder.

"Absolutely delighted with the win," said the Ballybofey man. "He was also going to be tough and he has a lot of experience with over 20 fights going into tonight."

Both men met on the Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez versus Amir Khan undercard. Alvarez, who is promoted by de la Hoya, knocked out the Briton with a brutal right in the sixth round.

Khan defiantly insisted he was OK while he was taken to hospital as a precaution after his defeat by Alvarez.

The WBC champion brutally stopped Khan with a huge right hand to make the first successful defence of his title, inflicting the fourth loss of the 29-year-old's professional career and exposing him as a natural welterweight too small to convincingly compete at the catchweight of 155lbs.

The Briton hit the canvas so heavily it was instantly obvious the fight was over.

"I'm a natural 147 (pounds) fighter," Khan told host American broadcasters HBO after he had recovered, having spent a worryingly long time on his back before returning to his feet. "But this challenge came and it was very hard to turn down.

"I showed my bravery by getting in the ring with Canelo, but this is boxing.

"I wanted to go out there as a champion. I was unfortunate that I didn't make it to the end, but I tried my best and I want to say thank you for the support."

Meanwhile, Zhanibek Alimkhanuly, a man Quigley knows well, arrived in Dublin on Friday for a training camp with Ireland, Great Britain, India and Germany at the Institute of Sport in Abbotstown.

Alimkhanuly, who beat Quigley in the 2013 AIBA World Elite final, is one of nine Rio qualified boxers on the Kazakhstan side for the world-class Irish Athletic Boxing Association hosted training camp.

Ireland, featuring Rio 2016 Olympians Michael Conlan, Joe Ward and Paddy Barnes, meet the Kazakhs in a test match at Dublin's National Stadium on Wednesday (7.30pm).

Ireland and Kazakhstan finished in joint fifth spot in the medals table at the 2012 Olympics in London after claiming one gold, one silver and two bronze medals each.

Irish Independent

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