Wednesday 28 September 2016

Quigley bids to keep flying high as Nevin stagnates

Bernard O'Neill

Published 11/07/2015 | 02:30

Quigley is looking to record a seventh straight win against American super-middle Tom ‘Hitman’ Howard in his first six-rounder in Los Angeles tonight
Quigley is looking to record a seventh straight win against American super-middle Tom ‘Hitman’ Howard in his first six-rounder in Los Angeles tonight

The momentum of the careers of two boxers who helped Ireland finish in second spot in the medals table behind Russia at the European Championships continues to contrast.

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Donegal's Jason Quigley steps up in class to meet American super-middle Tom 'Hitman' Howard in his first six-rounder in Los Angeles tonight looking to record a seventh straight win.

Both Quigley, who also won World silver in 2013, and London 2012 silver medallist John Joe Nevin turned pro after winning double gold for Ireland at the 2013 European Elites.

The 2013 podium finishes lifted Quigley to No 2 in the AIBA world rankings.

Ex-AIBA world No 1 bantam Nevin, who was only beaten in two Olympics by the eventual gold medallists, won his pro debut on St Patrick's Day in Boston in 2014.

But a few weeks later both his legs were broken in a horrific assault in Mullingar.

Odds

However, against the odds, he returned to the ring to win in North Carolina and Dublin in October and November last year.

But he hasn't fought since that Dublin bout, and his manager Tom Moran, usually forthcoming when it comes to future plans for Ireland's two-time Olympian, barely responds to enquiries.

Nevin is now 26, two years shy of when Limerick's current WBO champion Andy Lee challenged for and lost a WBC World title tilt to Julio Chavez Junior in El Paso in his 30th pro bout in 2012.

Undefeated Quigley (24) debuted with Oscar De La Hoya's Golden Boy in Las Vegas in July 2014 and has won six times, all by way of KO, on the bounce.

The Ballybofey orthodox has moved to California and says he's loving his life and career in the Golden State. De La Hoya keeps his boxing affairs ticking over efficiently.

He'll be expected to improve to seven wins from seven against Mississippi-born Howard, who has lost three of his 11 engagements, at the Sports Arena in LA tonight.

But Irish boxing waits for Nevin, who competes in a weight class not noted for Father Time hanging around on ceremony, to announce his next fight.

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