Friday 24 November 2017

Boxing: Quigley delight after cruising to European glory

Quigley: A stepping stone
Quigley: A stepping stone

Bernard O'Neill

Jason Quigley has been crowned European U-23 middleweight champion following a commanding 17-11 victory over German Elite champion Dennis Radovan in Russia.

But Hugh Myres had to settle for silver after he was edged out by a single point by Armenia's 2009 AIBA World Junior champion Kariun Sogomonyan in Kaliningrad.

Donegal man Quigley, boxing superbly on the counter, took the first two rounds 5-3 and 5-3 and also won the final frame 7-5 to seal an impressive win.

The Finn Valley BC orthodox, who was the 2009 European Youth champion and whose dad Conor and Zaur Antia were working in corner, was delighted to collect his second European gold.

"When I won the bronze here I was very happy to have my second European medal, but when you get to that stage you always want to change the colour and, thankfully, I did," he said.

"He was relentless, kept coming at me, but I stuck to the game plan my dad and Zaur gave me. We had a game plan for every fight and I stuck with it.

"I've had five hard fights out here. There's grown men and Olympians at this tournament. It was very tough and competitive and I'm delighted to come through it and win gold.

"Everything is a stepping stone for me now. My focus is now on the National Seniors in February and hopefully I can do well at the National Stadium.

"I thought Hugh did enough to win it. Unfortunately, it wasn't to be, but it could have gone either way.

"He did fantastically well to win a silver medal at his first European tournament."

Mullingar orthodox Myres, who boxes out of the Ryston BC in Kildare, was edged out 11-10 by Sogomonyan in an extremely close light-flyweight final.

The pair were tied at 1-1 after the first round and were locked at 5-5 at the end of the second to set up a tense final frame at the 28-nation tournament.

But Sogomonyan, who beat Ireland's Evan Metcalfe 15-14 en route to gold at the 2011 IABA-hosted European Youth Championships in Dublin, shaded the final round 6-5.

"Jason produced a fantastic performance against a very good opponent. I thought Hugh was very unlucky – I thought that he did enough to shade it," said Irish team manager and coach John Finn.

These latest gold and silver medal wins cap an outstanding year for Irish boxing, which has produced gold, silver or bronze at every Olympic, World, European and multi-nation tournament it has entered in 2012.

Antia, Finn and Quigley Snr were working Ireland's corner in Russia.

The Irish squad are due to arrive home through Dublin Airport at 9.30 this evening.

Irish Independent

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