Quigley puts title credentials on line against 'best' opponent of his career
Jason Quigley is eyeing up a world title shot within the next 12 months - but first must navigate the toughest test of his pro career.
The unbeaten Irish middleweight defends his NABF title tonight when he faces Tureano Johnson in Indio, California.
Quigley also puts his unblemished professional record - which stands at 16-0, 12 KOs - on the line. Johnson is winless from his last two, but boasts a creditable 20-2-1, 14 KOs record and his only two losses were at the hands of Curtis Stevens and Sergiy Derevyanchenko.
"Tureano is the best fighter I'll be in with in my career," Golden Boy Promotions contender Quigley says.
"This is a massive fight because we're both searching for a shot at a world title. He's had a world title elimination fight and put up a massive fight. We're both at a very high level in our careers."
After beating Derry man Eamonn O'Kane in 2015, Johnson was the mandatory opponent for Gennady Golovkin, but a bid to face the Kazakh superstar was ended by a shoulder injury.
Quigley says: "I have a lot of respect for Tureano. He was in line, at one stage, to fight Golovkin. I think he'd have given Golovkin a lot of problems.
"He's looking for a world title shot and he'll be 110 per cent prepared.
"Tureano has been to a higher level as an amateur and a professional.
"Not many men have that over me. He'll be a great opponent. He can box, he can fight and he has a lot of experience."
A stand-out amateur, Quigley's rise in the pro ranks mightn't have been as swift as he'd have liked, although he's now ranked fifth by the WBC, eighth by the WBA and 14th by the IBF.
Stunted by a hand injury, sustained during his first winning of the NABF strap against Glen Tapia in 2017, Quigley - now trained by Dominic Ingle in Sheffield - is content again.
He says: "Over the past while, I've learned to become patient and understand that I'm doing everything right.
"It's important that I stay patient now and make the right moves at the right time. Patience has paid off so far and there might be another hurdle down the line that I'll have to take care of.
"Right now, I'm at a stage where it's exciting and everything is starting to fall into place. I'm excited and looking forward to the journey."
Monaghan welterweight Aaron McKenna (8-0, 5 KOs) will not now feature on the Quigley-Johnson undercard. The 20-year-old will return to action in September or October, his management team - Sheer Sports - have said.