Ten years on from a breakthrough year that catapulted him under bigger spotlights for the first time, Jason Quigley is ready to take on the world.
Quigley, ranked now in the upper echelons of both the WBC (7th) and WBA (11th), is unblemished in his 15-fight professional career and currently holds the NABF middleweight belt, which he successfully defended in his last fight against Freddy Hernandez.
Picture: Jason Quigley on his way to winning the Irish Youth title in 2009.
Quigley missed a full year from March 2017-March 2018 owing to an injury to his right hand, while 2018 was stop-start having had a WBA world title shot against the belt holder, Ryota Murata, snatched at the last moment.
The Ballybofey man has been back in camp with trainer Dominic Ingle in Sheffield for the last couple of weeks and is expecting some big nights and big fights in 2019.
“Ready to make my mark,” he said this week on social media as he got down to work in Wincobank.
Quigley was a promising underage puncher who was already collecting titles by the bucket-load by the time 2009 arrived.
The year started with victory in the Danas Pozniakas Olympic Youth Tournament in Vilnius, Lithuania. Wins over Andras Palaima (Lithuania), Vit Kral (Czech Republic), Andrbj Polhovski (Bulgaria) and Deimantas Mickevicius (Lithuania) gave Quigley the gold.
In 2008, Quigley had scooped a hat-trick of Irish titles, at U21, Youth and Intermediate levels.
In May 2009, he retained his Irish Youth welterweight crown with a third round stoppage of Gary Murphy from Dublin Docklands.
That win qualified Quigley for the European Youth Championships – and it was in the Polish city of Szczecin that the world got a glimpse of its future.
Quigley was never behind during his five bouts and was named Boxer of the Tournament as he won the first of three European titles he lifted as an amateur – later winning U23 and Elite Championships on the continent.
In Szczecin, he put Joni Polishsuk (Finland), Paraschiveanu Catalin (Romania) and Muratacan Bugra Oner (Turkey) away to get among the medals.
Bronze became silver with an emphatic win over Georgia’s Dgaba Hositashili.
Quigley took gold with a 6-1 points win over Emil Ahmadov of Ajerbaijan in the final.
It was a lightbulb moment for the Finn Valley ABC puncher, who at that moment effectively became a full-time boxer. Training out of the High Performance base in Dublin, he attended school at St Columba’s College, Stranorlar one day a week, yet still wore the ‘Head Boy’ badge, such was his standing in the corridors up Drumboe Avenue.
Having ended 2009 by winning a Multi-Nations in Tel-Aviv, Quigley was pipped to Irish Elite titles by Darren O’Neill in 2010 and 2011. After losing out to William McLaughlin of Illies in 2012, Quigley returned with a vengeance.
2013 saw him win Irish and European Elite titles and a silver medal at the World Elite Championship saw him remove the amateur vest.
It’s ten years on, but he could trace much of the success of now back to 2009. The professional journey, in many ways, remains in its infancy, but the sanctioning bodies and various other contenders are uttering the name of Jason Quigley around their tables now.
“Only 1 thing on my mind,” Quigley says.
He knows it.
They all know it.