FORMER IRISH boxing chief Billy Walsh says he hopes that ‘real deal’ Jason Quigley can become a world champion.
Quigley is 12-0 as a professional since leaving behind the amateur game in 2014 to sign with Golden Boy Promotions in Los Angeles.
Walsh was the Head Coach with the Irish High Performance Unit during Quigley’s decorated days in the amateur vest, when the Ballybofey man won European titles at Youth, Under-23 and Senior level as well as claiming silver at the 2013 World Senior Championships.
Wexford man Walsh, who has since left Ireland to take up a role with USA Boxing, has talked about how he had ear-marked Quigley as a potential gold medalist at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.
“We were very sad to lose him too,” Walsh said in an interview with Vincent Hogan in the Irish Independent.
“Being selfish, I really wanted him to stay till Rio. We really had high expectations of him being one of our gold medallists in Rio.
“He was very unlucky to only take silver from those Worlds because he had to fight back-to-back wars whereas his opponent in the final had a walkover in the semi. Jason was exhausted by the time he got to the final.
“I wanted him to stay but his father had other ideas and, to be fair, the time might well come when he’ll say he was 100pc right. I just think, if he stayed, he could have got any signing-on deal he wanted after Rio.[adrotate group=”88″]
“Michael O’Reilly wouldn’t have been seen. He’d never have been near the programme. This guy would have been the man.”
Irish middleweight O’Reilly was sent home after failing a drugs test prior to traveling to Rio.
Two days before the Games got underway, O’Reilly and the IABA were notified of the alleged violation and the Portlaoise boxer was subsequently sent home and now faces a ban from the sport.[adrotate group=”53”]
Walsh worked closely with Quigley and he believes he has the necessary attributes.
Walsh said: “A real class act, lives the life. A gentleman inside and outside the ring. He just keeps working and working, will torment you until he gets something right. A really great pupil. I’d love some day to go and see him win the world title. He’s the real deal.”Tags: