Boxing

Jason Quigley eyes Croke Park bout with Gennady Golovkin

 Quigley celebrates after beating Aston Brown in the AIBA World Boxing Championships Almaty in 2013
Picture by Sportsfile
Neil Loughran and Andy Watters

JASON Quigley versus Gennady Golovkin at Croke Park. Now that’s a fight to get your heart beating a little faster and Quigley says it’s “definitely a possibility”.

Los Angeles-based Quigley, now 11-0, is targeting both IBF and IBO champ Golovkin and WBC king Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez as he continues his rise through the world middleweight rankings.

The Donegal man wants to fight on home soil for the first time as a professional next year and predicts a stadium showdown with ‘GGG’ could happen some time after that.

“We’re looking forward to bringing big-time boxing back to Ireland – my dream venue would be Croke Park, it would be amazing to fight there,” he said.

“Me and Golovkin at Croke Park would be amazing, it’s what dreams are made of and I plan on making my dreams come true so it’s definitely going to be a possibility.”

But Quigley isn’t going to rush into a scrap with the hard-hitting Kazakh, who has 32 knockouts on his 35-0 record, or ‘Canelo’ (47-1-1) before he is good and ready.

“They are the world champions and I’m a prospect on the way up so these are the guys I’m looking at,” he said.

“I didn’t turn professional to have a few fights, earn a bit of money and get out of it. I turned professional to become the best that I possibly can and get all the belts that are out there.

“These guys are the boys that have them so they’re on my radar. But right now is not the time to fight Golovkin or ‘Canelo’. I’ve just had my first 10-round fight and I’ve only had 11 altogether and I have a lot to learn and a lot of experience to gain yet.

“But definitely these are guys that I will be gracing the ring with in the near future and taking the belts off them.

“Golovkin is a world class operator and ‘Canelo’ is too, I think ‘Canelo’ is fighting the better class of opponents but Golovkin is absolutely destroying the opponents he is fighting.

“Golovkin is the best out there at the minute and I definitely have him on my radar because he has what I want, he has the belts. Whoever has the belts is the guy I’ll be after – they have what I haven’t and I’m coming for them.”

Quigley (25) has fought exclusively in the US since he made his pro debut in 2014 but plans to make his Ireland debut next year.

“Golden Boy and my management have the plan for what they want me to do,” he said.

“For me it’s one fight at a time, every fight is a world title fight and I’ll get into the ring prepared for every fight as if it’s for a world title.

“I’d be hoping to get one or two fights this year and maybe a big fight in Ireland next year and a world title fight soon after that.

“But you have to start off somewhere and a place to start would be the 3 Arena in Dublin.”

Quigley’s last outing was a 10-round points win over 23-3 James De la Rosa in Las Vegas on the undercard of the Alvarez v Amir Khan middleweight title fight.

Quigley had never gone more than four rounds so going the distance with an experience campaigner was a valuable lesson for him.

“It was a massive step up for me on paper,” he said.

“Everyone was saying ‘it’s a big step up for you Quigley, this guy has a lot of experience, a lot of fights’ and I hadn’t been past four rounds and I’ve only had 10 fights.

“It was a big step up of course but me and my team knew I was well ready for it and I proved that as well on the night.

“Boxing-wise I don’t feel I learned anything massively from it.

“In the whole build-up to the fight he was a bit mouthy and dealing with that was a good experience but mainly just going the 10 rounds was an amazing experience for me, having the confidence to know you can go the distance and perform.

“In that fight I only used 70 per cent of what I have in me. I knew I had to go into the later rounds and when I hurt him or rocked him I held on to him and stuck to my boxing – I didn’t get involved in a big fight or anything – I just stop to my boxing because it was working well.”

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