Boxing

Canelo in his sights... Jason Quigley starts second chapter against Shane Mosley junior

Donegal middleweight Jason Quigley takes on Shane Mosley junior in Las Vegas on Saturday night
Andy Watters

JASON Quigley was up at 4am to take in the Canelo v Billy Joe Saunders blockbuster 10 days ago and he admits he couldn't get back to sleep after he'd watched the Mexican pulverise the Englishman in Texas with that devastating right hand counter.

Not that long ago, Donegal middleweight Quigley was being mentioned as a possible opponent for Jalisco pound-for-pound superstar Alvarez but a surprise loss to Tureano Johnson put paid to that and threatened to derail his entire career.

“There's no excuses, I wasn't sick, I wasn't injured, I was beat fair and square on the night but – at the same time - that wasn't me,” says Quigley.

“If I had gone in there and given it my all, my absolute very best and got beat I think I would have been more upset because where would I have to go from there? But I know that wasn't the best I could give and that's what gave me the confidence and desire to keep going. I know there is a lot more in me, there's a lot more in the tank and I believe that's starting to come out now.

“This is my second career now, a new version of me and I have to do it on the night. I need to keep climbing and keep improving and everything will fall into place then.”

Two years on from that loss, Quigley begins the second chapter of his career with Andy Lee in his corner against Shane Mosley junior in Las Vegas on Saturday night. The Killybegs native has had one taste of defeat and doesn't want another as he prepares for a win that will propel him back up the middleweight rankings.

“I was buzzing watching the Canelo fight,” said Quigley.

“It excites me that the possibility of those kind of fights are down the line. It gets me ready and hyped up and that's what this sport is all about – if you're passionate and you really want something those emotions come along with it and it's all about controlling those emotions and channelling them.

“The Canelo fight was on the horizon at one stage. Back then one minute you were fighting the biggest fight of your life, the next it wasn't happening and you've no fight.

“I try and look at everything in a positive way and I couldn't control those situations. I was staying ready and in shape and if the call came I was ready to take it. You make your own luck in this game, I believe, and that's the mindset I've had over the last two years.

Quigley left for Vegas on Sunday. He has been training in Dublin with Lee and also had a few weeks in Morecambe, England at Tyson Fury's gym during Joseph Parker's camp there for the Dereck Chisora fight.

In his early days as pro, Quigley fought out of Manny Robles' gym in Los Angeles but later switched to Brendan Ingle's stable in Sheffield before linking up with Lee after the Johnson loss. The former European amateur gold medallist was touted as a world champion in waiting at the outset of his career and admits that the weight of expectation didn't always sit easily with him.

“When I turned professional it was a matter of: ‘When is Jason Quigley going to be world champion?'” he says.

“It was never a case of: ‘Jaysus, it would be great of Quigley could become a world champion or get a world title fight'. It was when, not if. There was definitely a sense of pressure early in my career but now I've matured and I'm able to handle it better.”

Mosley, son of former pound-for-pound star Shane senior, is 30 and has three losses on his 20-fight card. Two of those were by split decision and he has won four on-the-trot since losing to Brandon Adams in 2018.

“Mosley is a good fighter, he comes from good genes,” said Quigley.

“He has a lot about him, he's going to come very hungry, very determined and he's definitely going to come to win and that's what makes this fight so exciting for me. I know that I have a lad who is up for this – he's getting in there and we both know where this fight can lead for us and there's no question in my mind that I'm going to get in there, take care of business and move on from this.

“This is my second career now and it has kind of hit me that this is the stage I'm at. You get to this stage where fights are very important and this fight is very, very important for me now and my career.

“I know what it means to get in and win this fight and that's why I have left no stone unturned – I've done everything the best that I possibly could do and that's not going to change come fight night.”

STEPHEN McKenna didn't waste any time taking his record to 8-0 (all knockouts) with a fifth first round stoppage win in Coventry last Saturday night.

The Monaghan native pounced straight on Damian Haus from the opening bell and a left hook dropped the Pole who managed to get back on his feet before the referee's count of eight. McKenna didn't let him off the hook and another violent onslaught followed before the referee waved it off with eight seconds left in the round.

McKenna is now gunning for a showdown with Conor Benn and said: "I love to fight, I don't care who's there in front of me, I'm going to take them out with either hand.

“I saw that Haus was getting hurt with the body shots and I wouldn't let him off the hook until I finished him off. I'm pleased with the result but there is plenty more to come."

Afterwards a battered Haus said: "That is the hardest I have ever been hit in my life. I have never felt power like that before."

Earlier, Donegal middleweight Brett McGinty recorded the second win of his professional career with a points win against Dwain Grant.

Meanwhile, unbeaten lightweight Ciaran McVarnock returns to action in Sheffield on Friday night. McVarnock (10-0-1) hasn't fought since 2019 when he out-pointed Alex Bazza in Belfast.

He takes on journeyman Jamie Quinn (7-106-2) at Sheffield Arena.

TYSON Fury's court ruling that denied an undisputed world title fight against Anthony Joshua was not a surprise, says the WBC champion's former promoter Mick Hennessy.

Fury has signed a contract for a third fight against Deontay Wilder after an arbitration judge ruled that he should face the American next, disrupting plans for an undisputed world heavyweight title fight against Anthony Joshua.

The trilogy fight between Fury and Wilder will take place in Las Vegas on July 24, while Joshua has been ordered to make a mandatory WBO title defence against Oleksandr Usyk.

Hennessy, who guided Fury to a unified world title triumph over Wladimir Klitschko in 2015, said: “I wasn't surprised one little bit really, because you've got to realise that Deontay Wilder has got very, very capable and extremely professional people in Shelly Finkel and Al Haymon and although they haven't joined the circus, they've been sitting in the background, doing their due diligence."

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