Boxing

Andrade time is over says Jason Quigley ahead of middleweight title rumble

Jason Quigley celebrates after defeating Shane Mosley Junior by majority decision in Las Vegas in May
Andy Watters

DEMETRIUS Andrade has been WBO middleweight champion for three years now but (and not for the want of trying) he hasn't landed a fight with global superstars like ‘Canelo' Alvarez or Gennady Golovkin and Jason Quigley says ‘Boo Boo' has missed his chance.

Ballybofey native Quigley takes on Andrade in Manchester, New Hampshire on November 19 and intends to bring the elusive, awkward and dangerous former amateur world champion's reign to an end.

“He is a very avoided fighter,” said Quigley.

“He's a two-weight world champion and I struggle to see how he hasn't got the big fights. I think he deserves the fights with the likes of a Canelo or a Golovkin and he should have had them in his career.

“His best opportunity of having them is obviously when he has the world title and when he is the middleweight world champion but if he hasn't got those opportunities yet, I can't see him getting them in the future because I'm going to be in there to take that belt away from him. That's my plan, that's my game.

“I really respect him as a fighter, he is avoided because he has such a unique style – he's very different, you can't get many sparring partners to come in and emulate him. I think he is a world class fighter and I really respect him. He hasn't come up against the likes of me yet, I haven't come up against the likes of him yet.

“We have been working since the conversation started growing about this fight, we have been in the gym working towards beating Andrade.”

Along with coach Andy Lee, Quigley has studied Andrade in detail and says they have pin-pointed weaknesses in his armoury that 30 previous opponents, including Dubliner Luke Keeler, have been unable to exploit.

“He's very wild and reckless, he throws his head a lot and he's a little bit all over the place,” he said.

“He tires a lot in fights, his engine doesn't seem to be great but I'm expecting him to come in better than any of his previous fights and I know that I'm going to come in better than any of my previous fights and that's a recipe for one thing – a great fight.”

After a loss to Tureano Johnson in July 2019, Quigley faced an uncertain future but linking up with Limerick native Lee energised his career and his shoot-out win over Shane Mosley junior in May was the highlight of his career to date.

33-year-old Andrade is unlikely to engage to the same extent and Quigley predicts a battle of hearts and minds in New Hampshire.

“I believe this could be a very interesting one in terms of two styles trying to out-think one another and break each other down as the fight goes on,” he said.

“Andrade has a very elusive style, he likes to start fast but a lot of his opponents in the past just stood there and took shots – they didn't really move their head or their feet. I showed in my last fight that I can take shots and I can get up on my toes and dance around the ring and be skilful as well.

“I'm improving and adding to my game all the time and I believe that this fight could be very technical and it could also go into the trenches a few times. The stronger man mentally and physically will come out on top.”

MICHAEL Conlan's challenge for Leigh Wood's WBA featherweight title will have to wait until next year and, according to reports, it will be held at Madison Square Garden on St Patrick's weekend.

Conlan-Wood was expected to be scheduled for December but Nottingham native Wood underwent surgery a fortnight ago meaning a 2022 date had to be found. Promoters Top Rank (Conlan) and Matchroom (Wood) are still negotiations but it is understood that Conlan will challenge for the title at ‘The Garden', his home-from-home in New York.

The former amateur world champion made his debut at the Manhattan boxing Mecca and has boxed there three times since including a set-the-record-straight victory over Russian Vladimir Nikitin, the man who ‘beat' him at the Rio Olympic Games in 2016.

The winner of Conlan versus Wood is expected to go on to fight WBA ‘super' champion Leo Santa Cruz. Santa Cruz tangled twice with Carl Frampton who dethroned the Mexican with a superb performance in New York but then lost the rematch at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

SHAKUR Stevenson toppled Herring via 10th-round TKO to win the WBO junior lightweight world title and become a two-weight world champion at the age of 24.

Referee Mark Nelson stopped the fight with Stevenson winning by shut-out on two of the three cards and way ahead on the other.

“Around the fifth round, I was landing everything and then he started trying to come on," Stevenson said.

“I smelt blood. I saw he was bleeding and was like: ‘OK, I have to attack the cut. I was trying to touch the cut to make the doctor try and stop it."

Herring (23-3, 11 KOs) has made a career off of upsetting the odds, bouncing back from a pair of lightweight defeats to become a world champion. He defended his title three times including a stoppage win over Carl Frampton and had designs on derailing a potential pound-for-pound superstar.

“He's sharp and slick. His hand-eye coordination is very good," Herring said.

"No excuses. He was just the better man tonight."

As soon as the fight ended, talk began about Stevenson's next foe. The top name on his list is the WBC champion at 130 pounds, Mexican star Oscar Valdez.

Stevenson said: “There's only one fight left at the end of the day. It's the biggest fight at the end of the day. Oscar can't keep ducking. It's time for him to fight. There's nothing else to look forward to. The 130-pound division needs to unify. Let's get it on!”

Top Rank chairman Bob Arum added: “This was a sensational performance from Shakur Stevenson, who showed why so many think he's the future pound-for-pound king.

“Jamel Herring displayed the heart of a champion, but he was in there with an incredible fighter tonight.”

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Boxing