BY CHRIS MCNULTY
JASON Quigley goes for gold in Russia tomorrow at the European under 23 Boxing Championships – after guaranteeing himself at least a silver medal today.
After defeating home favourite, the Russian Maksim Timofeev, 15-13 in today’s semi-final, Quigley fights German Deniss Radovan in tomorrow’s final.
Quigley has been in sharp form in the Championships and is within touching distance of a second European gold – three years after he won the European Youth Championships in Poland.
Standing in his way is Radovan, a highly-rated customer who is no stranger to Irish opposition. Earlier this year, Kilkenny middleweight Darren O’Neill beat Radovan in Germany at a round robin tournament and last year O’Neill – the captain of the Irish Boxing Team at the London Olympics – fought and defeated Radovan in France.
It’s expected that the southpaw O’Neill will be giving Quigley’s corner some tips ahead of tomorrow’s final.
The Finn Valley ABC man has lit up the middleweight division. He entered medal territory on Saturday thanks to a 12-9 quarter-final win over the Moldovan Victor Carapchevschii at the Sports Palace, Kaliningrad that booked a bronze.
In today’s semi, Quigley used his height and reach advantage to good effect.
Scoring almost exclusively with right backhands, Quigley took the first two rounds 5-4 and 7-3, but ceded two points after receiving a harsh public warning for holding in the third, a round which Timofeev won 6-3
Two-time Irish Elite senior finalist Quigley opened his European account last Tuesday with a comfortable 16-3 win over Hungarian Adam Grabecz.
On Thursday, the Donegal orthodox blasted his way into the quarterfinals following a demolition of Deniss Kormilin from Estonia.
Powerful Quigley forced Kormilin into standing counts in the first and third rounds. The Estonian didn’t lie down, but the on-song Quigley entered medal possibility as a series of crisp shots scored him a 19-7 win.
And he was in medal territory after Saturday’s success over Carapchevschii.
Now, he’s got a golden dream that could become a reality tomorrow.
Ireland is guaranteed at least two medals from the Championships – tomorrow, Hugh Myres fights in the 49kgs final.
JASON Quigley hopes to fight again later this year, as he continues his recovery from a broken hand.