BY CHRIS MCNULTY
JUST three weeks after clinching his first-ever Irish senior title, Finn Valley ABC boxer Jason Quigley fights tomorrow for a silver medal at the Usti nad Labem Grand Prix in the Czech Republic.
Quigley, the 21-year old from Ballybofey, recorded a landslide 20-6 win over Czech boxer Vit Kral yesterday evening in a quarter-final that has now guaranteed the local man at least a bronze medal.
Tomorrow evening, he lines up against the Chinese boxer, Zhou Yunfei, in the middleweight semi-final of the Grand Prix, a mult-nations tiurnament held in the north Czech city of Usti nad Labem.
Quigley has been in a rich vein of form of late. In December, he defeated the German Elite champion Dennis Radovan to win a gold medal at the European Under 23 championships, before claiming a 15-6 win over Roy Sheahan to collect the National Senior Elite Middleweight title at the National Stadium last month.
Now, he stands on the verge of yet more continental success at the tournament in the Czech Republic, for which Ireland named a star-studded squad of eight boxer, including six current Elite champions: Quigley, Michael Conlan, Sean McComb, Ross Hickey, Adam Nolan and Tommy McCarthy.
Double Olympic bronze medalist Paddy Barnes has recovered from injury to line up at 52kgs while Quigley’s middleweight nemesis Darren O’Neill – whom he beat in the quarter-finals of this year’s senior championships – is competing at light-heavyweight.
On Wednesday, Tommy McCarthy also book a place in the semi-finals when he defeated Eugenijus Tutkus from Lithuania on a countback.
Quigley needed no such decision after an emphatic 20-6 win having been 12-4 up as he answered the final bell.
The Irish team is joined by Donegal referee and judge, Sadie Duffy.
Meanwhile, Quigley and Willie McLaughlin from the Illies Golden Gloves club have been named on an Irish team that faces France in the second of two fight nights between the countries at the Odyssey Arena in Belfast on Sunday May 5th. The first takes palce at Millstreet, Cork, on Friday May 3rd.
Katie Taylor, the Olympic gold medalist, fights Estelle Moselly on both nights.
Quigley and McLaughlin join a star-studded team of Paddy Barnes, John Joe Nevin, Michael Conlan and Joe Ward for the Belfast bouts.
“This international comes just after our boxers will have completed a period of intense preparation culminating in a two week training camp in Kazakhstan so they will be in peak condition and the French team also sees this match as key to its preparations for the European Finals a month later,” said the IABA head coach, Billy Walsh.
Tickets, available for purchase on www.ticketmaster.ie and www.ticketmaster.co.uk from 10am on Tuesday, March 12 th are priced as follows: Inner Ring £105, Category 1 £95, Category 2 £85, Category 3 £75, Under 14 Tickets £30 (2 per adult ticket)*, Category 4 £60 (*There is a set allocation of these tickets available).
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