BY CHRIS MCNULTY
JASON Quigley is continuing his countdown and preparations to next month’s World Championships in Kazakhstan at a home-based training camp with the Irish Elite Senior team.
Quigley is heading to Kazakhstan in confident tune and the Finn Valley ABC boxer is eyeing up a realistic tilt at the middleweight crown.
The 22-year old is unbeaten in his last 28 fights and has won the European Senior, European Under 23 and Irish Senior Middleweight titles in the last year.
In June, Quigley won his European title on a memorable week in Minsk, which included wins over two medalists from the last World Championships in 2011.
Quigley overcame Bogdan Juratoni of Romania in the European final, two years after Juratoni won World bronze in Baku.
But it was Quigley’s semi-final, a win over Ukrainian Evhen Khytrov that raised the eyebrows.
Khytrov is the world number one and was the gold medalists in Baku.
“Beating the world champion was definitely the highlight of the tournament for me and has given me a huge boost of confidence,” Quigley said.
“It’s shown me that I’m right up there with the best in the world.
“I went into the tournament knowing that the quality of boxers in it would be high but I was not one bit phased and just concentrated on my performances and gave it my absolute best.
“I went onto win the gold medal after four hard fights and beat the number 1, number 3 and top seed in the world who also happened to be the reigning World Champion.
“It was my first major senior tournament and I went into it un-seeded. I’m sure I was unknown to a few of the countries competing!”
The name of Jason Quigley is now on the lips of all the top names in the sport. Recently awarded a scholarship by Sky Sports that will take him to the end of this Olympic cycle, Quigley has committed his immediate future to amateur boxing despite rumblings of a move to the pro game.
Quigley was in France recently for a tournament with the Irish side and continued his superb form, defeating Adriani Vastine of France 3-0 and beating Pole Michal Kowalczik 3-0.
“I’ve had an amazing season so far,” Quigley, who also won gold at a multi-nations in Czech Republic this year, said.
“My first fights back after the Europeans were in a tournament in France. It was great to get back into the ring two months after my European gold. I won both my two fights there and performed well.”
Quigley has competed against Kazakhstan at a tournament earlier in the year. As well as Khytrov and Juratoni, the likes of Ryota Murata (Japan) and Esquiva Florentino (Brazil) will be among Quigley’s main rivals in Almaty.
Currently in camp with boxers from Australia, Poland and Scotland, the Ballybofey man can’t wait to get going.
He said: “We’re having a great camp and its great preparation before we set off to Kazakhstan for our final training camp. I’m really excited about competing at the World Championships.”