BY CHRIS MCNULTY
THE WAIT is almost over for Jason Quigley.
The Ballybofey man will step upon the scales at the MGM Grand this week for the first time as a professional boxer, ahead of his pro debut on Saturday night at the famed Las Vegas venue.
The 23-year-old Finn Valley man has signed up with Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions and will have his first pro contest in a middleweight four-rounder on the undercard of the junior middleweight contest between Canelo Alvarez and Erislandy Lara.
Quigley has an open workout at the MGM Grand on Wednesday and will take part in a press conference on Thursday night ahead of Friday’s weigh-in.
Quigley’s preparations have been stepping up over the last few weeks.
Boxing legend De La Hoya has high hopes for Quigley.
Last week, De La Hoya tweeted at Quigley: “always remember that boxing is not a job, it’s a passion that you were born with. Can’t wait to see you July 12 in pro debut.”
Quigley has been based in Los Angeles, but hasn’t gone to Tinseltown for the sight seeing. He responded to De La Hoya: “that’s why i have come here oscar to follow my dreams and the passion within me. cant wait to fight night.”
Quigley had a stunning 2013 in his last year as an amateur.
He won the Irish senior and European senior titles before collecting World silver in Almaty when he lost out to Zhanibek Alimkhanuly in the final.
With pro offers coming in, Quigley took time to mull over his options but once he didn’t take to the National Stadium’s scales for the 2014 elite senior championships a move Stateside was always the likely endgame.
The pain of that defeat in Kazakhstan is driving Quigley on.
“It’s always going to be there, that defeat,” Quigley told the Donegal News.
“I think now that it might have been a gift that I missed out on it. I know how close it was and I can see how far I got. I think it might have been a blessing in disguise just missing out on the World title because I’m hurting deep inside.”
His father and coach, Conor, will be in the corner on Saturday night.
Mother Muriel and sisters Jade and Holli are set to travel out during the week, while a handful of supporters from Donegal, including Peter O’Donnell, Paul O’Donnell and John Gildea, will also be there to cheer on Donegal’s ‘Golden Boy’.