BY CHRIS MCNULTY
JASON Quigley got his professional boxing career off to a sensational start on Saturday in Las Vegas.
The 23-year-old Ballybofey man stopped Howard Reece after only 82 seconds of their middleweight contest at the MGM Grand.
“I’m absolutely buzzing,” Quigley beamed.
“I’m delighted to be on a show like this and win is unbelievable.”
Quigley, snapped up by Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions after he rose to the top of the amateur ranks, wasted no time in making a mark. De La Hoya, who won ten world titles across six different weights, has high hopes for the Finn Valley ace – and he showed just why.
Fighting out of the blue corner, Quigley – who had his father and coach Conor in his corner – unleashed a volley of shots that were just too much for Reece, a 26-year-old Irish-American who has now lost seven of his nine professional contests.
Quigley dropped Reece 45 seconds into the bout, which had been scheduled for four rounds. The smaller Reece recovered but only briefly as Quigley let fly and referee Jay Nada called a halt with just 1:22 on the clock.
For Quigley – backed by a big support from Donegal including his mother Muriel and sisters Holli and Jade as well as Peter O’Donnell, Paul O’Donnell and John Gildea, among others – it was a dream start to his professional odyssey.
Quigley has a five-year contract with the Los Angeles-based Golden Boy and this could be the start of something special for a man who has always harboured the ambition of reaching the top.
There aren’t too many boxers who start their careers with a win via a TKO in the first round – but Quigley has done just that.