EXCLUSIVE BY CHRIS MCNULTY
JASON Quigley could make a swift return to action on April 2nd after his 94-second demolition of Lanny Dardar on Friday night in Los Angeles.
Quigley made it four wins from four professional fights as he comfortably put Dardar to the sword at the sold-out Belasco Theatre.
The Ballybofey man put Dardar to the canvas three times and it was a case of three strikes and out for the Louisiana puncher, a former Mixed Martial Artist, as referee Tom Taylor stepped in as Quigley caught him with a belting left hander.
Around 45 seconds in, Quigley stunned Dardar with a right and another cracking right put him down a second time.
The fight was a part of the LA Fight Club, a new series being promoted by Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions. This week, Quigley will sit down with his promoters and his management company, Sheer Sports Management, with a likely next bout coming on the April 2nd LA Fight Club night.
“The quicker I can get out the better and the busier I am the better,” a delighted Quigley told the Donegal News.
“I want to be as active as possible. Oscar said that if I want to be on every month that they put me on every month. It’s a great opportunity for me.”
The Finn Valley ABC star has revealed how he’s working with the coaches at The Rock Gym in Carson, California – his base – on his power, something that was evident as he rocked Dardar.
Quigley said: “I always had a bit of a sting, but I was never flattening boys. In the amateurs, I was always in on the toes, picking the shots and getting out of there. Now, we’re setting down more and we aren’t on the toes as much. We’re trying to make the punches hurt when they land.
“With the strength and conditioning coach, I’m not really working on biceps and triceps – it’s the muscles that are being used when punching. I’m working on a lot of different things.
“I’ve had a bit of a change in my diet, too. I’m eating spinach, green beans, avocado, all these kinds of things. I feel brilliant. I’m fuelling the body with all the right things and I felt great during the fight. I felt great in the build-up to the fight – I feel in the shape of my life at the minute.”
Dardar (2-3-2) became the fourth opponent – after Howard Reece, Fernando Najera and Greg McCoy – to be beaten inside the scheduled distance by the 2013 World silver and European gold medalist.
He said: “I knew that he’d be awkward and I knew he’d keep coming at me. No matter what I hit him with I knew that he’d not take a back step. I knew he’d keep coming forward. I knew that I had the power to stop him. Once I got him with the right hand, I could see it his eyes. I saw that the fight had gone from him. He stepped back and the eyes just looked down at the canvas. I had to capitalise on that. The quicker I got him out of there, the quicker I’ll be back in the ring.
“If I’d tried to get a few rounds in to work on a few things, he could have ran in, maybe cut me open or something if he landed a lucky one. You can’t take chances in this game. If you’ve the chance to take a man down, you take it.”
De La Hoya is keen to rise Quigley up the levels and the support for the Donegal man has his promoters excited about what the future holds should they get to bring him back across the Atlantic to fight in Ireland.
Quigley said: “They know what it’ll be like if I get to ten or twelve fights and come back to Ireland.”
Since the turn of the year, Quigley has deleted his personal Facebook page in a bid to keep his focus, but the messages of support that have flooded in have left him gobsmacked.
He said: “The amount of support is just unreal. I want to thank everybody at home for everything. It does get lonely here, but to see the support means the world. I know everyone back at home is behind me. My Twitter and Instagram were mental and it’s been amazing. I had to come off Facebook because it was like a direct line to me – it’s easier than if you had someone’s phone number.
“But everyone who has been in touch is just the best thing ever – with these people behind me, I know I’ll do well. It means so much to know how much support is behind me.”
Quigley was backed again by a vocal crowd on Friday night, including his girlfriend, April McManus, and Donegal town boxing coach John Gildea.
And they weren’t disappointed as Quigley took just over a minute and a half to end the contest. He said: “I went out and proved myself – just like I had to.”
JASON Quigley hopes to fight again later this year, as he continues his recovery from a broken hand.