BY CHRIS MCNULTY, RINGSIDE AT FANTASY SPRINGS
AS finishes go it was right up there with his best.
Jason Quigley went 6-0 in Indio overnight, by way of a stunning second round knockout win over Joshua Snyder.
The 23-year-old Ballybofey man landed the decisive blow 44 seconds into round two for his sixth inside-the-distance success.
It was an explosive finale by Quigley, who sent Snyder spiralling to the canvas with a vicious left hook, just for good measure following it up with a lethal right as the stars began to circle in the eyes of his opponent.
“There is no better feeling than hitting a man and seeing him go to the canvas,” he told the Donegal News afterwards.
“Whenever you drop him is a great feeling – I’m delighted.
“I caught him with the left hook and I could see his eyes hit the ceiling and his legs buckled. He was falling slowly so the right hand just came as well to keep him down; the right sort of came out of instinct.
“I’m very happy with the night’s work. I went in there and it was a step up in class against a guy with 21 fights and he’d gone the distance with a former world title challenger (Matt Korobov).”
Snyder came to the ring sporting a protective black sleeve on his right arm which ringside officials double-checked was permitted before the bell rang.
Quigley had enjoyed the better of the opening stanza, landing a serious of brutal blows to the body of the 35-year-old Snyder, who took his punishment without ever seeming a threat to Quigley, who came back through the ropes unmarked.
He said: “The plan was to go for the body. He’s in his mid-30s so I wanted to work the body and see what kind of shape he was in, what kind of fitness he had.
“I wanted to break him down, but because it a four-round fight I had to work the head to make sure I was getting the points in the judges’ eyes.”
The win represents another impressive night at the office for the former amateur standout, who could hardly have asked for a better start to his professional career.
Quigley came into the bout after a clean sweep of five wins from his opening five bouts and on the back of two March triumphs, the last of them at this venue when he stopped Tolutomi Agunbiade after just 1 minute and 41 seconds.
Only Fernando Najera has gone anyway close to going any sort of distance with the Donegal star, but even he retired on the stool after three rounds last August.
In April 2010, Snyder had gone the distance – but lost on a unanimous decision – with Matt Korobov, who lost to Andy Lee in December for the vacant WBO middleweight crown in Las Vegas.
Snyder – who came into the contest on a five-fight losing streak – felt the full wrath of Quigley’s 161.4lbs and it put an end to any fears that the Maryland-based puncher might have been capable of asking some testing questions of the Golden Boy Promotions prospect.
The bout had originally been scheduled for six rounds, but Fox Sports’ coverage meant it had to be cut to a four-rounder. With Snyder having had 21 previous contests there was a danger that he could have used that experience to outfox Quigley – but he never got the chance.
Quigley said: “Getting into the ring I was thinking: ‘This is going to be tough’. The guy is durable and he went the distance in eight-round fights.
“It was a bit of a step up in class and I expected to maybe have to go the distance.
“He didn’t have the amateur experience that I do. I’m used starting fast, getting in there and catching the judges early on. That’s what I wanted to do tonight, get the jab going, dictate the pace and hold the centre of the ring.”
With Snyder upon the Fantasy Springs canvas, it was left to the referee, Pat Russell, to do the formalities and confirm Quigley as the victor, much to the delight of the sizeable Donegal contingent inside the venue.