BY CHRIS MCNULTY
JASON Quigley’s preparations for his sixth fight as a professional boxer almost came unstuck after a near escape from a protective mother bear during altitude training in California.
Quigley defeated Joshua Snyder last Thursday at the Fantasy Springs Resort in Indio to take his unbeaten record to 6-0 as a pro.
Less than two weeks before the bout, during their regular Saturday morning run up Mount San Antionio (or ‘Mount Baldy’ as it’s more commonly known), a peak situated in the San Gabriel Mountains, Quigley and his training partners came into close contact with their grizzly friend.
“I was running up Mount Baldy and I saw a wee bear cub lying dead on the side of the road,” the Ballybofey man said.
“Before I realised it was dead I was like: ‘Jesus, it’s a bear!’
“We ran up and when we came back down towards it, we went over to have a proper look at it.
“We just noticed that right behind the bushes where it was lying was the mother bear and she didn’t seem too pleased to see us!
“The guy who was running behind my had a Go-Pro on the front of his head. It was about six in the morning so it was dark. The bear was actually coming alongside us when we were running. It was unbelievable.
“He sent me the video from the Go-Pro and it was right next to us. I definitely hit a p.b that day on Mount Baldy.”
In the baking 40 degree heat at Fantasy Springs, Quigley KO’d Snyder just 44 seconds into round two of their meeting for the sixth knockout win since he entered the paid ranks in April 2014.
The 23-year-old former amateur star – who is back at home for a well-earned break – is aligned to Oscar De La Hoya’s famous Los Angeles-based Golden Boy stable.
Of his jaunts up Mount Baldy, he added: “It’s really cold up there because you’re 7,000 feet above sea level. There’s snow on the top.
“We don’t train much in the heat anyway because I’d lose too much sweat. Other than the bear, the training has been going really good for me out here!”
The next fight for the Finn Valley ace has yet to be confirmed, but a Boston bout in July looks a strong possibility.