For Jason Quigley, Saturday night's fight against Edgar Berlanga will be one of the biggest tests of his boxing career.
To be headlining Madison Square Garden is one thing - to do so against a hometown favourite like New Yorker Berlanga, who is undefeated in 20 super-middleweight bouts, is an entirely different proposition.
Quigley has nonetheless spoken in recent weeks about his hope to surprise a few people on Saturday night and, speaking to Balls.ie this week, the Ballybofey man said that he hopes to prove the punters wrong.
Jason Quigley feeling confident ahead of Edgar Berlanga bout
Much has been said about the ability of Edgar Berlanga, as Jason Quigley prepares to take on the NABO super middleweight champion in his own back yard at Madison Square Garden.
This will be the first time Quigley and Berlanga will meet in the professional ring, with Berlanga 20-0 in his career thus far. It will take something special if Quigley is to hand Berlanga his first loss on Saturday night - but the Irishman has questions about the perceptions of his opponent:
He has been talked up to be Canelo, his next opponent, you know.
He's been talked up to be the next big thing in the super middleweight division and that's all well and good, social media wise, and, you know, out there in the public eye. But you actually look at on paper in black and white like his last couple of performances haven't been great.
Berlanga and his promoters Top Rank split unexpectedly earlier this year, and Quigley questions where that out-of-the-blue decision came from:
He left...I don't know, did he leave Top Rank or did they let him go or what way it worked?
But, you know, Top Rank is not going to let somebody go...if they thought it was the real deal, you know...
Don't get me wrong. He's a great fighter, you know, but, he's not the fighter that I think people are building him up to be. Yes, he had a great start to his career. You know, a lot of knockouts in his 1st 16 fights. I think he won them all by knockout.
But once he stepped up that level, that opposition to be side fighters, you know, he's gone the distance, he's been dropped and, you know, one or two of the decisions have been questionable. So there's going to be a lot of doubts in his head, you know, coming off those four average performances, coming off, changing coach, coming off, changing promotional team and he really needs to put on a show here now on, on June 24th.
It's been a turbulent buildup to MSG for Berlanga.
Not only did he switch from Top Rank to Matchroom, but he also changed trainers in the leadup to his fight with Quigley, and has faced controversy after an alleged bite in his last fight against Roamer Alexis Angulo.
When it comes down to Saturday night's fight, Jason Quigley hopes that his clear state of mind will be in stark contrast to Berlanga's buildup to the bout:
I know I'm going to get in there and give it my all and, and, and just give it absolutely everything I have put in a brilliant performance and come out of that ring with my head held high.
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