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Jason Quigley Picks Up First Belt After Tough Brawl With Career-Best Opponent

Jason Quigley Picks Up First Belt After Tough Brawl With Career-Best Opponent
By Gavan Casey Updated

Jason Quigley was taken into deep water for the first time as a professional but ultimately brawled his way through the storm and eventually cantered to victory over a career-best opponent in Glen Tapia.

The unanimous decision scores of 100-90, 99-91 and 98-92 in the undefeated Donegal middleweight prospect's were, as an overall package, grossly wide (97-93 or 97-94 would have been a fair reflection of a tough learning curve for Quigley), but El Animal picks up his first professional title - the North American Boxing Federation middleweight strap - and moves to 13-0 (10KOs).

Quigley rocked Tapia (now 23-4, 15KOs) with a cleverly-timed right hand halfway through the opening stanza, and sent the American gatekeeper on a merry dance back to his corner as the bell rung for the end of the same round, with legendary boxing trainer and broadcaster Teddy Atlas remarking that the 27-year-old Tapia resembled "a guy who was out too late on a Friday night." The younger Quigley was equally dominant in the second, but by the end of the third, Tapia gained confidence having survived the Ballybofey man's best work.

Quigley was visibly tired by the fourth and, mouth agape, came through some testing exchanges in the middle rounds, as Tapia sensed an upset might be on the cards. The Manny Robles-trained former European amateur champion and World silver medallist, however, battled to regain control of the fight, and took the last three rounds quite conclusively, sealing the deal live on Golden Boy's first new ESPN show, Golden Boy Boxing on ESPN. Unbeknown to the commentators, however, it seemed he did so one-handed, having barely thrown a right hand throughout the final nine minutes.

There was certainly an expectation in America that Quigley would put Tapia to the sword; 'Jersey Boy' had been stopped by his previous three conquerors, who include Canadian banger David Lemieux. A decision victory for Quigley, and the manner in which it arrived, magnified his limitations as a 13-fight pro, but may well stand to him within the overall context of his career; this was the type of fight that deepens the well into the which he can dig when he finds himself in the trenches again down the line.

It was a step up, and Quigley ultimately passed the test, but will in turn have tempered some of the expectations after his rapid rise since arriving in America to sign with Oscar De La Hoya's Golden Boy in 2014.

A win's a win's a win, but Quigley and his 'want' were examined beneath microscope of Indio, California's Fantasy Springs. The Donegal boy certainly wants it, but he might have to make a pit-stop at the drawing board on his way to the top.

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