Friday night will be a milestone for Jason Quigley as he steps into the ring to fight for a major world title.
His WBO World Middleweight title bout will be decided in Manchester, New Hampshire. Backyard territory for champion Demetrius 'Boo Boo' Andrade.
The champion is well respected across boxing circles for his unconventional style and professional record to date. 30-0, over half of those finished by knockout or technical knockout.
Someone who has garnered respect for Andrade is 'Irish' Micky Ward. The famous American boxer told Matchroom Boxing how he sees the fight playing out.
19 years ago Arturo Gatti vs. Micky Ward I went down. Round 9 was crazy:
— Spinnin Backfist (@SpinninBackfist) May 18, 2021
Quigley vs Andrade
"I know that the Irish fans are going to come out and they are crazy in the best way. If they are out in force it’s going to be loud, they are great fans and they get behind their guy."
"I’ve known Boo Boo for years, he’s the real deal, he always comes to win, he’s a born winner. I was telling him that this is the only time I am going to go against an Irishman as Boo Boo is my guy!"
Ward, who's most known for his trilogy of fights with Arturo Gatti, never fought in Ireland. He did fight three times in New Hampshire however.
One of those was a Ring Magazine 'Fight of the Year' with Emanuel Agustus in 2001. Ward's earlier career was portrayed in the Mark Wahlberg film 'The Fighter'.
"He’s (Andrade) an elite fighter but he’s also a great kid. I wish Jason all the luck in the world in the fight, he’s a great fighter too but Demetrius is my man," he said.
Many have talked about 'Boo Boo's' awkward style and southpaw stance that has thrown many a fighter off his rhythm over the years.
It's been a talking point for Andrade in the build-up. The American hopes to beat Quigley impressively, but he also wants to make a statement to other big names in boxing.
MICKY WARD: QUIGLEY’S GREAT – BUT ANDRADE IS MY GUY!
Boston legend believes Boo Boo will keep his title against Irish challenger
“I’ve known Boo Boo for years, he’s the real deal, he always comes to win, he’s a born winner,” said Ward. pic.twitter.com/WDt4aeCzxq
— The Last Round (@thelastround12) November 13, 2021
"He can switch, he’s got power, speed, he brings everything and he’s tough with a good chin, he’s the full package, an all-around great fighter that can adapt to any style," Ward said.
"I’ll be on Boo Boo’s side but I’m Irish and if it was any but Demetrius fighting, I’d be rooting for Jason but Boo Boo is like family to me, so I have to back him. Demetrius can really fight."
There's a quadruple night of title bouts ahead on Friday night. Murodjon Akhmadaliev defends his WBA and IBF World Super-Bantamweight titles against José Velásquez.
WBC World Flyweight champion Julio Cesar Martinez takes on McWilliams Arroyo (21-4 16 KOs) and Kali Reis faces the challenge of Jessica Camara for the WBA, IBO and vacant WBO 140 pound straps.