Jason Quigley is set for arguably the biggest test of his career so far as he fights for the WBO middleweight championship on November 19th.
His opponent is champion Demetrius Andrade. The American boxer is 30-0 and will be looking to defend his belt for a fifth time, having won the strap in October 2018.
The Travelling Irish
Speaking to the media in Dublin this week, Quigley is relishing the challenge of going into enemy territory. However, he does expect it to feel a little close to home.
"Thank God the restrictions were lifted - as all of Donegal had their flights booked," Quigley said. On The Buildup earlier this month, he did say there was one slight problem.
"Just so everyone knows, it's Manchester New Hampshire, not Manchester England!," he laughed as people were getting mixed up.
"The support has been unbelievable. The amount of people who have booked flights already. The amount of people who have asked about tickets."
Quigley said people have got touch with him in New York about getting 'busloads' up to the fight. "People are just mad to get out there and support."
Fighting For A World Title
Having overcome the challenge of Shane Mosley Jr. by majority decision in Las Vegas in May, it put the Donegal native in line for a title shot.
Quigley has spoken in the past about a number of title offers that have fell through. He says they've helped shape him for this latest challenge.
"For me I am in the perfect stage of my life and my career to deal with this situation. I’m not the young kid caught up in the whole excitement of fighting for a world title."
"But at the end of the day this is just another fight though, of course, there is a lot more on the line. I am training my absolute ass off in the gym to win and that win will mean so much compared to other fights."
Irish Boxers Come And Gone
Opponent Andrade has a bit of history with Irish boxers. He faced Dubliner Luke Keeler in January of 2020 and won by ninth round TKO.
When it comes to WBO straps, there's plenty of Irish lineage too. Eamonn Loughran, Steve Collins, even Quigley's trainer Andy Lee.
Two years ago today, Andy Lee became the first Irishman since Jimmy McLarnin in 1934 to win a world title on American soil. #AndTheNew pic.twitter.com/Vea1cBFVlR
— Balls.ie (@ballsdotie) December 13, 2016
"Everywhere I go, everything I see is a WBO world title," Quigley said. "Even in the boxing gym in Raphoe, it’s Steve Collins with his WBO belt, it’s Andy with his WBO belt."
"Everywhere I’m looking it’s the WBO belt. Hopefully, it’s not always there and it’s around me as well in pictures up on wall."
Quigley is keen to emulate his peers and etch his name in WBO and boxing history. Demetrius Andrade stands between that for now.
The Title Holder
At 33 years of age, Demetrius Andrade is also a former WBO light-middleweight champion. He most recently defended the middleweight belt against Welshman Liam Williams.
Having put together an impressive 30 wins without a loss, and finished most of his opponents by TKO or KO, Quigley told The Buildup he was surprised he wasn't given one of the big names.
"Andrade, he's an unbelievable champion," Quigley said. "He's been a former world champion as an amateur. He's a two-weight world champion as a professional."
"The likes of Canelo and Golovkin are avoiding him because they're using that excuse that he's not a fan friendly fighting style."
"But deep down, you know, I think that they're threatened by his style and his technique. If I was Andrade I'd be disappointed that he hasn't got a crack at those big names yet."