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Dublin: 2 °C Saturday 17 March, 2018

Donegal's Jason Quigley to face hard-hitting Puerto Rican in long-awaited comeback fight

Jason Quigley has an opponent for his 31 March comeback from injury.

DONEGAL MIDDLEWEIGHT STAR Jason Quigley [13-0, 10KOs] will fight Puerto Rico’s Daniel Rosario Cruz [11-3, 10KOs] on his return from a year-long ring absence through injury.

Ballybofey’s ‘El Animal’, ranked seventh by the WBC, has been out of action since smashing his right hand in the second round of what subsequently transpired to be a battle of will against Glen Tapia this time last year.

He faces Rosario on Easter Saturday at at the Marina Bay Sportsplex, Quincy – just outside Boston – in what will be only his second bout on America’s east coast, where promoters Golden Boy are excited by the prospect of exposing him to the enormous Irish diaspora.

It will be the 26-year-old’s first bout since relocating from California to Sheffield, where he now trains alongside Kell Brook and Billy Joe Saunders under famed English trainer Dominic Ingle.

Jason Quigley is declared the winner Source: Eoin Mundow/INPHO

29-year-old Rosario has stopped 10 of his 11 victims early, and all three of his defeats have arrived either by majority or split decision – a rarity.

‘El Duro’ (The Hardman) typically campaigns a division below Quigley at 154 lbs, and was unfortunate to have been bested by American prospect John Vera on judges’ scores of 95-95, 96-94 and 96-94 in his last outing.

“It’s something I’ve always wanted in my career, and it’s been a dream I’ve wanted to fulfill, to fight on the east coast of America,” Quigley told The42 of his comeback.

I got a taste of it in my third fight [versus Greg McCoy]: I fought in Massachusetts and the first taste I got for it was the crowd – the fact that the place was packed for my fight, and by the last fight the place was half-empty again. Everyone had gone when the Irish guy had finished, you know?

“It’s hard to put into words what it means to me to be fighting back there again. Like, I’ll nearly feel more at home there than I would if I was fighting in Donegal! It’s going to be unbelievable.

“The amount of people that have been onto me already about booking their flights, booking their hotels, ‘When do the tickets go on sale?’ – everything like that, it’s unbelievable.

“It’s given me an extra bit of excitement, a bit of a buzz about this fight.”

Quigley-Rosario will be the co-main event to a Golden Boy on ESPN card headlined by local favourite Mark ‘Bazooka’ DeLuca [20-0, 12KOs] versus Cleveland, Ohio’s Michael Moore [15-1, 7KOs] in a light-middleweight contest.

Quigley’s former Irish team-mate, Ray Moylette [8-0, 3KOs], who starred on TG4 as the ringside interviewer during Saturday’s inaugural Last Man Standing tournament, also features on the bill versus Irish-American rival Matt Doherty [7-3-1, 4KOs].

‘I felt like I had lost my roots’: Jason Quigley is back with a Donegal vengeance

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