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Donegal's Jason Quigley on brink of landing career-biggest fight in Las Vegas

Quigley is set to face Ryota Murata for the Japanese puncher’s secondary title.

DONEGAL MIDDLEWEIGHT BOXER Jason Quigley [14-0, 11KOs] is set to face Ryota Murata [14-1, 11 KOs] in the Japanese puncher’s next defence of his secondary middleweight belt in Las Vegas.

The 27-year-old Ballybofey native returned from a year-long injury layoff with a stunning stoppage of tough Puerto Rican Daniel Rosario at the end of March and is closing in on a 20 October showdown with Murata, 32.

2012 Olympic gold medalist Murata will need an exemption from the WBA to face Quigley rather than his mandatory challenger Rob Brant of Minnesota.

Murata holds the WBA ‘Regular’ title which, in the interest of clarity, is not a world title per se, but positions its beholder directly beneath the world champion in the organisation’s rankings.

The WBA’s reigning champion at middleweight is the consensus division king Gennady ‘Triple G’ Golovkin, and were Quigley to relieve Murata of his belt, a showdown with the fearsome Kazakh would surely beckon before long.

jason-quigley1 Jason Quigley Source: Lina Baker (@seeyouringside)

Sheffield-based Quigley is signed to Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions but, should he land this showdown with Murata, will be fighting on a card promoted by Golden Boy’s nemeses Top Rank, under whose banner Murata has boxed since turning professional in 2013.

The bill is likely to take place at Las Vegas’ Mandalay Bay per Dan Rafael of ESPN, where Quigley’s former Stateside gym-mate and Irish amateur teammate Michael Conlan is also likely to feature.

However, given it’s scheduled for 20 October, it will likely clash with Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom USA show in Boston. As such, Quigley will probably have to take to the ring in Vegas without Dominic Ingle, his trainer, who will be working the corner of WBO World middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders in his title defence against Demetrius Andrade on the other side of the country.

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Both Quigley (2013) and Murata (2011) were World Championship silver medalists as amateurs, but the Irishman turned professional two years shy of the Rio Olympics. Murata won gold at the London Games in 2012 with a controversial 14-13 defeat of Brazilian Esquiva Falcão, a brother of Quigley’s Golden Boy stablemate Yamaguchi Falcão.

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