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Donegal's Jason Quigley overcomes early injury to win first pro title

El Animal had to work hard, but overcame Glen Tapia to take a unanimous decision and the NABF title in California last night.

Quigley celebrates his win in May's bout against James de la Rose.
Quigley celebrates his win in May's bout against James de la Rose.
Image: Eoin Mundow/INPHO

Chris McNulty reporting from Fantasy Springs Resort, Indio

JASON QUIGLEY HAD to earn his corn last night en route to his first professional title.

It wasn’t quite how he might’ve wished it, but Quigley is the new NABF middleweight champion thanks to a unanimous decision win over Glen Tapia at Fantasy Springs.

In a sold-out, compact arena, the Donegal man had to overcome not only a rugged Glen Tapia, but an injury to his right hand in the second round.

Quigley, though, captured the belt after taking the 100-90, 99-91, 98-92 decision of the ringside judges.

It certainly wasn’t as one-sided as the first two called it, though Quigley was the definite winner.

The win takes Quigley to 13-0 as a pro as he went the ten-round distance for the second time as a pro.

Quigley injured his right hand in the second round and it was clearly troubling him as the rounds ticked by. In the latter verses, the right was practically stationary, but he jabbed his way to regain a command.

Quigley was well in command in the early rounds and, at one point, Tapia looked in real trouble.

A stoppage appeared imminent. Tapia was rocked a couple of times in the first round and seemed unsteady in the second when Quigley connected with a blistering blow to the body.

The crimson was coming from Tapia, but the ‘Jersey Boy’, who had suffered two career-damaging losses in his last two visits to the canvas, came out strong in the middle stanzas.

He shaded a couple of those but Quigley, even if he was inhibited by that damaged right hand, regained the hold by the last two rounds, by now the Ballybofey man was sporting a swollen left eye.

Tapia sensed that he needed a knockout and came out swinging hard, but Quigley used the jab well and dodged the bullets that were coming hard and fast.

The NABF had paved a path for a fine list of previous winners – among them Andy Lee. In 2011, Lee captured this belt with a win over Alex Bunema.

David Lemieux and Kelly Pavlik, like Lee, went onto win world titles after winning the NABF middleweight crown, also held at a stage by Curtis Stevens and Fernando Guerrero.

Now, it is Quigley who has that strap across his left shoulder.

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