Donegal and Irish boxing remain on top of the world after middleweight Jason Quigley beat German Elite champion Dennis Radovan to claim gold at the European U/23 Championships in Russia on Tuesday.
Quigley is one of a number of top quality boxers from the county who have been part of a sport that is having a remarkable run at national level. This win follows on from the great Irish success at the London Olympics.
The Finn Valley Boxing Club ace, a gold medal winner at the 2009 European Youth Championships in Poland, was handed a 17-11 decision after the final bell of the 75kg final at the Sports Palace in Kaliningrad.
Boxing superbly on the counter in the face of Radovan’s constant aggression, Quigley, who had his dad Conor and Zuar Antia in his corner, took the first two rounds 5-3 and 5-3 to command a four-point advantage going into the third.
Radovan, as expected, threw caution to the wind in the third, but Quigley held his composure and kept picking up points on the counter to win that frame 7-5 and seal his second top of the podium finish in European competition.
“I’m absolutely delighted with the win, said the newly crowned champion, who was presented with his medal afterwards.
“When I won the bronze here I was very happy to have my second European medal, but when you get to that stage you always want to change the colour and thankfully I did.”
Earlier, Hugh Myres lost out in his bid for gold after being edged out by a single point in his light-flyweight final with Armenia’s Kariun Sogomonyan.
The 2009 AIBA World Youth champion was awarded an 11-10 decision after three tight rounds in Kaliningrad.
The gold and silver medal wins cap an outstanding year for Irish boxing, which has won gold, silver and bronze at every Olympic, World, European and Multi-Nation tournament entered in 2012
Great for Donegal
One of Donegal boxing’s top officers, Peter O’Donnell, has hailed the success as a great day for Donegal boxing.
“This is big stuff. Jason is a very modest fellow but he now as two European gold medals.
“Boxing is on a real high. This is a fantastic achievement and brilliant for the county. Jason is an outstanding ambassador for our county.
“He has won everything from U-11 up and we all hope that he can add a senior Irish title in the new year,” said Peter.
His path to that will not be easy with the likes of Darren O’Neill and Conrad Cummings and another Donegal boxer, William McLaughlin.
“The big aim for Jason will be the 2016 Olympics in Brazil, but every success is a great lift to the 18 clubs in the county,” said Peter.
Jason’s mother, Muriel, said the family were delighted with the success.
“It’s great for the family, for the club. It’s fantastic. He won all his five fights comfortably with big scores.
“All the hard work has paid off. He is so dedicated to it,” said Muriel.
“The National seniors in February will be a big target now and he will always be dreaming of Rio,” said Muriel, referring to the next Olympics to be held in Brazil in 2016.
“They are due home in Belfast tonight (Wednesday) but it will be very late. We are hoping to arrange a celebration for him in the Finn Valley Centre on Friday evening,” said Muriel.
Jason Quigley certainly deserved a homecoming. Winning gold at youth and U-23 level at European level is a major achievement and we can look forward to further success from the Finn Valley BC boxer.