Irish middleweight Jason Quigley (14-0, 11KOs) says recent discussions for a possible WBA world middleweight title fight have showed him how close he is to his dreams.
The Donegal man (27) was closing in on a fight with WBA middleweight belt holder Ryōta Murata (14-1, 11KOs) from Japan at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, but the governing body subsequently insisted that Murata face the mandatory challenger, Rob Brant.
After some time waiting and wondering, Quigley saw the possibility of a title shot in Vegas fade - but says his day will come soon.
“It was a great experience to be in negotiations for a World title fight and to be on the cusp of going for a shot like that,” he said.
“I was in touch with sponsors and was even getting a suit sorted for a press conference in Tokyo to announce the fight.
“I had high hopes and was excited for going to Tokyo for the announcement, for my first title fight in Las Vegas and, of course, it was disappointing when I realised it wasn’t going to happen.
“I believe that everything happens for a reason. Whatever path that’s laid out for me will fall into place, whether it’s God’s work or someone else up there. I do all the right things: I live a healthy lifestyle; I eat properly; I sleep right; I surround myself with good people. I think that can only come back to me in good ways.”
Quigley admits that the uncertainty around the fight was a frustrating experience, but has paid tribute to his management, Sheer Sports Management and promotors, Golden Boy Promotions.
He said: “I have a good team of people around me; people I can trust to guide me.
“I’m lucky that I have such a good relationship with my management team, Sheer Sports, and my promotors, Golden Boy Promotions.
“They made a not-so-smooth situation seem smooth. And it wasn’t smooth. It was all over the place. It was on. Then it was off. Then I was going to Tokyo. Then I was staying at home. I had a good team around me who were keeping me right.
“That showed me why boxers need managers, promoters and coaches to handle that side of things.”
Quigley had a comeback win over Daniel Rosario in Boston in March, after a year out of action having damaged his right hand in a 2017 win over Glen Tapia.
Quigley stopped Rosario in the sixth round at the Marina Bay Sportsplex and had been eyeing up an August bout in California when the world title bout came up.
He said: “I was meant to fight in August, but I had to pull out of that because, at that stage, the World title fight was happening. The only disappointment for me in all of this was missing out on a fight date in August. I’m in good shape, I’m confident and I’m sure that this has happened for the right reasons.
“This shows that I’m at the level to challenge for a world title. It’s great to be in that mix.
“I wasn’t planning for it so soon, but when opportunities like that come along, you can’t not take them. I took it and thought the title was there for the taking.
“Ideally, I’d want another three or four fights, but I wasn’t going to say no. This is who I am and what I am and this is where I went to get to. It was always going to be difficult to say no to a chance like that.”
Quigley is back in camp with trainer Dominic Ingle in Sheffield and hopes to announce his next fight soon.
He said: “Training is going great and my fitness is at the right level. I’m working hard with Dominic, John and everyone at the gym. I’m sparring with Liam Williams, who’s fighting in Wales shortly.
“I’m feeling sharp again. I’m ready to rock and roll. At this level, boxing moves quickly and you need to stay with the times and stay ready and active.
“We’re getting my next fight together and we’re well underway so there’ll be an announcement very shortly.”