Jason Quigley looks to pass Glen Tapia test in ESPN debut
Middleweight prospect Jason Quigley will look to pass the biggest test of his young career when he battles Glen “Jersey Boy” Tapia on March 23 in the main event of the inaugural “Golden Boy Boxing on ESPN” card from the Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, California.
Quigley, Golden Boy’s undefeated contender, is excited to kick off the new ESPN fight series, which will see 18 cards this year and 24 more in 2018.
Ireland’s Quigley, living and training in Los Angeles, comes into the fight off an impressive win in his most recent bout, scoring a first round knockout over Jorge Melendez on the Joe Smith Jr.-Bernard Hopkins undercard in December at The Forum in Inglewood, California.
Looking to rebuild his once-budding career, Tapia knows a win over a young prospect like Quigley would be a huge boost.
Tapia turned pro in 2008 and rattled off 20 straight wins in his first five years. However, in his first real test, against rugged Texan James Kirkland in 2013, he was stopped in six rounds. Since the Kirkland fight, “Jersey Boy” has gone 3-2 with the two defeats coming in his last two fights, both stoppage losses. Michael Soro stopped him in four rounds in May of 2015 and then power-punching Canadian David Lemieux brutalized him before ending it in the fourth frame, one year later.
After the Lemieux stoppage loss, some close to Tapia encouraged him to retire but he has decided to continue. So this fight will be the classic “veteran vs. undefeated prospect” scenario on the 23rd in Indio.
While the odds may favor Quigley, one of boxing’s strongest prospects in the middleweight division, both fighters know this bout will be a tough battle with a lot on the line for both the winner and loser.
A win for Quigley shows he is ready to take that next step toward his ultimate goal of a world title shot.
A win for Tapia rejuvenates a career that may be all but done with a loss.
In recent pre-fight interviews, both fighters expressed a clear understanding of what was ahead of them in their upcoming bout.
“2017 is going to be a big year for me and I can’t imagine a better way to kick it off than by headlining the first edition of ‘Golden Boy Boxing on ESPN,'” said Quigley. “Glen Tapia has faced some of the best in the middleweight and junior middleweight divisions but I am excited to show a huge audience what I’m capable of in the ring.”
While Quigley is excited to show the large TV audience what he can bring to the middleweight division, he has to get by Tapia, Passaic, New Jersey, who clearly knows his role heading into this fight. The latter’s position as a viable middleweight depends on an impressive showing against his Emerald Isle foe.
“I’ve been in Quigley’s position before, so I know exactly what he’s feeling,” Tapia said. “He’s trying to prove himself and he’s looking at me like his step-up. At the end of the day, because of my last performances, I feel like I really don’t have the privilege to speak on what I’m going to do but just know that I’ll be more than ready to show Quigley and the boxing fans that I am more than just a step-up.”
Does Quigley continue his trek to the title? Does Tapia turn things around?
Two motivated fighters, both with something to prove, will answer these questions, March 23 on ESPN.