Sky Academy Sports Scholarships: Irish middleweight Jason Quigley maintains Rio dream despite pro offers
By Sam Drury - Follow on Twitter
Last Updated: 26/03/17 3:47pm
Jason Quigley has reaffirmed his ambition to fight at the Olympics despite offers to turn professional following his silver medal at October's AIBA World Boxing Championships.
The middleweight made history in becoming the first Irishman to go better than a bronze medal at the tournament, leading to a number of offers that would see Quigley join the professional ranks.
The Sky Academy Sports Scholar has made no secret of his desire to make the switch at some point in his career but the lure of the Olympic Games may yet see his pro dream put on hold.
Indeed the 22-year-old from Ballybofey in County Donegal believes that the differences between amateur and professional boxing are now smaller than ever.
"It's always been a dream of mine to go professional," said Quigley. "It's an ambition of mine to become a world professional champion.
"Amateur boxing at the minute isn't actually amateur boxing anymore, it is professional boxing. I'm just keeping my options open and the Olympics is still a big dream of mine, becoming a world champion is still a big dream of mine so my future is undecided."
The World Championships brought to a close a phenomenal 2013 for Quigley and despite being delighted with his silver medal he confessed that there will always be a part of him that is disappointed it wasn't gold.
The European champion was bullish though when reflecting on the final itself, showing the self-belief that has ensured his rise to the top of the world rankings this year.
"Looking back at it and the chance that I had in the world final, I'm always going to look at it as an opportunity missed because, in facts, I was nine minutes away from becoming a world champion," Quigley remarked.
"It's something you dream of, it's something you train for all your life and it just didn't work out for me on the day, it just didn't happen for me, the better man won on the day. And I'm saying on the day because it was on the day. I know another day, another time, I know I can beat this lad.
"Knowing that, too, is just giving me more confidence to go on. But when I look back and I see a silver medal at the World Championships, if anybody had told me I would have got a silver medal at the World Championships I would have taken it. Winning a gold at the Europeans and bringing back a silver from the World Championships is absolutely amazing for me.
"I showed a lot of disappointment afterwards and it showed how much it meant to me to get that far and be so close and just miss out," he added. "But to get that far is an absolute achievement in itself for myself, for my family and for my country.
"There's nobody who's ever done it before, it's something I'm going to go down in the history books for so it was an absolutely great tournament for me. It was disappointing not winning it but I'll be back."