Quigley turns pro

Sky Academy Sports Scholar Jason Quigley turns professional and signs for Golden Boy

Last Updated: 23/04/14 10:01am

Jason Quigley: Turning professional having signed with Golden Boy

Jason Quigley: Turning professional having signed with Golden Boy

Sky Academy Sports Scholar Jason Quigley is to join boxing's professional ranks after signing up with Golden Boy Promotions.

The Irish middleweight, 22, is regarded as one of the hottest young prospects in world boxing after an explosive 2013 which saw him win silver at the AIBA World Championships in Kazakhstan last October.

Indeed, Quigley made history by becoming the first Irishman to fight for gold at a World Championships.

He narrowly went down to home favourite Zhanibek Alimkhanuly in the final, but claimed his country's first-ever silver at the tournament in the process.

In the aftermath of his success, Quigley had expressed his desire to fight at the 2016 Olympics in Rio, although he made no secret of plans to turn professional eventually.

"I'm just keeping my options open and the Olympics is still a big dream of mine," he stated. "Becoming a world professional champion is still a big dream of mine, so my future is undecided."

Excited

However, he has now opted to turn his back on the chance of winning a medal in Rio in order to make his way in the professional game with Golden Boy.

"I'm really, really excited. I've been contemplating whether to make this move or not, but I've gone with this feeling in my heart that I have the excitement and hunger to go on and fulfil my childhood dreams of becoming a world professional champion."

Jason Quigley

The US-based promotions firm - founded by Oscar De La Hoya - is one of the highest-profile and most respected in boxing and represents the likes of world champions Bernard Hopkins and Marcos Maidana.

Quigley said: "I'm really, really excited. I've been contemplating whether to make this move or not, but I've gone with this feeling in my heart that I have the excitement and hunger to go on and fulfil my childhood dreams of becoming a world professional champion."

As one of twelve Sky Academy Sports Scholars, Quigley had benefited from a tailored programme of support from Sky on his journey to the 2016 Games in Rio, covering areas such as finance, media coaching, personal development and mentoring.

"Having the likes of Sky put their faith and trust in me has helped me achieve what I wanted to do, it's give me a serious amount of confidence," added Quigley.

"To be involved with such a great bunch of athletes was amazing and I wish every single last one of them the very best."

Next step

Former boxing world champion, Johnny Nelson who mentored Quigley during his time on the programme wishes the Irishman well for the next stage of his career.

"Jason was one of our Sky Academy Sports Scholars because Sky saw something special in him," said Nelson. "Speaking to Jason on numerous occasions he craved emulating and bettering the success of one of his old amateur foes Anthony Ogogo and what better way to do that then with one of the biggest boxing outfits in the world, Golden Boy promotions. I wish Jason all the best for the next stage of his career."

Of course, Quigley's move into the paid ranks will see him leave the Sky Academy Sports Scholarship programme, but Head of Sky Academy Sports Scholarships Tony Lester understands his decision and hopes to maintain the relationship over the coming years.

"We totally understand why Jason wishes to take this opportunity to pursue a professional career," stated Lester. "Boxing is one of the rare sports where an athlete can trade up from amateur ranks to the professional ranks, and clearly Jason has proved himself as an amateur.

"A move to the pro ranks is the obvious next step in his career. We wish him all the very best and having him as a Sky Academy Sports Scholar was a pleasure, it would be great to maintain the link with Jason as he is now a member of the Sky Sports family and we'll follow his progress with great interest."