Jason Quigley takes silver in World Championships
Heartbreak for Irish boxer as ‘top class operator’ Alimkhanuly halts dreams of gold
Middleweight Jason Quigley takes silver as Zanibek Alimkhanuly of Kazakhstan proves tough opponent. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho
Jason Quigley in action against Zanibek Alimkhanuly during the Middleweight final. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho
Ireland’s boxing World Championships in Almaty closed with a silver medal from Jason Quigley, who lost in his middleweight final to Kazakhstan’s Zhanibek Alimkhanuly.
The Irish boxer, in his first year as a senior international, fell to a unanimous decision by all three judges after an early knock down sent him to a chasing game for the fight. A disconsolate Quigley, while pleased with his work over the two weeks, was disappointed with the final outcome.
“It’s just a shame I still wanted to go a step further. It was a dream of mine from day one. Not only my dream but the family know everything I put into the sport… and everything they put into it as well,” said Quigley.
In the aftermath, it was hard for the 22-year-old to realise just what he had achieved and also what he may have learned from the fight, as no other Irish male boxer has ever won a silver medal at World Championship level.
But nor can the Donegal boxer have any doubts about the out come against a talented and tough opponent. It took the Kazakh just one minute and 39 seconds to turn the fight in his favour when a hook landed plumb and Quigley was on the canvas.
While he wasn’t badly hurt, the referee gave him a standing count and he knew then he was chasing the first round. But Alimkhanuly bagged that before a second three minutes that was equally as rough.
In some of the early exchanges Quigley landed well but both fighters were scoring and with 5,000 voices cheering for the local man, it seemed Quigley would have to produce something extraordinary to earn gold. But as Quigley knew, Alimkhanuly was durable and fast and while he bravely went toe to toe in the third round knowing that a KO was his only hope, the Kazakh stayed the pace too, knocking the Irishman back as often as he was rocked.
There were no complaints about the verdict. “I knew before I got in there that he was a good lad,” added Quigley. “When you come to these championships you don’t want to go away and look at things, you want to be happy with the way it went.
“If anyone had have said to me you are going to win a medal out here I’d have taken the arms off them and to get to the final and be beaten by a lad like that…he was a top class operator. It’s just heartbreaking, you know.”