By Marc Livitz: Jason "El Animal" Quigley hand his hands full at the Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, California on Thursday evening in the form of Glen "Jersey Boy" Tapia. Although the fighter from Donegal, Ireland who now calls Southern California home prevailed by unanimous decision, he was pushed to the outer limits for the first time in his thirteen fight career. The vacant NABF middleweight title was at stake as part of a Golden Boy Promotions showcase televised live on ESPN in the United States.
Quigley (13-0, 10 KO’s) was the clear aggressor from the opening bell. Tapia (23-4, 15 KO’s) moved his body but not his head, which allowed Jason to connect early and often. A short right hook noticeably wobbled Glen in the closing seconds and left him with a bloodied nose. "El Animal" Quigley continued the push to end the bout early with easily connected rights set up by a snapping left jab. Tapia fought back at times in the second. A body shot combined with off balance footing momentarily sent him on the retreat. He came out swinging in round three and this allowed him to land his left jab, only to be answered with a quick one-two to the head from Quigley. They went toe to toe in the final minute and Jason at last began to throw shots to the body.
Jason tried to box a bit more in the fourth and use his skills to counter Tapia’s sense of desperation. The Irishman jabbed to keep the distance but he appeared to be succumbing to fatigue as his mouth was taking in breath after breath, which allowed Glen to have his best round of the contest. The New Jersey fighter landed a few successful combinations to the head and body. The pace had slowed in the fifth but still had several power shots of note, as no jabs appeared to be in the plans. Glen Tapia looked as if he was waiting for his opponent from Donegal to run out of energy and his right hand landed a few times. By this time, both men appeared very tired in comparison to twenty minutes earlier. Quigley’s jab was almost looked telegraphed and his left hook didn’t carry the same power as before. His foe from Passaic appeared to be the more seasoned fighter, as his record of twenty six fights compared to Jason’s twelve would suggest.
Quigley was hitting, yet not hurting Tapia as the seventh commenced. As the round wore on, he was fighting with his hands at his sides. He connected with a nice overhand right hook before a brief flurry ensued, although each shot landed brought head shakes of denial from his adversary. Round eight was much of the same. They both looked ring worn and no longer crisp with their punches. Jason couldn’t decide whether he preferred to use his jab, counter or get in close for the possible knockout. Glen was there for whatever came his way and he looked to capitalize on mistakes. As he sat in his corner leading up to round nine, referee Jack Reiss informed him that if he didn’t show some improvement, then the contest would be stopped.
The bout didn’t look at all to be one sided and certainly not enough to be halted early, yet Glen didn’t show a load of desire to change the tides. Quigley opted to box for almost the entirety of the ninth. It was pretty much a wasted three minutes from New Jersey boxer Tapia. The tenth and final round began as a tactical battle. Tapia followed Quigley around the ring, who used his jab to keep him away. They’d make it to the last bell and the ringside judges would hold the decision for a bout that said a lot for each fighter. Neither one could really do much to improve their respective boxing resumes.
Scores of 100-90, 99-91 and 98-92 were surprisingly submitted to award the victory and the vacant NABF middleweight title to the rightful winner, Jason "El Animal" Quigley. However, most observers will argue a much closer fight.
Additional Results from Indio
Randy Caballero UD 10 Jesus Ruiz - vacant NABF super bantamweight title
Tureano Johnson KO 2 Fabiano Pena - Middleweight
Mauricio Herrera UD 8 Hector Velazquez – Welterweight
Azat Hovhannisyan KO 6 Diuhl Olguin - Super Bantamweight
Hector Tanajara UD 6 Daniel Perales - Super Featherweight