TONY QUIGLEY drops down to middleweight on the April 3 MEN Arena bill, topped by David Haye-John Ruiz, to take on Welsh warrior Paul Samuels. Liverpool’s former British super-middleweight champion will meet the Newport veteran at 11st 8lbs – which will be the lightest Tony has ever been as a pro and just two pounds over the championship limit – after British and Commonwealth king Darren Barker declined to defend against Quigley on the show.
“This fight will assess me at middleweight,” Quigley said. “Samuels is on form at the moment. He may be getting on a bit but he’ll always have his power. I don’t fight cautious though.”
Quigley, who was pulled off the March 19 Leigh bill when this opportunity arose, is looking forward to his new start at the lower weight after losing his British title on a split decision to big city rival Paul Smith in October.
“Everyone has always said I’m no super-middle but I was fully aware of that myself,” Quigley revealed. “But while you’re getting those chances, you’ve got to go where the money is.
“I wanted to go straight down to light-middle but my manager Steve Wood and [promoter] Frank Maloney said I should do middle first and see how I feel. When I turned over, I’d boxed at 69kgs, which is 10-12 so with a day-before weigh-in, I could make light-middle if I’m really strict on my diet.”
While Quigley is reluctant to criticise Barker for turning him down as an opponent, he has less kind words for Smith.
“Darren is a good fighter – I was boxing for Young England when he fought for England,” Quigley added. “ I was approached to fight him and said ‘yeah’ but he came back and said no to me, but that he wanted Jamie Moore. I don’t know if that’s a compliment to me or if he thinks I’m not in his league but he’s not like that so I don’t think it’s that.
“I want to set the record straight about Smith. I heard he did an interview on the radio where he said he’d fought me at my best. Well he didn’t, for two reasons. Everyone knows about seven-eight weeks before the fight I had an operation on my shoulder. I had some of the bone shaved off and the joint cleaned out; I hardly sparred.
“I have also been struggling to breathe in my last two fights so I went to the doctor’s and I’ve got asthma now. I’ve got this nagging cough and people always said, ‘that sounds like an asthma cough’ but I’d say, ‘no, I haven’t got asthma, I haven’t had an attack’ but you don’t have to. But I’ve got me pumps now so that’s sorted.”