Donegal’s Jason Quigley had to settle for a silver medal, as we reported earlier Saturday, following his defeat in the Middleweight final at the 17th AIBA World Championships at the Balouan Palace of Sport and Culture in Almaty against the host nation’s Zhanibek Alimkhanuly 30-27, 30-27, 29-28 .
In taking the Silver at these championships the 22-year-old Finn Valley BC club man became the first Irish fighter to reach a men’s world final and the second to claim a medal in Kazakhstan’s former capital, with Moate’s light-heavyweight Joe Ward also doing Ireland proud and bringing home bronze.
Quigley ,who fought a gallant fight said: “It’s just a shame I couldn’t take it a step further. I would have loved to take home gold. I knew before I got in the ring that he was a good lad. 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.
“I know when I go away and look at things I’ll be happy with how I went. If anyone had told me beforehand I would have won a medal, I would have taken their arms off.
To get to the final and be beaten by a lad like that…he was a top class operator. It’s just heart-breaking, you know.”
With over 5,000 local fans in the Arena rooting for their hero, it was always going to be an uphill struggle for Quigley especially after his tough semi-final win on Friday
and against an opponent who had a walk over in his semi-final when England’s Anthony Fowler was withdrawn by his team due to a serious hand injury. That said both boxers gave their all in the final and on the day Alimkhanuly was a worthy winner.
Ireland’s Head Coach Billy Walsh was full of praise for Quigley, Ward and the Irish squads performances in Almaty.
On the Quigley fight he said: “”I can’t ask anymore.
“He had five very tough fights in this competition, the semi-final was a grueller and to have to come back less than 24 hours later to do it again where his opponent hadn’t. That was a telling factor.
“I could see the fatigue in his punches but he went to the soles of his boots and hats off to him, he’s a true legend.
“We wanted to bring back that gold medal but we’ll have to wait another while.”
Back home, Minister of State for Sport and Tourism Michael Ring congratulated Quigley on his silver medal in Kazakhstan.
“I am sure Jason will be disappointed now, but for him to be the coming back with a silver medal is a great achievement and something we should all be proud of him for,” said Minister Ring.
“It’s a great achievement to be the first Irish male Boxer to compete in a World Championship Final and I’m sure Jason will be adding more medals in the future.”
Minister Ring also praised Joe Ward on bringing home a bronze medal.
Later Saturday night , Geesala BC, Co. Mayo boxer Ciara Ginty received the AIBA Best World Boxer of the Year Award in the Junior Women’s class from AIBA President, Dr Ching Kuo Wu whilst Claressa Shields from the United States was presented with the AIBA Best Youth Boxer award also from President Wu.
A reminder of Ireland’s All Time Medallists at AIBA World Championships:
Elite Men :
1982: Munich – Tommy Corr Light middle (Bronze)
1989: Moscow – Michael Carruth Light welter (Bronze)
1993: Tampere – Damaen Kelly Fly (Bronze)
1997: Budapest – Stephen Kirk Light heavy (Bronze)
2001: Belfast – James Moore Welter (Bronze)
2009: Milan – John Joe Nevin Bantam (Bronze)
2011: Baku - John Joe Nevin Bantam (Bronze)
2013: Almaty – Jason Quigley Middle (Silver)
2013: Almaty – Joe Ward Light heavy (Bronze)
2006: New Delhi – Katie Taylor- Lightweight (Gold)
2008: Ningbo City – Katie Taylor- Lightweight (Gold)
2010: Barbados - Katie Taylor- Lightweight (Gold)
2012: Qinhuangdao- Katie Taylor- Lightweight (Gold)