Liverpool’s Nick Quigley finally gets the opportunity to make a welcome return to the sport on Friday night following a 35-month spell out of action.
The 26 year-old former Prizefighter participant takes to the ring against carefully chosen Czech Ludvik Gina at Central Hall in his hometown on an event overseen by local promoter Stephen Vaughan and featuring an eight-fight card.
For Quigley, the low-key four-rounder represents the end of a long struggle as the talented boxer has fought hard to once again be able to lace up his gloves on the back of having his license reinstated by the British Boxing Board of Control.
“It’s been a dream come true,” Quigley told World Boxing News ahead of his comeback. “For three years I’ve been training so hard and very rarely missing a night at the gym on the off chance I may get to fight again. Finally, I’ve got what I’ve wanted so badly for these three emotional years and I have another shot at it.
“I am taking the time I’ve been kept out the ring as a blessing in disguise as its given me a chance to work on my strength and conditioning, as well as my defence. It’s also given my body a chance to fill out and mature as I haven’t been killing myself making weights and holding back my natural development.
“I definitely expect there to be some ring rust as I have been out of the sport so long without a single punch being thrown at me, but I’m hoping there won’t be too much as I’ve squeezed lots of sparring, around 50 rounds, into the last three weeks.”
With eleven wins and two losses on his record, Quigley has already ruled out rematches with either Prizefighter conqueror Robert Lloyd Taylor, who himself is due to return from a similar spell out of action this weekend, or Erick Ochieng who is still hovering around English title level.
Both are only possible future opponents if they decide to move up in weight, although Quigley is planning to ease himself back at the light-heavyweight limit before seeing how far down the divisions his fitness levels can take him.
“I would love to have a rematch with both of them as I believe I’d beat them both when at my best,” said Quigley.
“My first defeat against Taylor I put down to exhaustion and not having enough rest, but unfortunately that was just how the Prizefighter draw fell on the night and he had a much longer recovery time than I did.
“My second defeat to Ochieng I put down to going in with a bad gameplan and I admit I just got it completely wrong. I should have boxed him and used my reach, but me being me, I thought I was a machine and he couldn’t stop me. He didn’t stop me to be fair as my dad just didn’t like how many heavy shots I was taking and I would have gladly stayed in there with him having a war.
“I take nothing away from either of them as they’re both great boxers and having a defeat to them on my record is no shame. I can never see a rematch at the minute though as I am just too big and I have moved up three weight groups since those losses.
“I am going to have this fight at light heavy and gradually move down and see how light I can go while still keeping my strength and power.”
In his last fight, Kevin McCauley was defeated easily via a four-round points decision on the Tony Bellew v Danny McIntosh undercard on the city’s main fight stage at the Echo Arena and despite the venue being considerably smaller, Quigley is as passionate as ever about fighting in Liverpool.
“I’m not going to lie as I think it’s going to be an emotional night,” he admitted. “I ended the first part of my career in Liverpool and I thought that was it and it was game over. But to get another shot at it and to have my comeback fight in Liverpool has left me so happy and I can’t wait until Friday night.”
Tickets are priced £30 Balcony and £40 ringside and are available on 0151 727 6644 or online at www.vaughanboxing.tv