We talk to Jason Quigley's mother Muriel ahead of his bout against Jorgé Melendez in front of 18,000 people this Saturday night in Los Angeles.
Muriel Quigley remembers clearly the first time her son fought at The National Stadium – more so because of her own experience as her 12-year-old’s.
The nerves then were the same as she is now as Jason Quigley prepares for his 12th fight as a professional boxer on Saturday night in Los Angeles.
Boxing has been part of the Quigley family forever.
Jason’s father, Conor, is a former national champion who was in his son’s corner as his trainer all the way up the amateur ranks and into his early days as a professional in California.
It was in a council house in Laghey where the young Jason began to chase a dream, shadow boxing with his father in the kitchen.
“I was never against Jason boxing because I was just so happy to see him starting into something he had an interest in and something he was really good at,” Muriel says.
“I never thought back then that it would lead to where he is today.”
Where he is now is Angeltown and an unbeaten 12-0 record as a pro. Quigley is box office stuff in the States and earmarked for big things by his promoter, Oscar De La Hoya.
It wasn’t always bright lights and medals for Quigley, a former World gold and European silver medallist.
Ten years ago, the Quigley family stood in the car park of the Finn Valley Centre in Stranorlar after the 14-year-old Jason returned from the Boy 4 finals in Dublin, where he had been beaten by St Michael’s Athy’s David Joe Joyce.
Quigley’s aunt, Mary, gave her downbeat nephew some advice.
‘Forget about them boys in Dublin and the boxing because you’ll never get a decision,’ she whispered.
“It was a real setback for us as it had never happened before,” Quigley later said.
He had won Irish titles at Boy 1, Boy 2 and Boy 3. Defeat was hardly considered as a possibility.
“There was never a time where I wanted him to give up boxing at all,” Muriel says.
“I remember the first time I saw him first fight at the National Stadium I couldn’t even watch.
“I remember hiding behind the steps, peeping out now and again to see how the fight was going.
“I still can’t settle. I try to keep quiet when he’s on, but that’s not easy. I get very nervous, especially now like in the week leading up to a fight.”
The motherly tendencies are clear for Muriel Quigley.
To the rest of us, it’s Jason Quigley the boxer. For Muriel Quigley, that’s her son stepping through the ropes.
On Saturday night, she’ll flick on the laptop and watch her son do his thing another time.
Jason’s based now on America’s west coast, but the flood of support from home, evident from social media, mean his mother is bursting with pride.
“I really can’t describe how proud I am knowing the work and dedication he puts in,” she says.
“I’m so happy for him that he is doing what he loves and is being successful at it.
“Outside of boxing, I’m so proud of the young man that he is.”
She’s still likely to watch the fight through the gaps in her fingers, though!
DonegalDaily.com will have all the action from The Forum in Inglewood tonight, good luck Jason!