Golden Boy Boxing on ESPN debuts with Quigley overcoming Tapia

Golden Boy Boxing on ESPN debuts with Quigley overcoming Tapia


INDIO, CALIFORNIA - Thursday night at Fantasy Springs Casino in Indio, California, Golden Boy Promotions and ESPN kicked off it’s new series -- Golden Boy Boxing on ESPN. The series, sponsored by Tecate, was aired on ESPN 2 and was headlined by undefeated middleweight prospect, Jason “El Animal” Quigley (13-0, 10 KO’s), from Donegal, Ireland, as he battled the tough veteran, Glen “Jersey Boy” Tapia (23-4, 15 KO’s), of Passaic, New Jersey for the vacant NABF Middleweight title.

Quigley wasted no time attacking his opponent and landed devastating shots, including a right hook to the face that hurt Tapia in the first round. In the second, Quigley continued his barrage of punches, going upstairs and downstairs, and wobbled Tapia with a hard body shot. In the fourth round, Tapia seemed to turn the tables and began landing hard shots of his own as Quigley began to take his foot off the gas pedal. Tapia continued to control the pace throughout fifth round as the match turned into a dog fight, however, Tapia could not capitalize on the momentum.  

I felt slow and sluggish this fight. I feel like I didn’t even get to do to him what I trained in camp for. I was able to put pressure on him and hurt him a couple of times. This was not my best performance.
— Glen Tapia

Quigley eventually regained his composure and out boxed Tapia in the later rounds. After ten solid rounds of hard hitting action, the judges scored the fight, 100-90, 99-91, and 98-92 -- all for the undefeated Quigley. The irishman spoke to Frontproof Media immediately following his latest victory and had the following to say about Tapia:

It was a very tough and close fight. Glen Tapia came to work, but we stuck to our game plan and boxed, and that’s what got us the victory.
— Jason "El Animal" Quigley

In the co-main event, former IBF Bantamweight Champion and local fan favorite, Randy "El Matador" Caballero (23-0, 14 KO’s), from Coachella, California, looked to become a two-division world champion as he took on the former WBC FECOMBOX Super Bantamweight Champion, Jesus "Estrella" Ruiz (35-7-5, 24 KO’s), from Nogales, Sonora, Mexico in a 10-round bout for the vacant NABF Super Bantamweight title. Caballero, who last fought in February of 2016, showed some ring rust as Ruiz stayed in the pocket and exchanged solid blows with him in the early rounds. In the middle rounds, Caballero began boxing from the outside and tried to make the adjustments to use his reach and counter punching, but Ruiz continued to attack -- throwing punches in bunches.

In the ninth round, the southpaw Ruiz lowered his head while attacking and opened up a cut above the right eye of Caballero, but Caballero continued to keep Ruiz at bay and scored with his counter shots. After ten championship rounds, it was the effective outside boxing and ring generalship that gave Caballero the unanimous decision victory by the scores 97-93, and 96-94 (twice). After the fight, Caballero spoke about his return victory after being out of the ring for over a year. 

This was the absolute best way to come back! My goal is to become a world champion, and Golden Boy knows that. With the new NABF title, and coming back with that win, gets me closer to a world title shot.
— Randy "El Matador" Caballero

Opening up the televised portion of the night and making her professional debut, was newly signed Golden Boy prospect, 2012 Olympic Bronze medalist and highly decorated amateur. Marlen Esparza, of Houston, Texas. She entered the ring to take on Rachel “The Black Widow” Sazoff (0-3) from Hamilton Township, New Jersey, in a four-round flyweight match-up. Esparza, who was the first ever American female to qualify and medal as female boxer, came out and totally out classed Sazoff from the opening bell. Esparza landed big shots and vicious combinations early and often against her over-matched opponent. After four rounds of action, all three judges were in agreement with the score of 40-36 in favor of Marlene Esparza. With the victory, Esparza moves to 1-0 and gains her first victory as a professional.

This was such a big stage, and fighting in front of a crowd like this for the first time was something special. I’m glad we got the ‘W,’ but I was honestly looking to knock her out. I’m glad that I got this fight out of the way. I have a lot to grow in. She was a tough fighter, and she took a lot of my punches.
— Marlen Esparza

Anthony "Stacks" Saldaña is a contributing writer for FrontProofMedia.com. You can follow him on Twitter @StacksRingside 

(Feature photo: Cynthia Saldaña/Frontproof Media)

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