Daniel ‘Pinta’ Quigley is preparing himself for the biggest test of his career after finalising a deal to fight for the ISKA’s Oriental rules world title on November 1st next.
The talented 6’ 3’’ kickboxing champion will travel to the home of current super-heavyweight world titlist, Randy ‘Boom Boom’ Blake in Tulsa, Oklahama in seven weeks time in a bid to wrestle the belt from the American’s grasp.
Officially announcing the fight this week, ‘Pinta’ claimed it was a ‘once in a lifetime’ opportunity he just couldn’t pass up on.
It’s the first time ever an Irish man has challenged for a world K1 title!
And should he win he will edge ever close to his dream of competing in the world’s premier kickboxing league, ‘Glory World Series’ which brings with it huge monetary benefits plus the opportunity of sponsorship deals.
“It’s my fifth world title opportunity,” ‘Pinta’ told the ‘Journal’. “This time I’m going to Tulsa to challenge Randy ‘Boom Boom’ Blake for his title.
“And I’m looking forward to representing Derry and Ireland because there’s been no Irish fighter to fight for a K1 world title before. So this is my time to shine and put myself, and Ireland, on the map.”
When ‘Pinta’ started out in the sport as a fresh faced 18 year-old, he couldn’t have dreamt about having the chance to become a five times world champion across three different weight divisions.
“I started off in the sport at 18 and not knowing really what I wanted to do,” he recalled. “As the years went on I gained more confidence in myself and as the confidence grew the titles came.
“So I’m ready for anything that comes now,” he said defiantly. “I know what needs to be done. I’ve done this four times before so it’s just another title and Randy is just another obstacle in the way.
“I want to be in Glory. He’s (Blake) fought in Glory before so by beating him I’ll put myself in the shop window.”
It promises to be The Glen native’s toughest test to date as he challenges the heavy handed American who has been in the ring with some of the sports’ biggest names.
Blake (27) has shared a ring with Mirko ‘Cro Cop’ Filipovic, has sparred with No.1 ranked Glory light heavyweight Tyrone Spong at the Blackzilian camp in South Florida.
And in his last appearance on the ‘Glory Superfight Series’ in Istanbul last April, he lost out to seasoned veteran Mourad Bouzidi.
As the nickname suggests, Randy ‘Boom Boom’ Blake is a knockout specialist who makes a habit of leaving his opponents on the canvas.
With a background in karate and interestingly, basketball, Blake is notable for combining speed with power, particularly when it comes to kicking.
So it would be a notable scalp for ‘Pinta’ to take should he defeat the American in his own backyard.
“This is where I want to be - I want to be in Glory,” said the Derry man. “If Randy’s the guy standing in my way then I have to beat him. If I didn’t take this opportunity I would kick myself for the rest of my life.
“I need to just go for it and give it my all.”
The affable Derry man has grown accustomed to fighting in front of a large home support at venues in Letterkenny and Derry where he’s won four of his ISKA pro. titles in recent years.
Indeed, ‘Pinta’ headlined the ‘One Big Fight Night’ at The Venue in Ebrington last November when he claimed his ISKA world heavyweight K1 title with a convincing victory over Romanian, Lucian Danilencu in front of a rapturous 2,000 strong support.
So how does he feel about the prospect of being on the other end of a hostile reception at the Xtreme Fight Night-21 in the River Spirit Event Centre, Oklahoma?
“The pressure is on Randy now as the fight’s in his hometown,” said the local fitness instructor and proprietor of Strike Martial Arts Academy on the Bay Road.
“I’ve done that four times and it’s great having the support. But the pressure’s off when you have no one to impress and maybe Randy will underestimate me. Hopefully he will,” he smiled.
“I’ve fought away from home before and have had crowds booing me and it actually helped, so I’m not worried about the crowd, it’s about what I do in the ring that’s all that counts.”
It will have been 12 months since his last fight when he steps into the ring in Tulsa in November but he plans on shaking off the ring rust in the next few weeks as he increases the intensity of his training regime.
And the man responsible for helping negotiate his fifth world title shot, Leicester Kickboxing Club’s Jag Johal will offer him plenty of worthy sparring partners to fine-tune his skills in the coming weeks.
“I won my 95 kgs. world title in the City of Culture year in Ebrington,” said ‘Pinta’.
“And that opened up a lot of doors because a lot of people saw my fight. I had two or three fights which I was waiting on but didn’t come through for one reason or another so I just tried to keep myself going.
“On top of that I opened up my own gym, Strike Martial Arts, so I’ve been keeping myself busy and keeping myself focused on the game.
“I’ve got a guy in England who represents me, Jag Johal. He got this fight for me but the opportunities were there after winning my last title.
“Now I just have to reach for it and grab it with both hands.
“I’m travelling to Leicester and Athlone for sparring in the next few weeks. The main thing now is the sparring. I’m doing my pad work and I’m upping my cardio game because I’ve got everything else.
“I’ve been in with top guys before. The boys I’ll be sparring with in Leicester are big Infusion fighters so they’re tough guys.
“I’m ready for it and I’ve seven weeks now to up my intensity and be ready for November,” he concluded.