DANIEL ‘PINTA’ Quigley is hoping to ‘pick the brains’ of former Prizefighter Heavyweight champion, Martin Rogan ahead of his incredible attempt to claim his third world professional ISKA kickboxing title tomorrow night.
The hard-hitting Derry kickboxer steps up to super-heavyweight in a bid to create another piece of sporting history in the city, in tomorrow’s Paddy Toland promoted ‘Triple Hitter’ event at St Columb’s Hall.
And he will have a secret weapon in his corner when he takes on Seville’s Jose de la llera, as he plans on getting some last minute tips from Belfast boxer, Rogan, who will be offering his support at ringside.
Rogan is taking a break from his training camp for his Irish heavyweight title fight with Tyson Furey next month and could even make an appearance at the weigh-in in the Metro Bar this evening.
“Martin Rogan is supposed to be coming to the weigh-in in the Metro on Friday night (tonight) and he’s definitely coming to the fight,” said Quigley.
“He’s got a big fight coming up against Tyson Furey so I suppose it’s a good way for him to promote himself and promote that fight as well.
“I met him before but when I see him I’ll try and get a few tips off him before I go in the ring,” he laughed.
‘Pinta’ became the first Irish man to fight for the ISKA professional world heavyweight title last March at St Columb’s Hall and he’s now eager to complete a trio of world titles in the sport.
Standing in the way of what would be another historic achievement for Quigley, is Spanish police officer, Jose de la llera but the Derry fitness instructor isn’t fazed by the Spaniard’s reputation.
De la llera is the Spanish low kick champion and has vast experience in Tae-kwon-do, Muay Thai and K1 but the reigning world ISKA Cruiserweight and heavyweight champion, insists he can deal with the step up to 96kgs with ease and is anxious to duck between the ropes in front of a capacity crowd tomorrow night.
“He’s a Spanish police officer but he can’t bring his batton and his back-up into the ring,” he laughed. “He’s coming to my hometown and into a hostile crowd so he’ll have to deal with that.
“It’s going to be a big show. I’m looking forward to it now but the last week is always tough waiting about, I just want to get in there. It’s all about winding down and preparing myself mentally and I always feel like I should be doing something, I’d rather be sparring or hitting a bag or something. I’m just trying to get my mind ready because all the hard work’s done in the gym already.”
‘Pinta’ hasn’t been in the ring competitively since that world heavyweight triumph last March against French man, Pacome Assi but he insists ring rustiness won’t be a problem.
“The last big fight I had was last March when I won the heavyweight world title and after that I started a new job in Creggan but I was still coaching and involved with the kickboxing, I just wasn’t fighting.
“I was over in England sparring with some good heavyweights during that time. It won’t be a problem for me and I’m used to fighting in front a big crowd so I’m ready.
“The good thing about fighting at super heavyweight is that heavyweight is 95kgs and for super heavy you only have to be 96kgs plus, so it was only a kilo more.
“When I was weighed today I was over the 96kgs mark but I don’t know what he’s going to weigh in at. He could come in at 110kgs but I’ll just have to wait and find out on Friday.
“I’ll not change my game-plan too much, I always go in there with the motto ‘seek and destroy’, that’s the way I train so I’ll push him the whole way and just go for it.
“My punching power is one of my strengths and I feel stronger with my punches at this weight but when I’m sparring you get hit a lot harder too obviously.
“I don’t think too much about creating history in the sport , I just keep going, keep fighting as much as I can but maybe when I’m a bit older I can look back and enjoy my achievements.
“If you think about it too much it could hold you back so I’ll just concentrate on each fight as it comes while I’m still young. I love K1 too and it’s getting a lot more popular so maybe that’s something I could go for in the future.”
Lafferty, McCarron contest world titles
On the undercard of ‘Pinta’s’ fight, Carrigan’s native, Natalie McCarron is also hoping to take a third world title against Andree Warbrick while Aidan ‘Lights Out’ Lafferty from Creggan Road, is competing for his first against Aaron Robinson.
“I’m nearly at the top now, just one more wee step - just one fellow in my way,” said Lafferty. “He’s currently the British champion so it’s going to be a hard fight for me, but I know I will pull through.”
Former three-times world amatuer champion, Paddy Toland is eagerly anticipating the what’s expected to be a special night of top quality contests.
“It’s unbelievable to pull this together,” he said. “It’s the combination of nearly three years work and to get three world titles in a city the size of Derry is amazing.”