By Doug Fischer
Don’t let the official scorecards fool you. Jason Quigley did not have an easy time outpointing faded veteran Glen Tapia in the main event of the first show of Golden Boy Promotions’ new ESPN series on Thursday at Fantasy Springs Casino in Indio, California.
The unbeaten middleweight prospect out-boxed his game and surprisingly rugged foe over 10 rounds to pick up the vacant NABF title by scores of 100-90, 99-91 and 98-9, but Tapia had his moments in a generally entertaining bout.
Quigley (13-0, 10 knockouts), a 25-year-old former amateur star from Donegal, Ireland, appeared on his way to an early stoppage victory after stunning Tapia with right hands in the opening three rounds of the ESPN2-televised fight. Tapia (23-4, 15 KOs), a tough-but-battle-worn slugger from Passaic, New Jersey, wasn’t expected to give the Southern California-based prospect much resistance. He had been stopped in four rounds in his previous two bouts (to Michel Soro and David Lemieux).
But instead of being knocked out in four rounds against Quigely, Tapia started fighting back in Round 4. He had his moments by working Quigley’s body as the fresher, bigger fighter appeared to tire. Tapia had a gassed-looking Quigley backing up in Round 5 and 6, prompting fans watching on Twitter to declare him “exposed” and “overrated,” before the Irishman caught a second wind and resumed control of the bout down the stretch.
In the co-featured bout of broadcast, former IBF bantamweight titleholder Randy Caballero knocked off more than a year’s worth of ring rust with a hard-fought 10-round decision over former title challenger Jesus Ruiz.
Caballero (24-0, 14 KOs), a 26-year-old Indio native, picked up the NABF 122-pound title with scores of 97-93 and 96-94 (twice). The two junior featherweights engaged in fierce infighting – highlighted by concentrated body attacks and uppercuts – for much of the action-packed slugfest. Ruiz (36-8-5, 25 KOs), a 27-year-old veteran from Mexico, had only lost twice (an eight-round stoppage to Leo Santa Cruz in January 2015 and a 10-round decision to Diego De La Hoya in September 2015) in his last 10 bouts, gave as good as he got during most of the fight.
In the opening bout of the broadcast, 2012 Olympic bronze medalist Marlen Esparza won her pro debut with a one-sided four-round decision over Rachel Sazoff (0-3), a tougher-than-she-looks MMA fighter from New Jersey. Esparza, a flyweight amateur star from Houston who recently signed with Golden Boy, landed one-two combinations at will en route to unanimous scores of 40-36.
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Source:: The Ring – Boxing