Irish fighters Jamie Kavanagh (17-1-1, 8 KOs), a native of Dublin, and Jason Quigley (4-0, 4 KOs), a native of Donegal, are in camp for their Friday, March 20 fights on the undercard for Kamegai vs. Gomez at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino.
Kavanagh, a former Irish national championship fighter, and already one of the top Irish fighters in the game, is set for an eight-round televised lightweight match against power puncher Miguel Zamudio (29-6-1, 17 KOs) of Los Mochis, Mexico airing live on FOX Sports 1 and FOX Deportes on March 20. The same night, Irish and European championship fighter Quigley (4-0, 4 KOs)will face an opponent yet to be named in a six-round middleweight television swing bout.
We asked them what it’s like to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in America as Irishmen living abroad in the U.S. pursuing professional boxing careers and their plans for March 17.
What does St. Patrick’s Day mean for an Irishman living in the US?
JAMIE KAVANAGH: “People always ask that question around St. Patrick’s Day here in the U.S. but they don’t realize that actually the holiday in, say, Boston and New York, which has a rich Irish heritage, is a bigger day than back in Dublin, Ireland. It is great be at home with family and friends and celebrate the festive event. There is a lot of buzz around the city and a lot happening, but for me this year, I’m here in the desert in Indio. There isn’t much going on here for the holiday.”
JASON QUIGLEY: “This is going to be my first experience in the U.S. on St. Patrick’s Day. I’m interested to see the difference in how it’s celebrated in both countries. It’s exciting, and I’m looking forward to it!”
How do you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day or do you have any plans to celebrate this year?
JAMIE KAVANAGH: “Yes, I have some friends coming into town for St. Patrick’s Day, especially because my fight on March 20 at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino falls in the same week. I’ll be dieting and sheading the pounds, and I will try my best to keep in St. Patrick’s Day spirit around my friends. We’re going to go to an Irish restaurant to have a traditional meal of corned beef and cabbage.”
JASON QUIGLEY: “This past weekend I went to Long Beach to attend the St. Patrick’s Day Parade and met up with some other Irish friends that are living in the U.S., too. But, on St. Patrick’s Day itself, I’ll be in the gym, preparing for my upcoming fight on March 20.”
What will a win on the March 20card mean for you and any family you have back in Ireland?
JAMIE KAVANAGH: “We will all be delighted to have the win on March 20. Since I fight the same week as the holiday, my family will keep the festivities going through fight night and will be tuning into FOX Sports1 to watch me take the win.”
JASON QUIGLEY: “As always I’ll be very proud and so will my family and friends back home. This is what I’m here in the U.S. for and every fight means just as much to me. They are all stepping stones to becoming a world champion.”
How does your family back home celebrate St. Patrick’s Day?
JAMIE KAVANAGH: “My family gathers to watch the St. Patrick’s Day parade and fireworks, it’s a family tradition. It’s really about the kids and helping them celebrate the day. There’s so much for them to do, there is also a fair and everyone will be dressed in green and flying the flag on that day. I will be deep in training, but I’ll make up for it when I return home after my fight.”
JASON QUIGLEY: “Everybody goes to the parades. There’s one in every town and there is huge turnout for them. I led the St. Patrick’s Day parade through my hometown last year. Everybody wears green, and the pubs are filled with people and the sound of Irish music; it’s a great “craic” (crack)! I hear there may be snow back home, so it’s going to be a cold one.”