RENOLD Quinlan isn’t one to shy away from a challenge.
The latest big fight for the man from Kempsey sees a foray into the light heavyweight division to take on Queenslander Damien Hooper (13-1, 8 KOs) for his WBO International title on the DDP Sports card at the Brisbane Convention Centre on Saturday night.
Quinlan (12-2, 8 KOs) might have just 14 bouts on his professional ledger but the last two years have seen him tackle the likes of Daniel Geale and Chris Eubank Jr, so a fight against Hooper – who’s coming off his own big win over Umar Salamov – isn’t something he fears. Instead, Quinlan feels a he’s been a little disrespected by Hooper’s camp.
“They said I don’t bring anything to the table then all of a sudden they’re offering us the fight, I think that’s probably where there’s a little bit of bad blood,” Quinlan told Aus-Boxing.
Regardless of a lack of respect, perceived or not, Quinlan feels that it’s Hooper who has everything to lose in this fight and he plans on exploiting what he believes are weaknesses in Hooper’s style. He’s out to take the former Olympian’s belt from him.
“He’s got a few weaknesses, he’s been knocked out before,” says Quinlan. “I look at this fight and think he’s got nothing to gain from it. For me, coming into this fight, I’m not losing anything. I fight at middleweight and super middleweight so I’m coming up to his weight, so I look at it as he’s got everything to lose.”
“It’s all on him and I believe he’s going to lose.”
The weakness that Quinlan’s referring to comes from Hooper’s shock loss against little known Rob Powdrill in 2014 and the former IBO champion feels that he too will be able to stop the Queenslander come fight night.
“I don’t want it go ten rounds. If I see an opening I’ll take it. My plan is I’m not letting it go the ten.”
Quinlan knows a thing or two about upsetting the applecart. His biggest win to date occurred back in 2016 when he knocked out the former unified middleweight champion of the world in Daniel Geale. Quinlan says that his preparation for that fight was the best of his career but he also feels as if he’s in the same shape coming into this bout.
“Against Geale, for the IBO title, I was mentally focussed and physically too and it’s the same with this fight. I’ve never been so mentally prepared,” he says. “I’m not worried about what’s in front of me, I know that when I’m focussed nothing will stop me.”
The fight itself promises to be a classic affair. When asked if he has any final words for his adversary, Quinlan states in no uncertain terms that he’s prepared for bloodshed.
“He’s been talking a bit of trash but I’ll do my talking in the ring. Come Saturday night be ready for war!”
The ‘Revolution’ card, headlined by Dennis Hogan vs. ‘Jimmy’ Kilrain Kelly, will be live streamed on Saturday night free of charge here.
Words: Dan Attias/Follow Dan on Twitter