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Olympic decision cost Scott Quigg, says former trainer Mick Jelley
SCOTT Quigg thrilled former trainer Mick Jelley by retaining his WBA super-bantamweight title with a hard-earned draw against tough Cuban Yoandris Salinas.
Jelley believes his former protege, who was awarded the vacant belt in the run-up to Saturday night’s bout at London’s O2 Arena, has now earned the right to call himself a world champion despite not winning his first defence.
But, after sharing top-billing with the professional debut of Olympic gold medallist Anthony Joshua, the Bury ABC coach reckons Quigg missed a trick by turning pro before achieving the ultimate accolade in amateur boxing.
“When you win the Olympic gold, or any medal at the Olympics, it is like winning the lottery,” said Jelley, who helped Amir Khan on his way to silver at the Athens Olympics in 2004.
“It is a golden ticket – you are made for life because of the doors it opens up for you.
“There is just so much prestige attached to it, as well as publicity you just can’t buy.
“Scott has done absolutely brilliantly to make it to the top, but he has had to do it the hard way, and will probably never make as much money from the sport as someone who has won an Olympic gold.”
Jelley has admitted in the past that Quigg turned pro in 2007, at the age of 18, against his advice.
But he remains unbeaten in 28 fights after picking up his second draw.
Despite having to share his big night with Joshua, Quigg did his international reputation no harm with a tactically astute display against one of the rising stars of the world scene.
The 24-year-old started cautiously, wary of opening up against a dangerous opponent, but went up through the gears in the closing rounds, with one of the judges scoring the fight 115-113 in his favour.
The other two, however, made it 114-114 and it was ruled a majority draw.
But the man who fights out of Khan’s Bolton-based Gloves Gym under Joe Gallagher, said: “It was a tough fight but I felt it was one I won by a couple of rounds, even though the judges made it a majority draw.
“I do feel I deserve to be world champion and have earned the right to call myself a world champion.”
Next up for Quigg could be a fight against Belfast’s Carl Frampton, although the number one rated UK fighter looks set to be offered a tilt at the IBF title first.
“It’s a fight I want and a fight that Carl wants and, most of all, it's a fight the British public want,” said the Bury boxer.
“There’s talk of me being out on November 23 on the Froch-Groves undercard, which I’d be happy to be on.
“But the fight against Frampton is a fight that definitely has to happen. It’ll be a cracking fight.”