Ireland's Jason Quigley gained exposure and experience Thursday night in Golden Boy Promotions' debut ESPN2 card, but Quigley's expectations took a hit during the middleweight fight.
Instead of beating up veteran Glen Tapia, who came to Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio diminished by back-to-back technical-knockout losses, Quigley hurt his right hand during a second-round punch.
He also showed defensive flaws and his energy drained late before he posted a unanimous-decision victory that seemed far closer than the judges' 100-90, 99-91, 98-92 scorecards.
"This is exactly what I needed," Quigley said. "I rocked him with a couple punches, but then [after the injury], I couldn't really throw and I went back to my boxing style."
Quigley (13-0), with a chance to expand his audience and capture the NABF belt while facing the veteran, backed Tapia up with a flush punch to the head in the first round and hard shot to the belly in the second, which sent Tapia (23-4) reeling to the ropes.
Tapia forced the action in response and exposed significant defensive holes by Quigley with clean punches during the next two rounds.
In the eighth, Quigley was cut and bruised under the left eye, but was unable to sustain pressure in the final two rounds as Tapia threw the heavier blows.
In the co-main event, Coachella's former bantamweight world champion Randy Caballero, in his first bout in 13 months since losing his belt on the scale before a scrapped bout last year, claimed an entertaining unanimous-decision triumph over Arizona's Jesus Ruiz by scores of 97-93, 96-94, 96-94.
Caballero (24-0) took some punishment during an intense back-and-forth bout with Ruiz (35-8-5). Caballero's skill and chin allowed him to compensate for the rust, rocking Ruiz with a head shot in the seventh round and wobbling him with a body blow in the eighth.
The pair went toe to toe to close the ninth and 10th rounds, each smiling at the close of the quality TV performance.
Marlen Esparza, the 2012 U.S. Olympian making her pro debut, steadily battered Rachel Sazoff with punches, several times jolting the 109-pound fighter's head, especially in the third round.