By: William Holmes
The Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York was the host site of tonight’s Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) Series on ESPN. Local favorite Paulie Malignaggi took on Philadelphia native Danny Garcia in Garcia’s first fight in the welterweight division in the main event of the evening.
Danny Jacobs opened up the televised portion of the card as he defended his WBA World Middleweight Title against former Contender winner Sergio Mora.
The upper bowl of the arena was closed off and the fans in attendance were packed into the lower section of the Barclays Center, but most did not arrive until the 9pm start of the televised bouts, and even then there was a lot of empty seats in the arena.
The WBA World Middleweight Title fight between Sergio Mora (28-3-2) and Daniel Jacobs (29-1) opened up the telecast but the crowd sounded dead as both walked to the ring.
Both fighters fought out of an orthodox stance and Mora looked to have a sneakily long reach. Both boxers appeared to be feeling each other out in the first half of the round, but the action and the crowd picked up halfway through the first when Jacobs landed a crisp counter hook to the chin of Mora that sent him crashing to the mat. Mora beat the ten count and was chased around by an overly aggressive Jacobs, but Mora was able to time him with a clean counter right hook of his own that sends Jacobs to the mat suddenly. When Jacobs got back to his feet both fighters could be seen jawing at each other, but it was Jacobs who ended the round strong.
The crowd was alive at the start of the second round. Mora started the round by moving Jacobs backwards with his jab and showed good head movement as he tried to avoid the power shots of Mora. Jacobs was able to land a decent combination on Mora by the ropes who went down awkwardly and appeared to have twisted his knee.
The referee ruled it a knockdown instead of a slip, but Mora was visibly limping when he got back to his feet and told the referee that he could not continue. Mora believed his ankle was broken and stated that was why he could not continue.
Danny Jacobs won by TKO at 2:55 of the second round due to Sergio Mora being unable to continue.
After the fight Jacobs expressed his desire to fight Peter Quillin by stating, “Whats next? I’ll leave it to my manager Al Haymon and see what he says. I think these Brooklynites deserve something special and I think me and Kid Chocolate would be that special fight here at Barclays. And we’re on the “A” side now, we’re champions so let’s do it!”
A swing bout between Prichard Colon (14-0) and Michael Finney (12-3-1) in the junior middleweight division was shown due to the quick stoppage of the Danny Jacobs bout.
Finney looked immediately overmatched as Colon was sharp with his jab and lead left hooks in the first round and appeared to be taking target practice.
Colon made it a quick night when he connected with a punishing combination that sent Finney crashing to the floor after getting pummeled halfway across the ring.
Finney beat the ten count, but he was on wobbly legs and the referee rightly stopped the fight.
Prichard Colon won by TKO at 1:23 of the second round.
Danny Garcia (30-0) debuted in the welterweight division in the main event of the night against Paulie Malignaggi (33-6).
Malignaggi, a Brooklyn native, had a large majority of the crowd in attendance supporting him. Even though Garcia has fought in Brooklyn a lot in recent years he was met with more boos than cheers as he entered the ring.
Garcia looked to be the bigger man inside the ring but had trouble finding his range in the first round. He was beginning to connect with his jab and hook as the first came to an end, but both boxers spent most of the round just feeling each other out.
Both Malignaggi and Garcia showed a lot of feints in the second round and Garcia was missing Malignaggi with some wild right hands. Malignaggi connected with a solid right uppercut in the second, which could have been scored for him.
A small cut opened up near Malignaggi’s right eye in the third round as Garcia began to focus to the body and walk Malignaggi down. Garcia’s connect rate continued to improve in the fourth round as Malignaggi’s connect rate appeared to be decreasing.
Garcia walked through Malignaggi’s punches and had an excellent sixth and seventh round as he was beginning to land bombs and was not phased from the power shots of Malignaggi. Malignaggi was battered by several combinations in the eighth round and was stunned from several hard left hooks.
In between the eighth and ninth rounds the referee and ring side doctor took a hard look at Paulie Malignaggi but decided the fight should continue.
Garcia opened up the ninth round with a clean 1-2 combination and was walking Malignaggi down while controlling the pace and distance. Garcia began to tee off on Malignaggi near the ropes with several combinations which caused Malignaggi to stumble but remain on his feet. The referee, surprisingly, jumped in after the Malignaggi and stopped the fight.
Malignaggi was obviously behind on the cards at the time of the stoppage but he didn’t appear to be badly hurt to stop the fight.
Danny Garcia wins by TKO at 2:22 of the ninth round.
Undercard Quick Results:
Titus Williams (1-0) defeated Micah Branch (2-15-1) by decision in the junior lightweight division with scores of 40-36 on all three cards.
Thomas Velasquez (1-0) defeated Gabriel Braxton (2-11) by knockout at 1:20 of the fourth round in the junior lightweight division.
Heather Hardy (14-0) defeated Renata Domsodi (12-7) by TKO at the start of the seventh round on the advice of the ringside doctor in the featherweight division.
Adam Kownacki (11-0) defeated Maurenzo Smith (12-10-3) by knockout at 0:26 of the second round in the heavyweight division.
Rafael Vazquez (16-1) defeated Mario Macias (26-17) by TKO at 1:50 of the first round in the featherweight division.
Travis Peterkin (15-0-1) and Lenin Castillo (12-0-1) battled to a majority draw in the light heavyweight division with scores of 75-75, 75-75, and 76-74 for Peterkin.
Post fight quotes:
Here is what the fighters had to say Saturday:
“I felt a lot stronger. In the ninth round I felt like it was round one. I need to work on shortening up punches and sticking with the game plan. My dad wanted me to be sharp and throw more straight punches.
“I feel strong and I feel good. I used my jab. There were definitely things I have to work on but I’m proud of myself. 147 is where it’s at.
“Paulie is a great champion. He’s a craft veteran with a great jab and foot movement. But I went in there and executed the game plan.
“Keith Thurman and Shawn Porter are great fighters in this division. If they want, we can make it happen.”
“I was trying to dictate the pace because I didn’t want him to get into a groove. He’s a hard puncher and I didn’t want to give him confidence to land a big shot. I wanted to dictate with my jab and keep him missing, so he’d second guess on throwing his power. The less power shots he threw the less power shots he could hit me with.
“I was trying to take a bit of his confidence. He was walking me down fairly well behind the jab. He cut me in the fourth and I think that upped his confidence. I never could get control of the pace though. In spots I felt I was giving up less ground and I had him missing. He got back on his groove though and he had a strong advantage.
“I think Danny can be an upper echelon fighter, he already is. He can put his name in the history books. He has a lot of talent. People don’t realize he has a lot of character too. He has a very good poker face. He doesn’t get frustrated, and if he does he doesn’t show it to you.
“His father’s a great trainer and he really stays on him. Danny listens and they have a great relationship. Every time a round would start it was like he was fresh. Even at the end of rounds when I gave him something to think about he came back, and that’s really important.
“I’ve got a really good job commentating and watching great fighters fight ringside. I hope to sit around ringside for a long time. I felt like if I couldn’t put up a great performance tonight then it would be my last. I was trying to hang tough as much as I could. I remember when I was taking big shots I just kept thinking ‘Don’t give in. This is your last night if you give in. Don’t show that you’re going to give in. If you can show that you’re still hungry for it then you’ll convince yourself that this isn’t the end.’ I wanted to keep showing that I want it. Little by little he broke me down, and I have no problem with the stoppage.
“I’m probably not fighting again. You hate to make an emotional decision. My career started in Brooklyn 14 years ago. If it ends in Brooklyn tonight then at least I ended it at home where I’m from and in front of the greatest fans in the world.”