By: William Holmes
In a bit of an untraditional move, the PBC decided to broadcast the main card on NBC first and will follow it up with three bouts on the NBC Sports Net portion of the card.
Fight fans had begun to trickle in and fill in the lower bowl section of the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, after a five fight non-televised undercard. The PBC had the same high level of production that was evident in their other shows and it came off very well live.
The first televised fight on network television was between Andy Lee (34-2-1, 24 KOs) and Peter Quillin (31-0-1, 22 KOs) in the middleweight division.
Quillin, who hadn’t fought in nearly a year, was supposed to be challenging Lee for his WBO Middleweight title, but failed to make weight and the co-main event was changed to a non-title bout.
Brooklyn native Peter “Kid Chocolate” Quillin came into the ring first and was met with a surprisingly subdued reaction, while the pride of Ireland Andy Lee came in second and was met with a loud and supportive crowd.
The first round started off as a feel out round, but Quillin scored a knockdown late in the round with a clean straight right hand that Lee seemingly dodged towards. Lee was able to get back to his feet on shaky legs and was able to survive a harrowing end to the first round.
The atmosphere remained tense from the surprise knockdown in the first and featured two good exchanges by Quillin and Lee, with Quillin doing more damage in the first exchange and Lee doing more damage in the second exchange. Lee had clearly recovered from the first round knockdown.
Quillin scored another knockdown in the third round when he landed a right cross after stepping on Lee’s foot, but Lee wasn’t hurt and boxed well for the remainder of the third.
There was a brief break before the start of the fourth round to wipe excessive Vaseline off the face of Quillin, and the crowd was loudly singing at the start off the round, but those songs turned into boos as both boxers appeared to use the fourth round to take a rest.
Most of the middle rounds were close and tough to score, with Lee landing good hard straight left hands and Quillin connecting with his sharp jab and check left hook. The ringside doctor took a hard look at Lee before the start of the seventh round as he had a cut over his left eye, but the fight continued and Lee scored his first knockdown of the night with a hard right hook to Quillin’s jaw. Quillin was on shaky legs as the seventh round came to an end, but was able to survive.
Quillin appeared to be sharper with his counters in the eighth round, but both boxers were clearly very wary of each other’s power . Quillin’s looping left hook was effective in the ninth and tenth round, while Lee was landing the more effective combinations in the final two rounds.
Many of the rounds were close and could have gone either way and the judges felt the same.
The final scores were 113-112 Lee, 113-112 Quillin, and 113-113 for an unsatisfying draw.
The main event of the evening was between Washington D.C. native Lamont Peterson (33-3-1, 17 KOs) and Philadelphia native Danny Garcia (30-0, 17 KOs) at a catch weight of 143 pounds.
Garcia, who had fought several times in Brooklyn before and has drawn well there, had a majority of the crowd supporting him as the fighter introductions were announced.
Peterson, who’s known for having one of the best body attacks in the junior welterweight division, inexplicably turned into a jabber and a runner in the first half of the fight, circling away from Garcia and driving the crowd insane.
Peterson was making Garcia chase him in the first half of the fight and probably gave away a few rounds in the process. Garcia was able to land more punches than Peterson in the first six rounds, and may have won the fight simply by pressing the action. The crowd booed heavily in the first half of the bout.
Peterson was warned for holding behind the head several times in the bout, and his inactivity did not win him over any news fans and probably wasn’t appealing to the judges.
Peterson woke up in the eighth round, when he finally decided to start moving forward and bang to the body and head of Garcia. He finally realized that he could withstand Garcia’s best punches, going toe-to-toe with Garcia and landing the harder punches. His best round of the night was clearly the eighth round, when he had Garcia backing up and hurt.
Peterson rocked Garcia again in the ninth round with a right hook that forced Garcia to hold on. Peterson was able to block most of Garcia’s punches in the ninth and was landing short hooks to the body and head of Garcia.
The final three rounds were all Peterson as he was looking very confident in the ring and at times danced around the flat-footed Garcia. Garcia’s faced was marked up and showed signs of wear and tear, while Peterson’s face looked fresh as a daisy.
Peterson landed some monster shots on Garcia in the final round, but was unable to score a possibly fight-defining late knockdown.
The judges scored this bout 114-114, 115-113, and 115-113, a majority decision for Danny Garcia.
Peterson’s unwillingness to exchange in the first half of the bout clearly cost him a victory he could have earned.