By: William Holmes
Danny Garcia fought in a controversial and perhaps undeserved fight for the WBA and WBC Super Lightweight title in the Junior Welterweight division. Some felt that Erik Morales did not deserve a rematch after going 4-6 in his last ten fights and being soundly beat the last time they fought. Morales, however, had a rematch clause in his contract, and he took full advantage of it.
There was some major controversy before the bout, as it was reported that Erik Morales had tested positive for a banned substance. Early reports stated that the substance he tested positive for was clenbuterol, which is used to cut weight among other things. The fact that this bout was still allowed to go on was surprising and consternating to many.
The opening bout of the Showtime telecast was between Devon Alexander (23-1) and Randall Bailey (43-7) for the IBF Welterweight title. This bout did not win over any new boxing fans.
Alexander seemed hesitant to exchange and get in tight with Bailey, and Bailey was unwilling and unable to pull the trigger. Alexander easily popped shots at Bailey from the outside and was barely hit with a few straight right hands. The crowd filled the arena with boos throughout the fight and the only time they cheered was when Bailey tripped Alexander to the ground in the fourth round. Bailey had a cut over his eye in the 12th round, and he showed no effort to try and finish the fight, despite the fact he was clearly behind on the cards.
Devon Alexander won the IBF Welterweight Title by a lackluster decision with scores of 115-111, 116-110, and 117-109.
The second bout of the night was for the WBO Middleweight Title between Hassan N’dam (27-0) and Peter Quillin (27-0). On paper, N’dam and Quillin looked to be the same fighter. They were the same height, had the same reach, and had the same record. The biggest difference between them? Power and balance.
The crowd was strongly behind Peter Quillin, and he scored six knockdowns in the fight, nearly all of them a result of his strong left hook. Despite the fact he scored six knockdowns, two in the fourth, two in the sixth, and two in the twelfth, N’dam made the fight close and showed incredible heart. But Peter Quillin landed his left hook almost at will, and when he landed them they did serious damage.
Peter Quillin won the WBO Middleweight Title with scores of 115-11, 116-110, and 117-109 in an emotional victory.
Hometown boxer Paulie Malinaggi (31-4) fought Pablo Cesar Cano (26-1-1) in a fight that was supposed to be for the WBA Welterweight title. Cano, however, failed to make weight and this was turned into a non-title bout.
Surprisingly Malinaggi was greeted by the crowd in Brooklyn with a mixture of boos and cheers. Cano did not look like he was in the best possible shape for this world title fight, but he brought everything he had into the ring.
Malinaggi stayed on the outside and seemed by far the more active fighter. He landed his jab over and over and over again and opened up a crater sized gash over the left eye of Cano. Cano did some solid work to the body of Malinaggi and may have bruised his left rib cage as it was as red as a lobster. This was an incredibly tough fight to score, as Cano landed the harder shots but Malinaggi was more active and landed more punches.
Cano’s body work paid off in the 11th round when he landed a flush straight right hand on the chin of Malinaggi that knocked him down. Malinaggi was still on wobbly legs when he got back to his feet but luckily the round came to an end.
Both fighters left everything in the ring in the last round and both fighters wore the scars of tonight’s battle on their face in an incredibly close bout. Malinaggi survived the 11th round knockdown and won by split decision with scores of 118-109 for Cano, 114-113 Malinaggi, and 114-113 Malinaggi. The crowd heavily booed the decision.
The main event of the night was between Danny Garcia (24-0) and Erik Morales (52-8) for the WBA and WBC Super Lightweight Title.
Morales was met with a mixture of cheers and boos, with most of the boos most likely due to the fact that he tested positive for a banned substance. Even though Danny Garcia is a Philadelphia native, he had a large contingent of fans in the arena.
Garcia and Morales came out in the first round swinging and exchanged hay-makers. Garcia began to attack the body with regularity in the second round and landed several hooks to the body and head.
Garcia had Morales badly hurt at the end of the third round with a straight right hand. Morales went back to the wrong corner and looked dazed as he sat on his stool. He was still on wobbly legs when he came out for the fourth round and a vicious left hook by Garcia sent Morales spinning backwards crashing into the ropes. Morales’ corner entered the ring and the fight was over.
The referee waved off the fight at 1:23 of round four, as Danny Garcia scored a highlight reel knockout to remain undefeated.