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Barclay Center To Host Boxing’s Return To Brooklyn
BROOKLYN, NY (BASN)—Boxing returns to Brooklyn, as the Barclay Center, located on Atlantic Avenue, is open for business.
Hosted by Golden Boy Promotions CEO Oscar De La Hoya, this Saturday’s fight card at Barclay’s is expected to showcase several of the best young fighters who may hold the key to boxing’s future.
The main event will feature the rematch between unified WBC/WBA super lightweight champion Danny ‘Swift’ Garcia (24-0, 15 KOs) vs. future Hall of Famer, Erik Morales (52-8, 36 KOs).
Devon Alexander (23-1, 13 KOs) challenges IBF welterweight champion, Randall Bailey (43-7, 37 KOs).
‘Kid Chocolate’ Peter Quillin (27-0, 20 KOs), fighting in front of his hometown fans, appears in his first world title bout against undefeated WBO middleweight titlist, Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam (27-0, 17 KOs).
Also, Paulie Maliganaggi (31-4, 7 KOs), making the first defense of his WBA welterweight title, defends against Pablo Cesar Cano (25-1-1, 19 KOs)
SHOWTIME will televise the main card beginning at 8PM/ET.
2012 is Garcia’s breakout year. Not only did Garcia become a unified world champion by icing Amir Khan in a major upset, but people are finally taking Garcia seriously. Yes, Khan was beating Garcia to the punch rather easily, but Garcia displayed an unrelenting resilience, punching power, and the ability to come from behind from a losing effort to emerge victorious.
“I think people are taking me more seriously,” Garcia said. “We knew Khan was going to come out fast. He’s a fast starter. That’s why they kept talking about how they were going to jump on me early and knock me out. But I knew once I adapted and started getting my lead shots, we wanted to see if he could take them. And the first clean punch I hit him with, he went down.”
Garcia became a world champion by outpointing Morales rather easily through 12 rounds for the WBC 140-pound title before icing Khan for the WBA crown. Garcia, not known for his punching power, showed a lot of grit and determination in his unification bout with Amir Khan by dropping him several times.
Morales has fought and defeated the very best in boxing through the years. Manny Pacquiao, Marco Antonio Barrera, Marcos Maidana, Paulie Ayala, Daniel Zaragoza, Kevin Kelley, Junior Jones, and Wayne McCullough, Morales was one of the best in-ring technicians of the last 10 years. In is prime, Morales was most effective between 122-130. He was a terror and gave everyone he fought fits.
Morales will give Garcia another tough fight, but youth and ability will prevail over age.
“I feel like the first time around, the first [Morales] fight, it was my first fight on the big stage. I showed him a lot of respect. Now the tables are turned. I’m the champion, he’s the challenger. I’m confident and I’m ready.”
‘Kid Chocolate’ is a homegrown product of the New York City fight scene. Even though he has fought in historic places such as Madison Square Garden, The Theater of MSG, and the Roseland Ballroom, Peter Quillin was overlooked and never seriously developed into a star but rather a ‘hometown attraction’ instead.
Frustrated by the New York fight scene, ‘Kid Chocolate’ packed his bags and went west to Freddie Roach’s Wild Card Gym. Working with Roach and his fighters, ‘Kid Chocolate’ has improved as a fighter, fought on television, and SHOWTIME will air his first world title fight.
Ï´m carrying the name of a ring legend,” Quillin stated. “‘Kid Chocolate’, who was originally from Cuba, who transported himself to New York City and became one of the biggest draws in New York City. Now I’ve made myself a big name in New York and I’m working very hard. Very, very hard.”
N’ Jikam is a relative unknown here in America. the Frenchman has fought his entire career out of France and will be fighting here in the U.S. for the first time. Anything can happen in a boxing ring, but it is hard to envision N’Jikam outworking ‘Kid Chocolate.’ Quillen is a strong middleweight with very good fundamentals. Quillen is progressing as a fighter and maybe progressing a lot better than N’Jikam who may have reached his peak.
“I am undefeated,” Hassan said. “I will remain defeated on October 20. thins fight is in Brooklyn and that is not a problem for me. quill in can fight in Brooklyn in front of all his fans and all of his friends, but when he steps into that ring, he will be alone. I will win and remain undefeated and keep my title.”
Quillen is expected to win in style.
“I had one of the best training camps ever because,” Quillin said, “this is my moment right here. This is my challenger. I have no doubts about myself, about my skills going into the ring on October 20th to win my title. This is my title. This is a showcase for me, ‘Kid Chocolate.’ This is not about Hassan.”
Quillen added: “To be a champ, you have to be very respectful of the champ, but come October 20th all the respect is gone.”
Alexander vs. Bailey is a very intriguing world title fight. Alexander, a former unified WBC/IBF junior welterweight champion, is looking to become a two-division champion. Alexander is fresh off his exciting 10-round decision win against Marcos Rene Maidana in his welterweight debut.
Bailey, a former longtime WBO junior welterweight and current IBF 147-pound titlist, came from behind to KO previously unbeaten Mike Jones to capture the vacant title. Bailey is recognized for his concussive knockout power.
Alexander is the much faster and overall better boxer. Bailey will not outbox Alexander, but he has enough experience and power in either hand to seriously hurt Alexander. The young St. Louis native is expected to outpoint Bailey, but there will be plenty of anxious moments during this scheduled 12-round world title affair.
Malignaggi wasn’t taken seriously when he challenged then 32-0 Vyacheslav Senchenko for the WBA 147-pound title this summer. Malignaggi entered the bout having recorded only one knockout victory in eight years. Although Malignaggi stood up to Miguel Cotto, Amir Khan, Juan Diaz, Herman Ngojdo, and Ricky Hatton, Senchenko was widely expected to beat Malignaggi easily. many thought Maliganaggi was ‘finished’ after the loss to Khan at Madison Square Garden in 2011.
“I think a lot of the talk about me being finished was overrated,” Malignaggi stated. “A lot of the things people said about me, the negative press is that I’m overrated, but in the end I think if you look, since I lost the Ricky Hatton fight I’ve had one bad performance in four years, and that was when I lost to Amir Khan.”
To the surprise and shock of the boxing world, Malignaggi pulled off an upset by stopping Senchenko in the ninth round to win his second career world championship. Malignaggi was much too fast for Senchenko who couldn’t see Malignaggi’s punches rapidly approaching.
“I’m continuing tot be dominant and I think it’s a testament to my mental strength, mental fortitude, and to my stubbornness.”
Malignaggi’s career resumes, as he is scheduled to make his first title defense as a welterweight champion against Cano.
Also on the Barclay Center card, Puerto Rican sensation, Luis Collazo (31-5, 16 KOs) will be in action. Collazo is a former welterweight champion. Collazo is a fixture on the NYC boxing fight scene. Collazo has fought Ricky Hatton, Sugar Shane Mosley, and perhaps his best performance was a losing effort against Andre Berto for the WBC welterweight title in 2009. Many felt Collazo was robbed of a decision and should have won. The Berto camp has avoided fighting Collazo in a rematch ever since.
Collazo deserves a big fight. He is a very slick boxer with good timing. It will be great to see Collazo in action at home once again.
Former world title challenger Danny Jacobs (22-1, 19 KOs) was once known as ‘The Golden Child.’ Jacobs was highly touted by Golden Boy Promotions and was a fixture on HBO Boxing undercards in televised and non-televised bouts.
Jacobs was well on track toward ‘stardom’ until a botched performance for the vacant WBO middleweight title against Dimitry Pirog proved costly.
Jacobs was rumored to have had cancer and was confined to the use of a wheelchair during a lengthy absence from boxing. Jacobs is back and will begin to embark on a lengthy journey to the top of the middleweight class.