Garcia escapes Peterson, Lee-Quillin a draw

Updated: April 13, 2015

Unified WBC/WBA junior welterweight champion Danny Garcia (30-0, 17 KOs) won a 12-round majority decision against IBF champion Lamont Peterson (33-3-1, 17 KOs) last Saturday at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY. The bout was fought at a catch-weight of 143 pounds and neither fighter’s title was on the line.

The judges cored the bout 115-113 (Garcia), 114-113 (Garcia), and 114-114 even.

Garcia, best-known for his spectacular knockout of Amir Khan in July 2012, has had a successive string of performances in the last two years. A knockout of Erik Morales (KO 2) followed by decision wins against Zab Judah and Lucas Mathyssee, elevated Garcia to elite status at 140 pounds. However, after a controversial decision win over Mauricio Herrera in Puerto Rico, followed by an easy ‘cherry-picking’ knockout of Rod Salka, Garcia has taken a lot of heat for his recent lack of competition.

In an attempt to silence his critics and nay-say followers, Garcia agreed to fight Peterson. Everyone was disappointed how the two premier champions at 140 couldn’t unify the junior welterweight titles. Garcia will eventually move up to 147 pounds, which is why he wanted this fight to be at 143. Peterson was on board and to his credit, provided Garcia with a very entertaining and competitive fight that had those in attendance on their feet cheering. In fact, a lot of people felt Peterson did enough to beat Garcia.

Peterson, best-known for his controversial 12-round decision win against Amir Khan, boxed very well in the later stages of the bout. Peterson never stopped moving, as he was boxing from all over the place. Peterson’s movements made is difficult for Garcia to sit on his punches to set-up his dangerous left-hook. The left hook that iced Khan, Morales, and Salka in recent fights was absent against Peterson. Garcia was forced to cut the ring off and chase Peterson around for twelve rounds.

Garcia did land the cleaner and harder shots, but Peterson, in the later rounds, avoided Garcia’s power punches. Peterson made Garcia miss a lot of punches. Unfortunately, Peterson missed frequently in the earlier rounds. But later in the fight, Peterson came alive. He was hurting Garcia and driving the unified champion backwards behind jabs and power punches. The crowd was suddenly behind Peterson, as Garcia’s face started turning red with dark bruises.

According to the official judges’ scorecards, Garcia was winning the fight 60-54, 59-55, and 59-55 after the first six rounds of the fight. However, Peterson won the last four rounds on one judge’s scorecard and four of the last six rounds on the remaining two judge’s cards.

“I knew it would be a tough fight and I told him you can’t win a big fight by running,” Garcia said. “He came strong at me, because he knew he was losing on points.”

If only Peterson had asserted himself more efficiently in the earlier rounds, he might have won a close decision.

“I am not so sure I gave him the early rounds,” Peterson said. “He was missing a lot of punches and I was landing my jab. I would love a rematch.”

The loss was Peterson’s second loss in four fights (2-2) dating back to a third-round knockout loss to Lucas Mathysse in May 2013 in another non-title fight. Peterson, who made only three successful defenses of the IBF 140-pound title since he beat Khan more than three years ago, had to vacate the IBF title following his loss to Garcia on Saturday.

As for Garcia, his future remains bright. He will continue to fight on TV and will continue to garner interest from the boxing community. He is an undefeated, unified world champion and will gradually move-up to the welterweight division. Garcia remains a work in progress. Garcia is very dangerous with the left-hook during ‘stand-and-trade’ exchanges, but a very good boxer with movement and power will give Garcia a hard time.

Peterson proved that last Saturday.

‘Kid Chocolate’ Peter Quillin battles Andy Lee to a draw

What was supposed to have been the first defense of the WBO middleweight title he won in December, ‘Irish’ Andy Lee fought former undefeated champion ‘Kid Chocolate’ Peter Quillin to a 12-round split-draw. The bout was a non-title affair because Quillin failed to make the 160-pund weight-limit by coming in at 161.4 pounds.

In the opening round, Quillin dropped Lee with a solid right in the first round and again in round three. Lee fought his way back into the fight gradually and was credited with a knockdown of Quillin in round seven. It was the first time Quillin was floored during his — year career.

Suddenly, Quillin’s work rate significantly decreased. This allowed Lee to slowly fight his way back into the fight. Quillin, not only squandered an opportunity to reclaim his title by failing to make weight, but he also squandered the opportunity to win a relatively easy fight.

Other bouts: Former WBA junior welterweight champion Luis Collazo (36-6, 19 KOs) of Brooklyn, NY stopped Chris Degollado (10-5, 8 KOs) in the second round. Undefeated WBC No. 1-ranked junior welterweight contender Viktor Postal (27-0, 11 KOs) won a unanimous decision against Jake Giuriceo (17-4-1, 4 KOs).

Undefeated welterweight prospect Errol Spence, Jr. (16-0, 13 KOs) stopped Samuel Vargas (20-2-1, 10 KOs) in the fourth round. 2012 U.S. Olympian Marcus Browne (14-0, 11 KOs) TKO’d Aaron Pryor, Jr. (19-8-1, 12 KOs) at the end of the sixth round of a light-heavyweight contest. Unbeaten junior welterweight sensation Felix Diaz (17-0, 8 KOs) won a unanimous decision against Gabriel Bracero (23-2, 4 KOs). The judges scored it 98-90, 97-91 and 96-92.

Junior middleweight Prichard Colon (14-0, 11 KOs) destroyed Daniel Calzada (11-14-2, 2 KOs) in nine rounds. Women’s junior featherweight contender Heather Hardy (12-0, 2KOs) fought Renata Deomsodi (11-6, 4 KOs) to a no-contest after an accidental headbutt left a cut under Decomsodi’s right eye in the third round. Also, Ryan Burnett (8-0, 7 KOs) KO’d Stephon McIntyre (2-8-2) in the first round.

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