SAN DIEGO – October 20, 2012 – Mike Tyson, Zab Judah, Oscar de la Hoya, and Victor Ortiz, were among a house of 16,200 happy fans greeting the inaugural boxing event at the Barclay Center in Brooklyn.
Danny Garcia proved his knockout of Amir Khan was not a fluke with blistering fourth round knockout of Hall of Fame candidate Erik Morales (52-9, 36 KOs). Garcia (25-0, 15 KOs) buckled the great champion’s knees at the end of the third round, and Morales never got his legs back. Garcia hit Morales with a short left counterpunch so hard he spun around before falling nearly through the ropes. Kids, watch it: it was textbook.
Morales was honestly deflated. It wasn’t such a good idea to come back and test Garcia again after his recent wins, especially against Khan. In addition to losing, Morales became the center of controversy after a reported failed USADA drug test. But it’s all water under the bridge now. It won’t derail Morales from getting into the Boxing Hall of Fame. He richly deserves the honor.
Garcia respects the great champion, greeting him and his team warmly after the fight. “He’s a crafty veteran, he got in a couple good shots,” Garcia said to Showtime’s Jim Gray. “In the first fight I showed him too much respect. This fight I wanted to press the action behind my jab and set my big punches up. Honestly I thought it was going to go 12 rounds, he’s a warrior, he knows how to take a punch.” Funny enough, Garcia had to ask Gray what round the knockout occurred in watching the replay. “Boom! That left hook, I get that from my mom, her side of the family is left-handed. Thank you Mom.”
Garcia says he’s ready to take on anyone next. “You know me, I never ducked anybody,” said Garcia. “I fight the best, that’s why I’ve got these belts. Come get them!” The name Lucas Matthysse is already circulating among boxing heads.
Morales said he was OK after the fight. He thanked the crowd, and thanked fans for all their support throughout the years. “This is my last fight in the United States. I want to say goodbye in Tijuana, Mexico.” Let’s hope if Morales does have a farewell fight, it’s a fitting tribute and an opportunity for him hometown fans to see him go out in style.
Because Pablo Cesar Cano couldn’t make the welterweight limit, Brooklyn native Paulie Malignaggi (32-4, 7 KOs), was not in danger of losing his championship belt. Good thing. Cano landed a big right hand at the end of the 11th round, scoring a knockdown of Malignaggi, and came on strong in the final round. Nevertheless, Malignaggi won a split decision. Judge Glen Feldman scored it 118-109 for Cano, but Nelson Vasquez and Tom Miller both scored it 114-113 for Paulie Malignaggi. All three Showtime commentators had scored it for Cano. Many fans booed at the announcement.
It was a grind it out, entertaining fight that both fighters felt they won. “I thought I boxed him handily, I thought I was controlling the action,” said Malignaggi. Cano said, “The public saw who won tonight.”
A cut opened up in the second round over Cano’s right eye, but his corner kept it under control. It allowed Cano to stay in the fight. Malignaggi threw more punches but Cano had the better connect percentage.
As promised, boxing’s undisputed “Twitter King” tweeted fans between round 5 and 6., and he wasted no time greeting the Twitterverse after the fight. “AND STILLLLLLLLLLLLLL #TK!!!!!!!!!” he tweeted, then bragged, “Tweeted during round 6 and still won!!! (Blank) the haters!!! Talking (blank) to me lol. #TK…. “LOL i love all the haters!!!! But what I love more is you watched me!!!” True that.
Perhaps Paulie should trade the social media for a knockout next time. As for next time, Malignaggi said he’d wait to see how British boxer Ricky Hatton does in his comeback fight against Ukrainian Vyacheslav Senchenko in November, and “then we can definitely talk about it.”
Middleweights Peter “Kid Chocolate” Quillin and French fighter Hassan N’Dam put on the show of the night, with Quillan winning a unanimous 12-round decision. Quillin put N’Dam on the canvas six times: twice each in the fourth, sixth, and twelfth rounds. Five of the knockdowns came courtesy of a wicked left hook.
After the knockdowns in the fourth, It seemed sure that N’Dam wouldn’t finish the bout. It is a tribute to his conditioning and mental toughness that he stayed in it. He won several rounds including rounds late in the bout. N’Dam proved entertaining, engaging and determined in his American debut. He may not have won the fight but he won the admiration of American fans who will look forward to seeing him fight again. Quillin won the IBF belt from N’Dam and remains undefeated with 28 wins and 20 KOs.
In stark contrast, Devon Alexander (24-1, 13 KOs) did just enough to win a lackluster fight against Randall Bailey. (43-8, 13 KOs). Grade this one a Y, for yawner In 12 rounds, Alexander landed 120 of 534 punches; Bailey just 45 of 198 punches. Compare this to the Fight of the Year (so far) between Brandon Rios and Mike Alvarado, where the fighters threw more punches in one round between them than Bailey did the entire fight. The damage done in a fight like this: unlike Quillin and N’Dam, fans aren’t excited to see either the winner or the loser again.
It’s also worth mentioning that Danny Jacobs won a first round TKO victory in his middleweight fight, an amazing comeback after surgery for cancer of the spine that had rendered him temporarily paralyzed and blown up to 225 pounds. He is 23-1 with 20 knockouts. Memo to the Livestrong organization: Need another athletic role model? I know where you can find one.
Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. She is also a serious boxing fan covering the Sweet Science for Communities. Read more Ringside Seat in the Communities at The Washington Times. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego.
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Copyright © 2012 by Falcon Valley Group
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