SAN DIEGO, December 5, 2015 – Boxers who become buddies sometimes turn down fights with each other. They don’t have the heart to pound a friend into submission, even for a lot of money.
It was inevitable longtime friends Peter “Kid Chocolate” Quillin and Daniel Jacobs would face this question. They didn’t hesitate to agree to put each other to the test. Their 12-round middleweight bout is the main event at the Barclays Center in front of their hometown fans in Brooklyn.
Showtime will broadcast the card including featherweights Jesus Cuellar versus Jonathan Quendo starting at 9 pm ET. Two additional undercard fights featuring Chris Algieri of New York against Erick Bone of Ecuador and light heavyweights Marcus Browne vs. Francisco Sierra will air on Showtime Extreme starting at 7 p.m. ET.
All athletes in these four televised fights made weight on Friday. Quillin (32-0-1, 23 KOs), a Grand Rapids, Michigan native and former WBO title holder who has adopted Brooklyn as his home town, came in at 159 pounds, one pound within the middleweight limit. Earlier this year, Quillin lost his title when he came in heavy for his fight in April against Andy Lee of Ireland. Lee fought Quillin to a draw in an impressive performance. Quillin’s second fight of 2015 was a horrible mismatch, producing a fifth round knockout of Michael Zerafa. Zerafa dropped to the canvas and was out old, taking a few scary moments to revive and make it out of the ring.
Jacobs (30-1, 27 KOs) the WBA middleweight champion and Brooklyn native, weighed in at 159.5 pounds. Jacobs has one of the most compelling stories in boxing today. Three years ago he was diagnosed with a cancerous tumor on his spine. He had to learn to walk again and returning to boxing was a long shot. After 19 months out of the ring, Jacobs returned as fit as ever. While Jacobs is proud to be a survivor, the story is now taking a back seat to his athletic accomplishments.
Jacobs and Quillin both his the scales in good shape and ready to rumble, based on their boisterous behavior in front of an excited crowd at the weigh-in. The two talked nonstop during their faceoff. See the weigh-in here.
Jacobs said, “This is my city. Brooklyn, I run Brooklyn, you’re gonna see that Saturday night. That’s what I told him … We’re going to be in effect tomorrow night, I promise you.” Jacobs says once he takes care of Quillin he will move on to bigger and better things.
“This is where I live at, where I reside. I wasn’t born here, but it’s a shame that I’m not from here. They took me in like they own me, God’s son. I’m happy to live here and inspire people,” said Quillin.
Quillin and Jacobs know a win in this hot division could give them a shot at middlweight powerhouse Gennady Golovkin, or new WBC middleweight champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez. Big exposure and even bigger money. But just as important to each on an emotional level is getting the win at home for serious local bragging rights.
Quillin and Jacobs sparred briefly as teenagers, and they’ve observed each other for many years. They have few secrets from each other by now.
Quillin has plenty of power, but he showed he can be hit against Andy Lee, who dropped him for the first time in his career. Quillin could not stop Lee after knocking him down in the first round of their bout. A second knockdown was called against Lee, although a replay showed Quillin had stepped on Lee’s foot. If the knockdown had been ruled correctly, Lee would have won a majority decision.
Jacobs also has his vulnerabilities. Jacobs and veteran Sergio Mora traded knockdowns in the first round of their bout in August; Jacobs dropped Mora again in the second round, and Mora had to retire due to a broken ankle. Mora isn’t known for his punching power.
Quillin has faced fighters with better pedigrees including Lee and Hassan N’Dam. Jacobs’ most fearsome opponent produced his one loss to undefeated Russian middleweight Dmitry Pirog. Quillin has the edge in power; Jacobs the edge in speed. Heart and smart ring control can cancel either advantage, and when emotions run high anything could happen.
Speed kills, so I give Jacobs the nod. Expect a highly entertaining fight worth taking a break from Christmas parties and shopping to watch.
On the undercard, featherweights Jesus Cuellar of Argentina (27-1-0, 21 KOs) and Jonathan Oquendo of Puerto Rico (26-4-0, 16 KOs). Cuellar is coming off solid stoppage victories over Vic Darchiyan, Ruben Tamayo, and Juan Manuel Lopez in the last year. Quendo won a suprising majority decision against favoried Jhonny Gonzalez on the Mayweather vs. Berto undercard. Oquendo is the underdog, but he will have a partisan Puerto Rican crowd behind him all the way in Brooklyn.
The highlight of the two-fight Showtime Extreme undercard is the return of New York native Chris Algieri (20-2-0, 8 KOs) to the ring. The former Muay Thai champion turned boxer made a great showing of himself against Amir Khan in May after a blowout unanimous decision loss to Manny Pacquiao a year ago. Algieri’s performance against Khan can be credited in large part to his switch to training with the well-respected John David Jackson who also trains the fearsome light heavyweight Sergey Kovalev. Let’s see how much more Jackson has been able to accomplish with Algieri as he faces Erick Bone of Ecuador (16-2-0, 8 KOs). Bone took a fight against Shawn Porter on just a few days’ notice in March and was having his way with Porter until a flash knockout in the fifth round. It will be intriguing to see what Bone can do with more training time.
Light heavyweights Marcus Browne of Staten Island (12-0, 10 KOs) and Francisco Sierra of Mexico (27-9-1, 24 KOs) are also on the Extreme card. Browne was on the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team. Sierra is Mexico’s top light heavyweight, although it’s not a country flush with talent in the larger weight classes. Sierra had to retire due to multiple cuts from punches in his last fight two months ago. It’s not a long time to be healed. Browne shouldn’t have to go the full ten rounds here.
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 Communities Digital News. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego. Gayle can be reached via Google +
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