SAN DIEGO, April 10, 2015 – Premier Boxing returns to prime time TV on NBC Saturday night from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn with two bouts, both promising action for fans.
Danny “Swift” Garcia’s last outing in Brooklyn in August wasn’t his finest hour. It was an outrageous mismatch against an opponent who shouldn’t have been sacrficed to make him look good, and it didn’t erase Garcia’s poor performance aganst Mauricio Herrera last March, a fight most people believed Herrera won.
Garcia of Philadelpia (29-0, 17 KOs) needs to re-establish himself as a champion worthy of his record against the tenacious Lamont Peterson (33-2-1, 17 KOs) of Washington, D.C. Peterson should have been Garcia’s oponent in August; after the bout Garcia said he was willing to fight Peterson, and Premier Boxing’s Al Haymon put it together.
Neither man’s title belts are on the line. The fight takes place at an agreed upon catchweight of 143 pounds. Peterson made the weight on the nose; Garcia weighed in at 142.2. This is his fight bout about the 140-pound light welterweight limit.
Both fighters are at their prime. Garcia has more power, but he can often start slowly. Peterson is taller, but he’s at his best when fights get a little bit messy on the inside. His biggest win came in a majority decision over Amir Khan. Khan lost points for pushing Peterson, who was aggressive in pressuring him.
If Garcia doesn’t let Peterson push him around (literally), and avoids getting caught in the early rounds, his strength and finer skills should allow him to prevail. Garcia needs a good solid victory against a decent opponent like Peterson to revive his career.
The co-main event might be the more entertaining contest. WBO middleweight champion Andy Lee (34-2, 24 KOs) of Ireland faces hometown favorite Peter “Kid Chocolate” Qullin (31-0, 22 KOs). Lee won his belt defeating Matt Korobov, who acquired it when Quillin decined to fight him, citing family conflicts.
But Quillin will not have the chance to win the belt back because he failed to make weight on Friday. Quillin’s initial weight was 161.4, over the 160-pound limit. He did try to make weight, but could only get down to 160.6 pounds. Lee made weight at 159.6 pounds. As a result, Quillan will pay $125,000 of his $500,000 purse to Lee to allow the fight to continue. Even if Lee loses, he will retain his title. Quillin apologized for being unable to make weight, making no excuses and saying he will use it as a learning experience.
It’s not a promising start for Quillin. Similar to Garcia’s situation, he needs to put on a strong show The local crowd will be fired up to see Quillin win on network TV, but his last few bouts have been so-so. Andy Lee has come from behind with knockout power and a lot of Irish luck in his last two fights. Lee can appear on the verge of being stopped but has the ability to pull it out with a single punch. He will have plenty of supporters among Irish New Yorkers in the house.
Quillin needs to pressure Lee, and not give him any time to set up power shots. He can’t get in and trade shots with Lee at close range or he’ll pummel him. But Lee can make mistakes, and when he does, Quillin needs to strike. He cannot afford to let any opportunities get away from him. Lee’s two losses are both TKOs, and he has been down several times in his career. Don’t take a break during this bout.
In its second appearance on NBC and third on network TV, Premier Boxing is making a few changes. Boxers can now play their own choice of music during the ringwalk. PBC had its own Hans Zimmer music themes, but fans missed hearing the individual song choices. PBC is also bringing on veteran NBC announcer Bob Costas to the broadcast, joining fellow native New Yorkers Al Michaels and Marv Albert. It’s hard to believe, but it’s the first time all three have worked together on an NBC sports telecast.
Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is president/owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego. 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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