Styles make fights. Danny Jacobs vs. Peter Quillin at Barclays Center on December 5 shaped up as an entertaining fight.
Jacobs entered the ring with a 30-1 (27 KOs) record against pedestrian opposition. In 2010, he’d stepped up in class and was knocked out in the fifth round by Dmitry Pirog. The only other quality fighter on his resume was a faded Sergio Mora. That fight, which was unfolding as a good one, was cut short when Mora suffered a broken ankle in round two.
Quillin (32-0-1, 23 KOs) had fought better opposition than Jacobs. But he gave up a bogus middleweight belt last year rather than defend it against mandatory challenger Matt Korobov. Now he was challenging for Jacobs’ bogus crown.
Jacobs and Quillin are known for having questionable chins with Danny’s being the more questionable. Each man has been kept away from punchers. Jacobs is the better boxer. Quillin has more power, which made Peter a 7-to-5 betting favorite.
Danny was the sentimental favorite. He’s a likeable young man with an engaging personality, whose comeback from cancer is an inspirational story. It’s hard to root against him.
The widely-held view of the fight was that whichever man landed the first hard punch would have a decided edge.
Forty-six seconds into round one, Jacobs staggered Quiillin with a straight right to the temple. A barrage of punches followed, punctuated by a thudding right to the body, a sharp right to the top of the head, and a another right hand to the temple that sent Quillin reeling and wobbling around the ring. At that point, referee Harvey Dock stepped in and stopped the contest The bout lasted 85 seconds.
There were scattered complaints about a quick stoppage. But Quillin wasn’t among the complainers. And after watching a replay, Showtime analyst Paulie Malignaggi noted, “At first, I thought it was a quick stoppage. But looking at Quillin’s eyes, he was kind of very much out of it.”
When Dock ended matters, Quillin was struggling to simply maintain his balance and was in no condition to defend hinself. Jacobs landed 25 “power punches” during his assault, and more would have followed. As WBC heavyweight beltholder Deontay Wilder told the media at a pre-fight sitdown, “The head isn’t meant to be hit.”
“That’s why Harvey Dock is a great referee,” Lou DiBella (who promoted the fight) said afterward. “I had a great vantage point to look at Peter, and he didn’t know where he was. He was out on his feet.”
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The Jacobs-Quillin undercard offered a mix of former champions (Chris Algieri, Yuri Foreman), young prospects (Marcus Browne), Heather Hardy’s ritual beating of a mediocre opponent (Noemi Bosques), and a dreadfully boring semi-final bout between Jesus Cueller and Jonathan Oquendo. But one match-up had particular promise.
Will Rosinsky (19-2, 10 KOs) vs. Joe Smith (19-1, 16 KOs) shaped up as a pick-em club fight between two fighters who have some skills, hit reasonably hard, and are there to be hit. Rosinsky is the better boxer. Smith has more power and seemed to be the hungrier fighter.
Smith established himself as the aggressor in round one. By the middle stanzas, he’d figured out that Rosinsky couldn’t hurt him, and Rosinsky had figured out that Rosinsky couldn’t hurt him. That left Joe free to throw punches with abandon, while Will was working hard simply to survive.
Rosinsky fought with courage and heart. Hopelessly behind on points in the final round, he went all-out for the knockout when many fighters would have simply run out the clock. In the end, Smith won a unanimous decision.
It was too one-sided to be a very good fight. But it was a good one.
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Thomas Hauser can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. His most recent book – A Hurting Sport: An Inside Look at Another Year in Boxing – was published last month by the University of Arkansas Press.
Photo From Edward Diller/DiBella Entertainment