WBO middleweight champion Peter Quillin defended his title for the first time, against Fernando Guerrero, at Barclays Center on Saturday night, and on Showtime.
Quillin (age 29; 28-0 entering) caused some drama when he was a pound and a half over at the Friday weigh in, but to his credit, he hustled and burned that off in an hour, and made 160. Guerrero (25-1 entering; ranked No. 9 by WBO; was ¼ pound over, but made 160 after an hour Friday), born in the Dominican Republic and living in Maryland, came in with a thin resume, and would have to prove to fight fans that he deserved this opportunity.
The end came at 1:38 of the seventh, with ref Harvey Dock pulling the plug on Guerrero, who absorbed copious punishment, and did well to exit the second round. Quillin scored two knockdowns in the second and two more in the seventh, and you had to be impressed with his skills, and his vision in the ring. He sees things while sitting in the pocket and he can take advantage of them, because he doesn't get flustered.
Quillin went 120-356 to 100-251 for the loser, but the quality of Quillin's shots was far and away in another realm. He connected on 49% of his power shots (103-210), a fabulous percentage...for him...for the loser, not so much.
After, to Jim Gray, Quillin thanked Guerrero. He said he was happy to do it in Brooklyn and in NY.
In the first, it was a slow round, especially for the challenger. Quillin landed a hard right to the body which drew cheers from the partisan crowd.
In the second, a short right put Guerrero down, at 1:30. Quillin sent him down again, and then almost a third time. His strength edge seemed immense.
In the third, Guerrero fought a round almost absent of offense. Not sure what his gameplan was, to be honest. Quillin didn’t get over-eager and try to finish what he started in the previous round.
In the fourth, Guerrero woke up but almost got put out with 12 seconds left. A counter right caused a delayed reaction jelly-leg dance but he stayed on his feet. Guerrero’s left hand was having some luck to that point.
In the fifth, Quillin did what he wanted, with an obvious strength and power edge. The next round was a doozy, a fan fave. G landed clean shots, but it didn’t look like Quillin blinked twice.
In the seventh, Q scored a knockdown, off a right upper-right follows, and the ref got tangled in G. He rose, and a right hand put G on his butt, and the ref waved it off. The right came after a missed left hook, but Quillin kept his balance and came back with a follow-up quicker than the loser expected.
What's next for Quillin? No. 1 ranked Brian Vera doesn't deserve a shot, all due respect, and Marco Antonio Rubio is too recycled. Maybe Lucas Konecny? The Czech has a weak resume, but maybe his skills are better than his CV? What about a consolidation fight against Daniel Geale, the IBF champ? He last fought in January and I don't believe he has anything scheduled.
Your ideas, readers?
Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV