If there was one word to use to describe the "Irish" Andy Lee (34-2-1) vs. Peter "Kid Chocolate" Quillin (31-0-1) bout, it would have to be: indecisive.
The two middleweights battled to a split-decision draw at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn on Saturday night, and it's hard to argue with the judges' decision. Boxing Channel has the official scorecards.
Lee came in as the WBO middleweight champion—a title Quillin held before vacating it—but Lee's belt wasn't on the line.
Quillin failed to make weight for the fight, per Dan Rafael of ESPN.com, thus making Saturday night's scrap a non-title affair.
Early on, it looked as if Quillin was going to make quick work of Lee. Kid Chocolate dropped the champion with a hard right hand in the first round. Lee was hurt, but he survived though the waning seconds of the round, which saw him staggering in the corner.
Lee went down again in the third from a right hand, but that knockdown was as much caused by Quillin stepping on his foot as it was the punch that landed. Nevertheless, it was scored a knockdown. As it turns out, had Quillin not gotten that break, he would have lost the fight.
In the seventh, Lee put Quillin down for the first time in his career with a solid right hand on Kid Chocolate's jaw. Quillin wasn't badly hurt, but it was a legitimate knockdown. For whatever reason, Quillin's work rate slowed significantly after that and Lee became the aggressor.
Quillin did more posing than punching, and Lee used his inactivity as an opportunity to take control of the bout down the stretch. With a strong finish, Lee was able to erase Quillin's lead on two of the cards and earn the draw.
Quillin, on the other hand, should feel as though he gave this fight away. He was far too tentative most of the night. He respected Lee's power to a fault. Lee had come in with huge one-punch knockouts in his last two bouts, and Quillin seemed to want no part of a firefight with the hard-punching Irishman.
Brian Custer of Showtime also thought Quillin squandered an opportunity.
When asked about the decision, Lee seemed to think he deserved the decision, but Quillin sounded happy to escape per the quotes captured by Isaac Estrada of Real Boxing News:
A rematch certainly seems to be in order. The fight was entertaining, and many fight fans would probably be interested in seeing the two men settle things.
It would also give Quillin an opportunity to make weight, and thus try to regain the WBO title he never lost in the ring. There are certainly other 160-pounders pining for a shot at the WBO strap, but there's unfinished business between Lee and Quillin. If not immediately, the two should fight again somewhere down the road.
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