Andy Lee (34-2-1, 24 KOs) and Peter Quillin (31-0-1, 22 KOs) fought to a split draw tonight at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
The fight, which was initially going to be for Lee’s WBO Middleweight title, was not on the line as Quillin was not able to make weight on Friday.
Nevertheless, in the co-main event of Premier Boxing Champions‘ NBC broadcast, Quillin earned a strong lead with two knockdowns, while Lee dug deep to earn the later rounds of the 12-round fight.
Quillin, 30, landed a powerful right hand in Round 1 that spelled trouble early for Lee. It seemed that Lee would not be able to handle Quillin’s power, and a short left hook to end the round that wobbled Lee was more proof.
Lee, 30, maintained his composure despite the knockdown, but hit the canvas for a second time in Round 3. Lee actually slipped, but it was ruled a knockdown.
Despite Quillin’s overwhelming power in the early assault, the Irishman was still willing to exchange with Quillin.
As the fight progressed, Lee became more and more comfortable with Quillin’s power, while Quillin became less and less active in the later rounds.
In Round 7, Lee landed a powerful right hook in the midst of an exchange that dropped Quillin for the first time in his career.
Lee did not take full advantage of the knockdown and was unable to stop Quillin, but his activity and his boxing ability earned him most of the later rounds.
“I thought it was a hard fight to score because he had the knockdowns,” said Lee of the judges’ decision, “But I boxed consistently, especially going down the stretch when it counts.”
Indeed, straight left hands and right hooks peppered Quillin’s face in the later rounds and he did not have the conditioning to land the combination punches his trainer, Eric Brown, asked for.
Both fighters, however, were nonchalant about the decision, which perhaps owes to the fact that the fight was tough for both fighters.
“My job is to come here and fight and I think the judges had it in the best hands,” said Quillin, who was not upset at the decision.
“I get paid to do 12 rounds. I’m not here just to say I’m going to take everyone out. I’m here to fight from Round 1 to Round 12,” said Quillin, despite tiring a bit in the later rounds.
The fight was indeed close and merits a rematch and Lee says it is a possibility–even for his world title.
“He’s a great fighter, we had a good fight and we can do it again,” Lee concluded.