Editorials

Results Are Inconclusive: Another PBC Broadcast, Another Odd Night of Boxing

Danny Garcia Lamont Peterson Marilyn Paulino RBRBoxing (21)
Photo By Marilyn Paulino/RBRBoxing

When Andy Lee got dropped like a sack of bricks in Round 1 last night, Twitter let out a collective groan. The vast majority of boxing fans seemed to be backing Lee even before Peter Quillin laid a massive egg at the weigh in, missing weight and thus eliminating his chances of winning the WBO belt he caught hell for dumping in the first place.

After that, the enmity and bloodlust were at a fevered pitch–the people wanted Quillin’s head bounced out of the ring, and they wanted it immediately. Unfortunately for them, it wasn’t going to happen. Quillin started the fight on fire, drilling the southpaw Lee with a lefty’s kryptonite–the straight right hand. And he couldn’t miss with the damn thing.

The shot that dropped Lee in the first had him seriously hurt, and he barely escaped the round. Quillin kept firing away, and scored another (albeit erroneously called) knockdown in the third. Lee would recover, and Quillin would then decide that four punches a round was a solid enough night’s work, allowing Lee to claw his way back into a fight he had no business being in.

The fight went all 12 rounds, and of course PBC got its first draw. Quillin probably should have gotten the nod; certainly he dominated the first half of the fight before pulling out a beach towel and taking a snooze for the rest of the night. Still, he didn’t have any complaints after the announcement. In fact, his tactful approach after the bout probably won some people over, allowing him an oh-so-brief reprieve as the most reviled fighter in boxing.

For his part, Andy Lee was not sharp. At all. His vaunted right hook was nonexistent for most of the night. Quillin had him hesitant and afraid to fire away. And as far as defense goes, he did a hell of a job blocking Quillin’s right hand with his face. So yeah, neither guy looked all that great. And that would be the theme for the second prime time NBC show–tepid fights, tepid results.

Lee vs. Quillin Marilyn Paulino RBRBoxing (6)
Photo by Marilyn Paulino/RBRBoxing

When you look at a fight’s statistics and see multiple knockdowns, with both fighters hitting the deck, you’re probably expecting that the fight was a very good one. In this case however, the only action of the fight came from the knockdowns. Before and after? A whole lot of feints, misses and staring. Lots and lots of staring.

In hindsight, we can see why the match went the way it did–Quillin had come from a long layoff. He missed weight. And he was fighting the toughest guy of his career. The same could probably be said for Lee–though he has been in with solid competition, Quillin is the best boxer Lee has faced. The nerves got the better of both guys.

But Quillin was having success early on, mainly because of that right hand. In fact, it didn’t look like Lee was going to make it out of there for awhile. But suddenly, and inexplicably, Quillin holstered his weapons. It’s not like Lee was making him pay for throwing punches. It simply seemed like Quillin froze in that moment. He just didn’t know what to do. His fear of getting caught with something nasty got the better of him. He played it safe.

It wasn’t unlike an NFL coach who coaches not to lose–punting when he should be kicking a field goal. Kicking a field goal when he should be going for six. He pulled his punches, and he’ll be furious at himself for a very long time because of it.

Perhaps there will be a rematch, hopefully one in which Quillin will actually make weight. Or maybe both fighters will move on. One thing became painfully clear, if it wasn’t already–the beast of the division, GGG, would utterly destroy both guys.

Quillin is just not busy enough, and Lee is too easy to find. Perhaps their performances peaked the interest of Miguel Cotto, the lineal champ of the Middleweights. I don’t think either guy would pose that much of a puzzle for the Puerto Rican star, should he choose to actually defend his belt sometime in the near future.

This fight was Hagler/Hearns compared to the mess that made up the main event, Danny Garcia vs. Lamont Peterson. Somehow, the fight has stirred serious debate on social media. Nobody can seem to agree on who won the fight.

But to argue that anything definitive or egregious happened is a stretch–yes, Peterson out boxed Garcia, especially in the second half of the fight. But he also did a whole lot of running in the first half. What we shouldn’t have to argue about is the fact that the fight sucked. It was dreadful for LONG stretches.

Garcia eked out another iffy decision win, one in which he often appeared befuddled. It’s quite obvious that he has serious issues with “movers.” Mauricio Herrera had already proved that Garcia isn’t the sharpest at cutting off the ring. All Peterson did was put an exclamation point on the statement.

He’s at his best when guys are walking to him. From there, he can counter and use his left hook. His handlers would be wise to avoid any semblance of a slick boxer in the future, or his luck with the judges will run out.

For Peterson, he fought very well in the back half of the bout. It’s too bad he didn’t do a little more boxing and a little less running early on. Regardless of who deserved the nod, I’d rather not see it again. I’m betting nobody else is clamoring for a rematch either.

Two fights, two decisions, two uninspiring performances. This is not what Al Haymon had in mind, is it?

 

Some Random Notes From Last Night

The addition of Bob Costas did absolutely nothing for me but to illustrate just how desperately the producers are trying to make this thing work. That isn’t a bad thing.

The broadcast team continues to be dreadful. Marv is lost, and Ray Leonard shouldn’t have so much dead air to try to cover up. When B.J. Flores is the best part of the team, there’s a problem.

They’re trying to fix the ring entrances, but they are still hilariously awkward and ill-timed. Peter Quillin’s music bled into Andy Lee’s music and then the sound cut out. And then their team members met them halfway to the ring, appearing out of nowhere like David Blaine popping out from under the floor. The hell is going on?

Ray Leonard is really impressed with Peter Quillin.

Kenny Rice hilariously called Lee’s trainer Adam Booth “David,” which gave us 10 seconds of awkward, hilarious silence as Booth quietly decided whether to answer his inane questions or punch him in the mouth.

Steve Farhand?

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