Quillin puts in game effort against Andy Lee
By Scott Gilfoid: Despite coming off a year long layoff, former WBO middleweight champion Peter Quillin (31-0-1, 22 KOs) looked incredibly sharp last Saturday night I fighting to a controversial 12 round majority draw against WBO middleweight champion Andy Lee (34-2-1, 24 KOs) at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
Quillin, who hadn’t fought since last year in April, fought well enough to deserve the decision. I personally had Quillin winning based on his two knockdowns and his total domination of the 30-year-old Lee in the first six rounds of the fight. The judges had it 113-112 for Lee, 113-112 for Quillin and 113-113 even. It was some disappointing scores because I thought it was a pretty clear win for Quillin. Nevertheless, Quillin showed off a lot of his talent in taking the fight to Lee, and hurting him numerous times.
I lost track of all the times that Quillin had Lee buzzed from big right hand shots. Even in the later rounds, Lee looked unsteady in taking an occasional big shot from Quillin. There’s no question that Lee was landing at the better rate in the second half of the fight, but Quillin was still making up for it by landing the cleaner shots and shaking Lee up. As late as the 10th round, Quillin was still hurting Lee with punches to the head.
The overall punch stats were pretty much even with Lee landing 113 of 299 punches and Quillin 103 of 267 shots, via CompuBox. Lee connected on 38 percent of his shots compared to Quillin’s 39 percent.
To his credit, Quillin took the high road after the fight by not bellyaching about the decision. I know I would have gone ballistic if I were Quillin, but he kept a stiff upper lip. I would have been talking trash if I was in the same position as Quillin. He definitely showed a lot of class in not saying anything about the decision.
“There’s a reason why judges are judges,” Quillin said via ESPN.com. “They see it their way. I respect the decision.”
Lee was landing a lot of straight lefts in the second half of the fight. These were shots that wouldn’t have been landing if Quillin had stayed busy and been first. But by waiting too much and not letting his hands go, Quillin ended up getting hit with a lot of silly shots that he shouldn’t have been hit with. I chock this up to Quillin being rusty rather than this being indicative as how he normally fights. Quillin wasn’t getting hit with those shots in the first half of the fight. It was only after he started to fade in the 2nd half that the shots were connecting.
There’s a question of whether Quillin suffered some kind of hand injury in the 2nd half of the fight because he whispered something to his trainer in between the 10th and the 11th rounds. His trainer said “It’s alright,” as if letting him know that he’ll be okay even with the injury. If Quillin was indeed hurt, it would explain his drop off in punches. I mean, Quillin went from dominating Lee in the first half of the fight to that of a stationary fighter that wasn’t throwing anything back. The fight was there to be won for Quillin if he had kept throwing his lead right hands, but for some reason he stopped punching. That tells me that there had to be an injury or some sort. If not an injury, then it was a stamina thing for Quillin.
“It was a tough fight. I got dropped early because I was lazy, but I got the momentum late in the fight and boxed consistently,” Lee said. “I understand with two knockdowns, people felt he won. The decision was fair. I could have done better tonight.”
Lee was up and down on the canvas in the 1s and 3rd rounds after tasting two monstrous right hands from Quillin. Those shots would have knocked out a lesser fighter but Lee took them well, and recovered quickly. In the 7th, Lee dropped Quillin with a right hook to the back of the head that Quillin didn’t see coming. Quillin was in the process of nailing Lee with a right hand, and he didn’t see the right hand counter that Lee threw. However, it was more of a clash knockdown than a legit one, as Quillin looked wide-eyed and fine after getting up.
Lee’s WBO title wasn’t one the line for the fight due to Quilln not making weight last Friday at the weigh-in. Quillin weighed in at 161.4. Quillin then melted down to 160.6 pounds after an hour and a half. It’s unclear why Quillin didn’t take the full two hours to melt off the weight because there’s a good chance that he could have done it, but I can fully understand why he might not have wanted to. Taking off that kind of weight has a draining effect on a fighter, and it was far better for Quillin not to drain himself than it would have been had he took the weight off.
Quillin looked very sharp in the 1st round, as he had Lee badly hurt after nailing him with a right hand to the head in the last part of the round. Moments later, Quillin flurried on Lee and had him staggering as the round ended. Had there been a little more time left in the round, I think Quillin would have put the coup de grace on Lee and knocked him out cold. I mean, Lee was that close to being finished off by Quillin.
Lee looked as badly hurt as he did in his knockout losses to Brian Vera and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. Surprisingly, Lee recovered in between rounds, and looked alert when he came out for the 2nd round. In hindsight, Quillin probably should have jumped Lee from the get go in the 2nd round and flurried on him until he dropped in a heap, because I still think that Lee wasn’t fully recovered. It was just a case of Quillin not pressuring Lee to put him out of his misery when he had him ready to go. Lee has never done well against pressure fighters that throw a lot of punches at him, but Quillin failed to put the needed pressure to finish him off properly.