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Quillin a player in middleweight division after N'Dam victory
Peter Quillin added his name to the mix in the red-hot middleweight division with his thrilling WBO title-winning decision over Hassan N'Dam, who he dropped six times on the undercard of Danny Garcia-Erik Morales rematch in Brooklyn, N.Y., on Saturday.
BROOKLYN, N.Y. – The middleweight division, long one of boxing’s glamour divisions, has been hot since the calendar turned to September. There was the rousing final round of Sergio Martinez-Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. where Martinez barely made it to the final bell. We had Australian Daniel Geale’s breakthrough performance against Felix Sturm in Germany. And then there was the arrival of power-punching Gennady Golovkin. With Saturday’s 160-pound title offering at Barclays Center, we have a new name to throw into the stacked weight class: Peter Quillin.
Quillin (28-0, 20 knockouts) won the WBO middleweight title with an impressive display of power, dropping Frenchman Hassan N’Dam six times en route to a 12-round unanimous decision in a terrific fight on Showtime Championship Boxing. All three judges had the same tally: 115-107.
“Brooklyn was behind me tonight,” said Quillin, who is from New York, N.Y. “This was an historic event. I opened up Barclays Center live on Showtime and became a world champion. I just want to be an inspiration to all my fans. It takes a great fighter to come in my backyard and fight me. He was hard. He wouldn’t stay down, he kept getting back up. He’s got a big heart.”
“Kid Chocolate” Quillin dropped N’Dam twice in the fourth, twice in the sixth and twice in the final round. When N’Dam wasn’t on the canvas, he was out-boxing Quillin and clearly won many rounds. But N’Dam was careless and got into firefights with the harder-punching Quillin, often on the wrong end of monstrous left hooks.
Quillin landed 44 percent of his power shots (102 of 230), while N'Dam landed 35 percent (97 of 279), according to CompuBox.
N’Dam (27-1, 17 knockouts) showed his mettle and toughness, fighting back after each knockdown and competing to win, not to survive. N’Dam, 28, hurt Quillin with shots towards the end of the 11th. Blood went flying out of Quillin’s mouth with a combination in the round, but Quillin left no doubt who the victor would be when he floored N’Dam twice in the last 10 seconds of the action fight.
With so many points lost due to knockdowns (six in total), N’Dam knew he needed to win rounds and he showed a sense of urgency, stalking Quillin round-after-round. In defeat, N’Dam showed his fighting spirit and resiliency.
“All I know is I have a really big heart,” said N’Dam, a native of Cameroon. “I was trying to get my legs back from underneath me and I couldn’t get them back. I did my best. I got caught a couple of times and that’s surprising – I’ve never been knocked down before. I felt like I was winning the round and then he knocked me down so I lost the round.
“I signed a rematch clause and I want a rematch.”
N’Dam, THE RING’s No. 7 middleweight, had a big round two, connecting on power shots and dictating the pace of the fight and was firmly in control (he won the first three rounds on two of three cards) when Quillin drilled him with a big left hook in the fourth round. N’Dam was hurt badly and looked to survive, but Quillin cut the ring off and sent N’Dam sprawling to the ropes with follow-up shots. N’Dam began trading with Quillin and another hook sent him to the canvas a second time. They traded at the bell and N’Dam fell into the ropes after the round ended. It appeared that referee Eddie Claudio missed a knockdown call or two in the round, ruling slips.
Quillin, 29, dropped his foe twice more in the sixth, the first knockdown coming from a hook, and the second coming from a right. Quillin tried to finish him with big, looping shots, but N’Dam wouldn’t quit.
N’Dam was floored twice more in the 12th, cementing a title change.
Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer has big plans for Quillin, THE RING’s No. 9-rated middleweight, following the breakthrough performance.
“He has power, he’s exciting. It’s another big name now in the middleweight division,” said Schaefer. “I met with Barclays Center CEO Brett Yormark this morning and we are planning to bring the Brooklyn kids back (in 2013.)”
With so much promise in Quillin’s future, he knows the work isn’t finished.
“I’m not done yet, I have a lot to learn still,” he said. “My hard work has paid off. I worked for that.”
Photos / Al Bello and Alex Trautwig-Getty Images