By Mariano A. Agmi at ringside
Photos: Ed Mulholland
Defending WBC/WBA super lightweight champion Danny Garcia (25-0, 16 KOs) scored a fourth round KO over Mexican ring legend Erik Morales (52-9, 36 KOs) on Saturday night at the new Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. In a one-sided beating, Garcia laid out Morales with a clean left hook that spun him half way around. Time was 1:23. After the fight, Morales said this would be his last fight in the United States, but he wants a farewell fight in Tijuana.
In a bout switched to a non-title affair after challenger Pablo Cesar Cano failed to make weight, WBA welterweight champion Paulie Malignaggi (32-4, 7 KOs) barely won a twelve round split decision. Cano (25-2-1, 19 KOs) suffered a bad cut over his left eye in round two, but stayed in the fight, finally dropping Malignaggi in round eleven. Scores were 114-113, 114-113 Malignaggi and 118-109 Cano on the third card.
Unbeaten Peter Quillin (28-0, 20 KOs) knocked down WBO middleweight champion Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam (27-1, 17 KOs) six times en route to a twelve round unanimous decision to claim his first world championship. Quillin dropped N’Jikam twice in round four, twice in round six and two more times in the twelfth. Scores were 115-107 on all cards.
Trainer Kevin Cunningham has his second two-weight world champion, as St. Louis native Devon Alexander “The Great” (24-1, 13 KOs) won an uneventful twelve round unanimous decision over reigning titleholder Randall “KO King” Bailey (43-8, 37 KOs) to win the IBF welterweight belt. Cautious of Bailey’s powerful right hand, Alexander employed the tactic of double jabbing and clinching or landing a left hand and spinning Bailey for the duration of the bout. Bailey, one of the hardest hitting fighters pound for pound, never found the opening he was seeking to end the fight. Scores were 115-111, 116-110 and 117-109 for the new champion.
Dmitriy Salita (35-1-1, 18 KOs) won a hard fought, workman-like unanimous decision over Brandon Hoskins (16-3-1, 8 KOs). The “Star of David” won by scores of 60-54 and 59-55 (2x) in a 6 round welterweight bout.
Brooklyn middleweight Danny Jacobs (23-1, 20 KOs) made short work of Josh Luteran (13-2, 9 KOs), obliterating the fighter out of Blue Springs, MO, with a left hook on the button and a follow-up hook, right uppercut combination that knocked Luteran unconscious at 1:13 of the opening stanza.
In a junior middleweight contest, Eddie Gomez (11-0, 8KOs) landed a crushing left hook to drop Saul Benitez (1-3) for the count, winning by knockout at 1:23 of round two.
Luis Collazo (32-5, 16KOs) looked a lot closer to his championship form, winning an eight round unanimous decision over Steve Upsher Chambers (24-2, 6KOs) in a junior middleweight bout. Collazo employed his vast array of boxing skills, using his right jab, movement and big counter left hands to dictate the pace of the fight.
In the opening bout of the evening, Boyd Melson (10-1-1, 4 KOs) and Jason Thompson (5-6-2, 4 KOs) fought to a six round draw in a junior middleweight contest. All three judges scored the bout 56-56. Boyd survived a first round dropped Thompson in the third round with a big straight left hand.