Daniel “Miracle Man” Jacobs (32-1-0 28KO) told Showtime’s Jim Grey it wasn’t a lucky punch that was responsible for his win over Peter “Kid Chocolate” Quillin (32-1-1 23KO) at Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY, saturday night. He explained there are no “lucky punches” in boxing. Every punch thrown comes from hours of training, monotonous, repetitive training that instills the muscles with a memory of their own. The hope is those muscles will react in a certain way when the opportunity presents itself. There is no thought process, only reaction, and the punch is sent on its way.
If that’s the case, and we know it is, then Jacobs wasn’t lucky. But, could Quillin have been unlucky or luckless? Was his failure to get out of the way of the first right hand punch simply one of those things that happen in boxing when the boxer says, “He caught me with a good shot”?
Sometimes the fighter on the losing end has done everything he knows how to do in hopes of winning the fight. His efforts just aren’t enough. Or, it might be something like Jack Dempsey said to his bride, “I forgot to duck.”
Establishing muscle memory necessary for a boxer’s murderous attack takes hours and hours of laborious, repetitive practice: jab jab left right left right, step in step around, pull away, etc. Sounds simple, right. Throw into the mix the fact that punches are going to be coming back, and obviously that will require more training, and muscle memory involving how to avoid them.
One of the most important things a fighter is taught is to keep his eyes open. Initially, we all have the defensive mechanism of shutting our eyes to protect the eye from harm. The fighter must be broken of that habit. He must see what is happening in order to react correctly. If a boxer blinks, or worse yet, closes his eye, then it’s very likely the count of ten will be administered over his unconscious body.
Surprisingly that seems to be what happened to Quillin this past Saturday. Specifically, when Jacobs feigned throwing a left hook, Kid Chocolate pulled his right glove in close to the right side of his face and head. But unbelievably he closed his eyes and failed to raise and pull in tight his left glove to protect the left side of his face.
Jacobs’ right was already on its way, and with nothing to deter it, the punch slammed against the left side of Quillin’s head. It knocked him caddywhompous. By now his eyes were open, but his view of Jacobs probably looked like a mirage or specter (new Bond movie). Jacobs must have seemed like a menacing shadow, a danger. Quillin stared vacantly, and fear and dread must have been seeping into his brain as he tried to grab hold of Jacobs for dear life.
Jacobs pushed him away, and Quillin moved like a bicycle with a bent wheel. He wobbled out of whack, off center. At that point, Jacobs might not have felt landing that first right hand was lucky, but he certainly had to feel Quillin’s vulnerable state was fortuitous. No one in either corner, the arena or viewing crowd envisioned anything like a first round knockout was going to happen. Quillin was supposed to be the puncher. Regardless, neither fighter was expected to knockout the other in the first round!
Hence, if Jacobs wasn’t lucky, he certainly was fortunate that everything he tried worked. He didn’t have time to try the combo more than once, because it worked perfectly. Now, how lucky was that? Oops! It’s just that when that kind of thing happens to most of us, we can’t believe it. Some of us might think it was fluky, others believe it was heaven-sent. It’s likely Jacobs believed it was an early Christmas gift. What are the chances of it happening again? The likelihood is pretty slim, and that’s what Peter “Kid Chocolate” Quillin should keep in mind. He’s still one of the best middleweights in the world.