By Joseph Herron – Undefeated Middleweight Peter Quillin (28-0, 20 KOs) captured a piece of the 160 pound puzzle by besting the previously unbeaten incumbent WBO title holder, Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam (27-1, 17 KOs), to earn a unanimous twelve round decision, flooring the defending champ six times in the process.
To begin the most action filled bout of the highly publicized Golden Boy quadruple header, the French based fighter used shifting lateral movement to keep the title challenger off balance and seemed to frustrate Quillin with quick shots from the outside.
N’Dam ostensibly won two of the first three rounds of action based on ring generalship and clean, effective punching from mid to long range. Despite having difficulty cutting off the ring effectively, “Kid Chocolate” showed his poise and maturity by shifting gears to plan B and forcing the reigning champ to assume a more aggressive role.
Rather than fighting N’Dam’s fight, the 29 year old Brooklynite baited the fleet footed visiting fighter into letting his hands go while moving in and countered Hassan with a picture perfect left hook that floored the WBO title holder for the first time in his professional career within the first minute of round number four.
Sensing that his opponent was hurt, Peter showed his ring intelligence by choosing to pick his shots wisely and set up another beautiful left hook that shook the French fighter to the canvas once again.
Although N’Dam made it out of the tumultuous round, the momentum had drastically shifted to powerful challenger’s favor.
After seemingly getting his legs back, the incumbent WBO title holder looked to even the score in round number six but was met with another brilliantly timed left hook counter that sent N’Dam back onto the canvas. Despite getting up immediately, the title holder was on shaky legs once again and was dropped with a straight right hand to give Quillin another 10-7 round on the judges’ scorecards.
Despite placing himself in a huge deficit on the judges’ tally, N’Dam displayed his championship character by battling back into the fight and pressing the action in rounds 9, 10, and 11. The reigning champ knew that he needed to score effectively to retain his title and he effectively outpunched the challenger to climb back into the fight.
Going into the final round of action, N’Dam was still ostensibly behind in the scorecards and attempted to press the action once again, but was met with a title clinching shot that buckled the courageous Cameroon born fighter and drove him onto the canvas with only 29 seconds remaining in the fight. Peter attempted to close the show in style and floored N’Dam one final time with a solid punch that sealed the victory in the minds of everyone in attendance.
Although the defending champion made it to the final bell, Hassan N’Dam was floored a total of six times, convincing the judges at ringside that he had lost his belt to the stronger title challenger.
The final verdict from the judges at ringside read 115-107 x 3, all in favor of the winner and new WBO Middleweight Champion, “Kid Chocolate” Peter Quillin.
After the exciting championship winning performance, the emotional new title holder spoke to his fans in attendance.
“Brooklyn was behind me tonight,” emphatically stated Peter Quillin. “This meant a lot to me to open up the Barclays Center tonight and become a world champion. This is for the fans. I want to be an inspiration to all of my fans. I fought a very tough fighter tonight and I’m sure he’ll be back. I’m not done yet and I’m still learning. But I worked very hard for this and my hard work paid off tonight.”
Although there was a rematch clause factored into the pre-fight contract, it will be interesting to see if Golden Boy and Peter Quillin decide to give the brave Hassan N’Dam an immediate opportunity for a rematch, or challenge another fighter in the top ten.
Regardless of who Peter decides to fight next, the long suffering Cuban/American can finally say that he became a champion of the world on October 20th, 2012.
Congratulations, “Kid Chocolate”!!