By Peter Wells: If you didn’t watch last night’s fight between Peter Quillin and Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam, then you must be wondering how a fighter can score six knockdowns and still be in a close fight. Well the scorecards say it all, 115-107 across the board for Quillin, in a fight that had three 10-7 rounds in favour of the Cuban-American. Had it not been for those knockdowns then the fight would have been scored 115-113 to Quillin, or the fight could have easily been a draw, as in the 12th round he was in control before suffering the two knockdowns that ultimately ended any slim chance of an amazing comeback.
The fight was fought at a brisk pace, as both boxers took it in turns to take the front foot. Both looked better when they fought on the front foot, but it was Quillin who made the biggest impact with his powerful left hook.
I had Quillin 2-1 up in rounds going into the fourth, the round that really changed the fight. Quillin had N’Dam on the ropes when he landed a gorgeous left hook, sending the Cameroonian born fighter to the canvas. The shot sent chills down my spine and it was amazing to see N’Dam survive. Quillin went for the kill, showing great killer instinct. Another left hook sent N’Dam down but again he was up quickly and had the look of a man who had just suffered a flash knockdown. N’Dam survived the round but I instantly thought the fight wouldn’t go much longer.
N’Dam though proved me wrong and may have taken the 5th, although I gave it to Quillin, as he seemed to have that extra snap in his punches. Then in the 6th, Quillin exploded again, knocking N’Dam down with another huge left hook, before a right hand sent N’Dam down for a fourth time. Some referees may have stopped the fight, but thankfully this one didn’t, the main reason being that every time N’Dam rose to his feet he didn’t show any signs of being hurt. Once again he clung on, and once again I predicted Quillin would end it in the next.
You guessed it, N’Dam proved me wrong again, this time coming back with a very positive round of his own which he clearly won. N’Dam backed Quillin to the ropes and worked well with his fast hands, but lacked Quillin’s explosive power.
I had N’Dam winning the 7th,8th,9th and 10th, which set up a great final two rounds. It seemed though that Quillin could hurt N’Dam when he liked but for some reason insisted on sticking to the back foot, and throwing very little. In the 11th he showed some urgency, taking the fight back to N’Dam. In the final round, N’Dam went for it, leaving plenty of gaps for Quillin to counter. N’Dam was winning the round before another explosive left sent him to the canvas. It was a picture perfect counter punch, which ended any chance of a dramatic turn-around. N’Dam went down again, which he felt was a slip, but the fight was already finished.
It was a hugely courageous effort from N’Dam who proved his worth on the world scene, in a division rich with talent. A fight between N’Dam and Matthew Macklin would make a lot of sense, and that could be a cracker. Quillin took N’Dam’s WBO Middleweight title but the N’Dam sure wasn’t giving it up without a fight.
That is unlike former IBF Welterweight champion Randall Bailey who lost his title to Devon Alexander without even putting up a fight. Alexander dominated every round, even though the judges somehow gave some rounds to Bailey. The judges gave Bailey 3,4 and 5 rounds respectively, everyone who watched it are clueless as to what Bailey did to deserve even one round.
Devon Alexander did what he had to do, taking no risks against a man that was only looking for one shot that was never going to come. Kell Brook is now Devon’s mandatory challenger, but Brook shouldn’t use this fight to judge Alexander. When he’s pushed, Alexander can be a world class fighter, who is very hard to beat.