Garcia wallops Morales at Barclays Center

Garcia wallops Morales at Barclays Center
By Vikram Birring at ringside, Doghouse Boxing (Oct 22, 2012) Photo © Tom Casino / SHOWTIME

Danny Garcia lands punch on Erik Morales
By Vikram Birring at ringside, reporting for

Atlantic and Pacific.

This is the prime location in Brooklyn for an arena: a stop for numerous New York City subway lines, and also a stop for the Long Island Rail Road.

This is the location of Barclays Center, which opened to a week of Jay-Z concerts this month, but the story of what should have been goes deeper.

The owner of the Brooklyn Dodgers, Peter O’Malley, sought this location for a new stadium for the team in the early 1950’s. However, this was against the beliefs of the power broker, Robert Moses. Moses insisted that the site should be in Flushing, at the site of what later became Shea Stadium. After years of haggling with the stubborn Moses, O’Malley gave up and took the team to California, and ended up taking the New York Giants with him.

More than half a century later, real estate magnate Bruce Ratner built a basketball stadium at the site, after years of lawsuits and political struggle. It will now be the home of the Brooklyn Nets, who relocated from East Rutherford, New Jersey.

Barclays Center Photo © Vikram Birring, Doghouse Boxing
History is a lens into lessons learned, and this one took over 60 years to come to fruition.

October 20 was the first sporting event at the arena, unless the Harlem Globetrotters are to be recognized as competitive, although the squad rarely loses.

The headlining event was odd, a Puerto Rican from arch rival Philadelphia against a Mexican from Tijuana. Erik “El Terrible” Morales vs. Danny “Swift” Garcia was a slightly intriguing fight, but had the feeling of been there, done that.

It was expected to be a blowout, and was exactly that. Morales (52-9, 36 KO) had some success in the early rounds, landing occasional punches and making Garcia (25-0, 16 KO) miss, but at the end of the third round, Garcia struck gold. He walloped Morales with a right hand, staggering him.

The scene in the fourth round was tragic. Garcia whacked Morales with a left hook so hard and precise, that it sent Morales’s body spinning 180 degrees and on the canvas. His corner immediately hopped in the ring and the bout was stopped by referee Benjy Esteves at one minute, twenty-three seconds.

Bensonhurst’s own Paulie “Magic Man” Malignaggi won a controversial split decision over young Mexican Pablo Cesar Cano. After out boxing him in the early rounds, Cano (25-2-1, 19 KO) began to land damaging blows to Malignaggi (32-4, 7 KO) throughout the bout, culminating with an eleventh round knockdown from a vicious right cross. At the end of the night, the question was would Malignaggi’s constant jabbing win him the bout or would it be Cano’s occasional power shots? The judges agreed with the former and awarded the hometown fighter the decision, 114-113 twice, and 109-118. The crowd rained vociferous boos at the decision.

Peter “Kid Chocolate” Quillin gave the fight of his life to win the WBO Middleweight Title from Frenchman via Cameroon Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam. N’Dam (27-1, 17 KO) rocked Quillin (28-0, 20 KO) in round three with a right hand, sending saliva flying. Quillin walked back to his corner with a slightly discouraged facial expression. In round four, Quillin rocked N’Dam with an uppercut, and dropped him with a lethal left hook. Another left hook stunned N’Dam, and then another dropped him once again. After the sensational round, Brownsville’s Mike Tyson stood up and applauded the round. In the fifth round N’Dam tasted the canvas again twice, via a left hook and right hand, respectively. He survived the round, and slowly worked his way back into the fight.

Quillin began to throw less and less punches, and N’Dam simply outworked him. By the twelfth, it appeared that N’Dam had a chance to salvage the fight due to his work rate, but then was dropped again by a left hook. He rose, only to hit the floor a sixth time with a few seconds left.

The decision was elementary, as Quillin won 115-107 on all three cards. Devon Alexander (24-1, 13 KO) won a snoozer against Randall Bailey (43-8, 37 KO), enraging a bloodthirsty audience. He circled and boxed Bailey, who looked for the one hard punch that never landed. Scores were 116-110, 115-111, and 117-109.

Other results:

Luis Collazo (32-5, 16 KO) W UD 8 vs. Steve Chambers (24-2, 6 KO)

Danny Jacobs (23-1, 20 KO) W KO 1 vs. Josh Luteran (13-2, 9 KO)

Dmitry Salita (35-1-1, 18 KO) W UD 6 vs. Brandon Hoskins (16-3-1, 8 KO)

Boyd Melson (10-1-1, 4 KO) D Jason Thompson (5-6-2, 4 KO)

Eddie Gomez (11-0, 8 KO) W TKO 2 vs. Saul Benitez (1-3)

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