By Jake Donovan
Daniel Jacobs and Peter Quillin are all set to square off in a middleweight title bout billed as the Battle for Brooklyn. The Showtime-televised headliner takes place Saturday evening at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
Jacobs tipped the scales at a ripped and ready 159.5 lbs. for the third defense of his version of the middleweight title. Quillin - who missed weight ahead in attempt to reclaim his old belt from Andy Lee in April - came in surprisingly light yet finely sculpted at 159 lbs.
Born in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn, Jacobs (30-1, 27KOs) won the title in his home borough in a 5th round knockout of Jarrod Fletcher last August. His most recent defense also took place at Barclays, trading knockdowns with Sergio Mora before scoring a 2nd round injury stoppage.
Both fights are part of a current 10-fight win streak since suffering the lone loss of his career, a 5th round stoppage at the hands of Dmitry Pirog in his first middleweight title fight more than five years ago. While he hasn’t since lost in the ring, he was in for the fight of his life when diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a form of bone cancer.
Jacobs managed to beat the odds both in overcoming cancer and enjoying a triumphant return to the ring in 2012. His first fight back took place on the very first card at Barclays Center in Oct. ’12, now playing the venue for the fifth time in his career.
Quillin (32-0-1, 23KOs) was also a part of the groundbreaking event staged here, helping christen the venue with a 12-round unanimous decision win over Hassan N'Dam N'Jikam to win a middleweight belt. The Cuban-American boxer - born in Chicago, raised in Grand Rapids, MI but now based within walking distance of Saturday's venue - managed three successful defenses before vacating his belt last summer.
An attempt to reclaim his old title fell short first at the scales, missing weight for his bout with Andy Lee - also at Barclays - this past April. It mattered little in the end, as he could do no better than fight on even terms with the Irish southpaw, scoring two knockdowns early only to suffer a knockdown of his own in settling for a three-way split decision draw.
He's since returned to the win column, claiming a 4th round knockout of overmatched Michael Zerafa in September. The win came with mixed feelings, as it paved the way for the showdown with Jacobs, but also left Quillin in a less-than-celebratory mood as he was forced to watch his opponent get carried out on a stretcher.
Read on to see how the staff at BoxingScene.com believes Saturday night’s middleweight action goes down in Brooklyn.
BOXINGSCENE.COM STAFF PREDICTIONS:
DANIEL JACOBS vs. PETER QUILLIN
Miguel Assuncao (Quillin late TKO):
It's a close fight on paper and it could prove to be one of the year's most thrilling match-ups. Both Quillin and Jacobs have shown they can punch, and both have been on the canvas in their career only to get up and avoid defeat. Quillin is big at the weight and has been in with better opposition which I think will help him grind down Jacobs and eventually stop him in the latter rounds to claim bragging rights in the Battle of Brooklyn.
Shaun Brown (Quillin TKO10):
I really like the Jacobs v Quillin match-up. We've got bragging rights up for grabs as well as power and vulnerability in both men. So long as Quillin makes the weight I think we're in for a thrilling fight. I just think Quillin has the edge in the more crucial boxing departments than Jacobs and will stop his fellow New Yorker by the tenth round.
Ryan Burton (Jacobs Split Dec.):
Conventional wisdom says Quillin should win this fight but my gut says that Jacobs will pull out a split decision to win the Battle of Brooklyn.
Jake Donovan (Quillin KO):
My greatest question mark was Quillin’s ability to make middleweight given his huge frame. He appeared to make it with relative ease (read: hard work) on Friday. I can see Jacobs outboxing his unbeaten challenger early on, but eventually getting caught with something big and never recovering.
Stephen “Breadman” Edwards (Quillin TKO):
Quillin too mean and been in too tough.
Michael Gibbons (Quillin TKO7):
Could be a fun fight. Quillen has looked vulnerable of late but I think Jacobs has his attention. I am going with better fighter and bigger puncher.
Peter Lim (Jacobs Dec.):
This Brooklyn turf war is an intriguing match-up rife with intangibles that could unfold as an explosive Hagler-Hearns type shootout, a cerebral chess match or anything in between. Both fighters can box and both can crack, and while Jacobs is the more educated of the two, he also appears to have the frailer chin. Jacobs strikes first, dropping Quillin early in the fight. But just as he seems to be taking control, Quillin returns the favor and sends Jacobs to the canvass in the middle rounds. From that point on, Jacobs reverts to a more risk-averse strategy by boxing conservatively and doing just enough to put the rounds the bank. Unless Jacobs gets careless, which he does have a tendency to do, he should cruise to a comfortable decision victory.
Takahiro Onaga (Quillin TKO7):
This has potential to be explosive, but I am not sold on Jacobs and his ability to take a shot. I think Jacobs will start fast but get taken out in the middle rounds.
Victor Salazar (Quillin TKO9):
I see Jacobs boxing well early but getting caught late and big by a Quillin right hand stopping Jacobs late.
Reynaldo Sanchez (Quillin mid-to-late TKO):
I choose Peter Quillin for their boxing skills, I think it will be a fight between a strong fighter such Jacobs, trying to put out of action Quillin since the beginning. However, the good Quillin footwork and best technique will him keep away from Jacobs.
Alexey Sukachev (Quillin TKO8):
Jacobs has never been really tested since his comeback a few years ago. On the other hand, Quillin not only was tested but also he passed those tests with flying colours. I think Kid Chokolate will face some problems early on, than re-group and finish very strong, where a stoppage shouldn't be excluded too.
Jake Donovan is the managing editor of BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox