By Jake Donovan
Daniel Jacobs and Peter Quillin are set to square off in a middleweight bout billed as the Battle for Brooklyn. Both fighters made weight ahead of their Showtime-televised headliner Saturday evening at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
Jacobs (30-1, 27KOs) 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 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.
Quillin (32-0-1, 23KOs) was a part of the first-ever boxing event staged at Barclays Center, helping christen the venue with a 12-round win over Hassan N'Dam N'Jikam to win a middleweight belt in Oct. '12. 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 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.
The opening bout of the telecast pits reigning featherweight titlist Jesus Cuellar versus Puerto Rico's Jonathan Oquendo.
Both fighters weighed in at 125.25 lbs.
Cuellar (27-1, 21KOs) makes the second defense of his full version of the featherweight title. The southpaw from Argentina - who turns 28 later this month - is coming off of an 8th round knockout of Vic Darchinyan in June. He picked up an interim title with an Aug. '13 win over Claudio Marrero, defending three times before receiving the upgrade to full title status.
Oquendo (26-4, 16KOs) enters on the biggest win of his career, a 10-round decision over former three-time titlist Jhonny Gonzalez this past September in Las Vegas. Saturday's showdown with Cuellar marks the first career title shot for the 32-year old from Vega Alta, Puerto Rico.
The Showtime telecast will be preceded by live action on sister network SHO Extreme. Headlining that portion of the show, former 140 lb. titlist Chris Algieri plays Barclays for the third time in his past four fights as he faces Ecuador's Erick Boné in a scheduled 10-round welterweight bout.
Both fighters weighed 145.8 lbs.
Algieri (20-2, 8KOs) - based out of Huntington (Long Island), NY - saw the biggest win of his career take place at Barclays Center, outpointing Ruslan Provodnikov over 12 rounds to win a super lightweight belt last June. It was the last time he saw the win column, dropping a pair of decisions to Manny Pacquiao and Amir Khan. The latter came in May, also staged at this very venue.
Boné (16-2, 8KOs) has been out of the ring since a knockout loss to Shawn Porter in March, a fight he accepted on short notice when Roberto Garcia withdrew due to injury. The bout marks his fifth straight in the United States - and second in New York - after having previously fought exclusively in Ecuador.
Daniel Jacobs vs. Peter Quillin - 12 rds, middleweight
Jesus Cuellar, 125.25 lbs. vs. Jonathan Oquendo, 125.25 lbs. - 12 rds, featherweight
Jake Donovan is the managing editor of BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox