Boxing: Peter Quillin

Publicist Swanson wins via TKO1

November, 16, 2013
Some of her colleagues were chuckling post-fight, as the publicist to Bernard Hopkins and Floyd Mayweather was interviewed by the boxing writer, and being asked how she felt getting a win in her fighting debut.

But nobody was chuckling about Kelly Swanson's in-ring demeanor on Saturday night, at a jam-packed Gleason's Gym in DUMBO; the debuter, who strode to the ring in a blue robe with the words "The Communicator" stitched on the back, with cornerman Hopkins whispering encouragement and combat tips in her ear, showed a sharp left hand which made her foe Amy Handelsman do a 180 in the first round. Swanson quickly whacked Handelsman with combos, forcing a standing eight. The action resumed, but not for long. Swanson moved in for the kill, let her hands go, and the ref was forced to step in and halt the scrap. The end came at 53 seconds elapsed in round one.

The fight was the main event of a charity card, Fighters 4 Life Showcase, to raise money for at-risk youth, who can learn about fitness, and self-discipline and work towards positive goal-setting at Gleason's.

Afterwards, Swanson was barely breathing hard as she dissected her performance and the experience. Lisa Milner, Swanson's right hand for the past few years while helping promote Mayweather and Hopkins fights, was howling as she watched me query Swanson, who's done the same to the best in the business in her 20 plus years in the game. "The butterflies as you're getting ready, getting your hands wrapped, everything, are incredible," Swanson told me. "But once the bell rings you just get into it and fight."

Hopkins pre-fight told me that he'd told Swanson to keep it simple, don't try and get fancy. She complied, but with extra zest, firing with the same firmness and directness she often exhibits doing the publicity chores.

A celeb-studded crowd packed the joint, as Rosie Perez, and fighters Peter Quillin, Danny Jacobs, Yuri Foreman, Marcus Browne and Showtime boxing boss Stephen Espinoza attended, to raise funds for the kids, and cheer on the publicist, who did indeed live up to the name "The Communicator:" Swanson communicated some serious intent with a thudding left hand, and even better, serious skills as a fundraiser: she raised $11,270 for the charity, tops among the 12 participants in the event.

Quillin wins via TKO over Rosado

October, 26, 2013
New Yorker Peter Quillin has a reputation as a knockdown artist, having notched 10 knockdowns in his past two fights before stepping into the ring at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, N.J., on Saturday night on a Golden Boy card.

In defending his middleweight title, the 30-year-old Quillin didn't find foe Gabriel Rosado as easy to dent as Hassan N'Dam N'Jikam or Fernando Guerrero, though. He knocked Rosado down once, but the scrap was nip-and-tuck until Round 10. Then, the doctor halted the bout, at 40 seconds elapsed, deeming a cut over Rosado's left eye too bad to allow the fighter to continue. Quillin was awarded the TKO win, because the cut was caused by a punch.

"I was hurting him," Rosado said afterward. "I deserve a rematch -- this is the story of my life, I'm the real Rocky Balboa."

"I feel good," Quillin said. "It wasn't easy but I earned every bit of it." He said he respects the doctor for protecting the loser. He mentioned Sergio Martinez as a possible next foe, and said he'd defend versus anyone, "even my mother."

The Philladelphia fighter Rosado was buckled by a left hook early in the first but collected himself. The patient Quillin waited for a spot, assessing Rosado's methods. In the second, Rosado went down in a flash with 35 seconds to go. It was a left hook that did it, after a right blinded him.

In the third, Rosado wanted to press more. He had some luck, with rights, and in keeping Quillin from patiently dissecting him. In the fourth, Quillin's underrated left hook scored a few times. Then Quillin got buzzed late, off a short right counter. He held smartly. In the fifth, Rosado had Quillin thinking too much, backing up. Rosado mocked him with showboating early. In the sixth, the Rosado right again found a home a couple times. Quillin did well early, when a constant jab was in motion.

In the seventh, a right upper for Quillin wowed the crowd. His foe has good torso and head movement when threatened, though. In the eighth, Rosado stalked Quillin; his confidence was high and he indicated that Quillin didn't have bothersome pop. The cut on his left eye said otherwise after the ninth ended. In Round 10, the ref asked the doctor looked at the cut, and the doctor said no mas.

Quillin, who grew up in Michigan, is now 30-0 with 22 KOs. Rosado drops to 21-7.

The scores at the time of the stop were 89-81, 87-83 and 90-80, for Quillin, from Waleska Roldan, Ron McNair and Kason Cheeks, respectively. Quillin went 88-of-349, to 80-of-297 for the loser, in punch stats.

Living legend Hopkins enthralls at presser

October, 23, 2013
It has been a long time since Bernard Hopkins scored a knockout.

So long, in fact, that the fighter himself betrayed a haziness that is totally atypical of a man who is so dialed in on staying in shape that he steers clear of sugar like it's rat poison.

[+] EnlargeBernard Hopkins, Karo Murat
AP Photo/Kathy WillensBernard Hopkins and Karo Murat will meet on Saturday at the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City.
He asked for the year on Wednesday at B.B. King Blues Club & Grill in Manhattan during a presser to tout his Saturday clash in Atlantic City, N.J. against Karo Murat, a German-based boxer.

One wiseguy yelled "2004," which is when a Hopkins left hook convinced Oscar De la Hoya that the middleweight division was a bridge too far for him.

"I don't want to go 12 [rounds] all the time," said Hopkins, who turns 49 on Jan. 15. "Trust, me I'm trying [for a KO], I've just been on a bit of a drought."

Hopkins (53-6-2 with 32 KOs) can command the attention of a room, where he spoke with the same intensity with which he fights. He also zigs and zags between humor and barbs, some self-deprecating, and isn't afraid to throw zingers at haters and rivals. Murat (25-1-1 with 15 KOs; age 30) didn't get slammed, though both Hopkins and trainer Naazim Richardson all but said they'd look for spots to press the underdog and stop him inside the distance.

Middleweight titlist Peter Quillin, who defends his WBO belt against Gabriel Rosado in Atlantic City on the same card, seems to be soaking up Hopkins' wisdom, though. He took aim at the lack of energy in the room, and exhorted the assembled media and fight game citizens to clap with more zing. Hopkins took Quillin's cudgel, and swung it, playfully labeling the attendees slothful.

Heavyweight journeyman Nicolai Firtha (21-10-1) may have stolen the show, or at least the portion Hopkins left up for grabs. Firtha expressed a palpable joy -- or a skill for acting which would serve him well in Hollywood -- when he said he was overjoyed to be given the opportunity to meet 29-0 Deontay Wilder, who has stopped every foe he has met to this point.

Showtime will televise the card.

How about Mayweather-Quillin?

September, 18, 2013
I’ve been mocked in the not too distant past for suggesting that Floyd Mayweather is such a ring talent that it would be wise to widen the scope of the search for future foes beyond the 147-to-154-pound region. I got whacked around like a piņata at a kids party for suggesting super-middleweight Andre Ward may be the only person anywhere near Floyd’s weight class to test him. I was dismissed for being a Floyd hater, with the critics deeming me a lunatic for suggesting that Mayweather, really best suited to fight at welterweight, tangle with Ward, even if Ward offered to make a catchweight of say, 162 pounds. And what if Ward's contract called for him to gain no more than two pounds post weigh-in, he could come in to the ring weighing about what Canelo weighed on Saturday? I still think I'm not a lunatic.

We should not, I don’t think, dismiss potential matchups like Mayweather-Ward or Mayweather-Bernard Hopkins, because I still don’t see anyone at or near the 147-154 pound class giving “Money” problems. But, what about 160 pounds? How about Peter “Kid Choclate” Quillin? Maybe Floyd could be persuaded to edge up to 160 pounds and challenge Quillin for his WBO strap? They could do the bout in Brooklyn, and the fantasy matchup gets one step closer to reality with the knowledge that Quillin is a Golden Boy fighter, and fights on Showtime, which is the company Mayweather signed has his mega-deal with.

I reached out to Quillin’s co-manager, Jon Seip, and broached the subject with him. Could he see a Mayweather-Quillin faceoff?

“I can’t see Floyd going to 160,” he told me. “Not when Sergio Martinez and Gennady Golovkin can go to 154.”

OK, but if an overture were made, would Quillin do it?

“We will listen to any fight,” he said.

And would Quillin shrink down to, maybe, 156, to even the playing field?

“No,” Seip said.

Regarding Martinez and Golovkin, both those gents work under the HBO umbrella and I don’t see that relationship switching. Just to be sure, I reached out to Team Martinez’s Nathan Lewkowicz; his dad Sampson Lewkowicz advises Martinez, who is promoted by Lou DiBella. “Sergio has a contract with HBO and he’s loyal to HBO and HBO has done right by him,” Nathan told me.

Sort of sounds like as of now you can shelve the Mayweather-Martinez meetup, eh?

Readers, you dig a Mayweather-Quillin scrap, if "Money" signed off on it, and liked the idea of questing for a middleweight crown?

Follow Woods on Twitter.

Yormark wants Mayweather in Brooklyn

September, 13, 2013
The word out of Las Vegas, ahead of Saturday's clash between Floyd Mayweather and Canelo Alvarez, is that the scene is hectic and electric. Promoter Golden Boy is expecting the clash to draw the most pay-per-view revenue ever, surpassing the $132 million collected for the 2007 Mayweather fight against Oscar De La Hoya. Yes, the boxing business isn't dead, apparently; or, at the very least, the Mayweather business is flourishing. The 36-year-old will make a guaranteed $41.5 million, plus a massive bonus, depending upon how well the pay-per-view broadcast does.

Barclays Center and Brooklyn Nets CEO Brett Yormark would like to bring some of that boxing buzz to New York for Mayweather's next bout. A source tells that Yormark flew to Las Vegas on Friday and will be a guest of promoter Golden Boy at the fight. "He is determined to get Mayweather's next fight for Barclays Center in Brooklyn," the source said.

Yormark will also meet with some of the Golden Boy fighters who have been showing off their skills in the arena, like welterweight Paul Malignaggi and middleweights Peter Quillin and Danny Jacobs, three New York-bred pugilists. "Yormark is not going to stop until he gets the Mayweather fight," the source said, in closing.

Follow Woods on Twitter.

Mora and Rosado in the mix to meet Quillin

September, 3, 2013
Peter Quillin has become a must-see fighter to me, after seeing him knockdown Hassan N'Dam N'Jikam five times in taking the WBO middleweight title on Oct. 20, 2012 at Barclays Center. The Manhattan-based boxer with a 29-0 mark (21 KOs) last gloved up April 27, scoring a TKO7 win over Fernando Guerrero at Barclays.

The 30-year-old hitter had Guerrero down four times in that bout, and the Twittersphere has made some noise about wanting to see "Kid Chocolate" in a title unification scrap against Gennady Golovkin, the WBA 160-pound champ. Golovkin (27-0 with 24 KOs) is busy, with a fight coming Nov. 2 against Curtis Stevens, so a Quillin-Golovkin bout isn't on the near horizon ... or maybe even the far-off horizon. With Golovkin's status as an HBO standout, and Quillin being a Golden Boy client, the gulf between HBO and Golden Boy could mean we don't get to see the fan-friendly tussle.

Quillin's co-manager, ex-Wall Streeter John Seip, told me he thinks that would be a shame. "Quillin versus Golovkin could be the fight to bring those entities back together," Seip told me.

For now, Seip said Quillin is penciled in for a fight on the Oct. 26 Bernard Hopkins Golden Boy/Showtime card in Atlantic City. The foe hasn't been chosen, but names in the mix, he said, include ex-champion Sergio Mora, and Gabriel Rosado.

"I hate having a dormant fighter, and there are no big fights available for the remainder of the year," said Seip, who manages Quillin along with Jimmy McDevitt.

A fight with Sergio Martinez, who holds the WBC middleweight crown, is appealing to Seip, but he's a realist. He said that he thinks Martinez has maybe two fights left in him, and wants to maximize his payouts, so a fight against a Quilllin, still growing his buzz, is likely not in the cards. "Sergio is vulnerable," Seip said, making the point that the power-punching Quillin maybe wouldn't be a stellar risk-reward choice.

Darren Barker (26-1) holds one of the 160 crowns, but Seip thinks the IBF titlist will fight a few times in England, and make some dough in his native land. Martin Murray, who Seip thinks got at least a draw against Martinez when they clashed in April, is someone who could be in the mix in the near future for Quillin, as well, he said.

But back to Golovkin. Seip said contrary to the occasional Twittershpere assertions that Quillin wants no part of Golovkin, his guy has no fear of the hard-hitting Kazahk.

"Absolutely not," Seip said when asked if Quillin is avoiding Golovkin. "Golovkin's dangerous, a good fighter, has good boxing skills but he hasn't really fought anyone, though some might say that about Peter as well. To me, Golovkin is a junior middleweight, he hasn't been touched by a Quillin. He's a walk-down guy, but the people Peter touches seem to change their style. That'd be a fabulous fight for boxing. If it didn't happen because of politics, then the fans would get screwed."

Follow me on Twitter.

Could we see Jacobs vs. Quillin?

August, 13, 2013
Danny JacobsWill Hart/Hoganphotos/Golden Boy PromotionsDanny Jacobs has the opportunity to win a world title in his hometown of Brooklyn, New York

Danny Jacobs will headline an Aug. 19 show in New York, and if he gets a "W" in that one, chatter will accelerate about his next opponents. In the middleweight division, possible targets will include people near and dear to the Brownsville-born boxer. For starters, Peter Quillin, a fellow Golden Boy fighter, holds a middleweight title. Jacobs and Quillin are friendly -- would that preclude Jacobs from taking a fight with Quillin?

"I will fight anyone in the world if the opportunity presents itself," Jacobs told me. "This is a business. It's in the hands of my manager and the promoter. I'm not out to call anyone out or make a whole scene."

So is that a yes, you would fight Quillin? Jacobs chuckled.

"It doesn't matter what champion they put in there with me, I'm ready for anyone," he said.

Curtis Stevens, who also grew up in Brownsville, is enjoying a resurgence. His finisher's instinct was on display on Aug. 3 when the took out Saul Roman in the first round in Uncasville, Conn. Would Jacobs fight his fellow Brownsviller?

"Me and Curtis Stevens, we are kind of like family," Jacobs said. "My girlfriend is his cousin. We have a child together. Anyone else is a possibility. Sergio Martinez, Matthew Macklin, Quillin ... as long as [Jacobs advisor] Al Haymon says it makes sense."
Madison Square Garden can certainly boast about their pugilistic legacy.

Yes, it could be argued that they are in flux, as they might have to rebuild the building to comply with the New York City Planning Commission's order to improve Penn Station, but the Garden's supporters can always boast that MSG hosted the single most anticipated boxing event of all the ages, the first clash between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier, on March 8, 1971.

Some would argue that the Garden of today could be compared to a late-era Ali, perhaps slightly distracted by a myriad of deals and balls in the air, but still, Ali was Ali, and could never be dismissed as a shoe-in to stumble on the big stage.

And when Floyd Mayweather was in town last week, in Times Square, on the first leg of his promo tour to tout his Sept. 14 scrap with Canelo Alvarez, he was asked about maybe fighting at MSG, and teased the crowd, asking if they'd like to see him fight at MSG. The reputation still stands.

MSG also could counter the Barclays-Ratner-Yormark bid of their non-exclusivity, having hosted cards put on by Top Rank -- the bitter rival to Barclays favorite Golden Boy -- as well as Golden Boy, and Main Events, in the last seven months.

Word is at the re-done Coliseum they'd do bigger boxing shows in a proposed 14,500 shed, and smaller boxing events in a 1,700 setup.

Yormark, though, during our chat, kept coming back to Barclays' grassroots efforts to nourish boxing, and he thinks that effort is a differentiator in the bidding.

"Having Zab Judah, 'Kid Chocolate' Peter Quillin, Danny Jacobs and Wladimir Klitschko, as well as Floyd Mayweather, for our most recent show means we're doing something here," he said. "We feel boxing out on Long Island can also be terrific."

As a pot sweetener, Yormark said the Ratner-Yormark team wants to build some "legacy moments," along the lines of Jay Z's eight-night sellout string to open Barclays last year, to excite the masses about the spiffed up Coliseum, should their bid be the victor. "We want to close the building dramatically with a once-in-a-lifetime concert to get things moving forward and help people anticipate wonderful things, and then re-open with another concert that truly embraces the community," he said. Asked who could headline to bring max buzz, he said, "We want someone highly connected to Long Island."

My take: I root for the overall health and well-being of the sport I cover and respect so much. Whoever is best positioned and committed to building the brand of boxing, I approve of their efforts and actions. We're in the championship rounds, the bids are being examined; we shall see who has their hand raised by July 15, and gets to activate their vision for the Coliseum.

Follow Woods on Twitter here.

Quillin & Co. on the ascent

May, 1, 2013
Confession: My thoughts on Peter "Kid Chocolate" Quillin's chances in his title defense against Fernando Guerrero were impacted by his difficulty making 160 pounds on the day before the fight. Quillin was 1 1/2 pounds over and I really wondered if he was even going to bother trying to carve off that weight in a scant hour, which was granted to him by the NY State Athletic Commission. He waved to photogs, posed, did an interview with Steve Farhood for Showtime and I truly thought he was willing to give up his WBO title on the scale. But the 29-year-old surprised me, to the upside, when he came back in a hour, and made 160. But, I wondered, would this process take something out of him, leave an opening for the Marylander Fernando Guerrero? That question was answered at Barclays, when Quillin showed himself to be an immensely strong middleweight as he whacked the challenger around until the fight was stopped in Round 7.

After the weigh in, Quillin told me he was still getting used to a new eating regimen, put together by new strength and conditioning coach Rob Garcia, who used to work with Oscar De La Hoya. I chatted with Garcia at Gleason's a few days before the faceoff and noticed that he had the press cred for the Pacquiao-De La Hoya fight on his gym bag. Why? Because, he said, he keeps it around to remind himself to keep control, as best he can, of what he can. "That was a nightmarish night as a coach," Garcia told me. That's because De La Hoya worked with trainer Nacho Beristain for the first time, and was over-worked by the trainer, Garcia told me.

Garcia said he was actually picked to work with Manny Pacquiao before his last fight with Juan Manuel Marquez, but on again-off again strength and conditioning coach Alex Ariza hopped back on board Team Pacquiao instead. Garcia bonded with Quillin, who like Pacquiao trains at Freddie Roach's Wild Card in California. He stuck with Quillin and blew off an opportunity, he said, to work with son of the legend Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., because his dad Ed Garcia sensed that Junior wasn't ready to focus fully on training.

Garcia and I chatted about the use of illegal PEDs in boxing, among other subjects. He said his guys are clean. "If you use illegals, you might rely too much on your strength in fights, instead of your intelligence," he said. Garcia said he has Quillin off all supplements and just eating organic foods.

This is the second fight Garcia has been with Quillin and the boxer has exhibited a noticeable bump in power; he dropped Hassan N'Dam N'Jikam to win the belt last October, and Guerrero twice in the second and seventh. Garcia told me that he only wants to work with coachable people and that he sees similarities in De La Hoya and Quillin. "They both work really hard and came from nothing," he said.

With many sensing Sergio Martinez nearing the end of the line, people are adjusting their view of the middleweight division; Quillin is on the rise and that leaves me that much more curious what is the next challenge for him.
Often, in defending the sport of boxing against those who see it as pointless brutality, I point to the multitudes who have been lifted up by the sport. On an annual basis hundreds of children in the United States and thousands worldwide find the gym, lace up the gloves and find a positive outlet, a way to escape the lure of the street and instead focus on a meaningful goal. Yes, I concede that the road they have chosen isn't without bumps. But, as I heard Jim Lampley of HBO say once, do the people calling for the abolition of boxing think working in a coal mine for 40 years doesn't do things to a person's body, long-term?

I was reminded of the uplifting nature of the sport when talking to Fernando Guerrero (25-1 with 19 KOs; age 26; sole loss to Grady Brewer in June 2011, has won four straight against B or lower grade opposition) who fights WBO middleweight champion Peter Quillin at Barclays Center on Saturday night, in a bout to be shown on Showtime.

Guerrero told NYFightblog that he came to the US from the Dominican Republic in 1995, with his parents. "My dad brought us here to get an education, to better ourselves," he said. They settled in Salisbury, Maryland, a community Guerrero is proud to be part of. "The most famous person from Salisbury is that woman from "The Terminator" (Linda Hamilton)," he said. "I want to beat Quillin and represent all the people touched by poverty."

Young Guerrero grew up poor and didn't truly realize how much so till he came here. Without shoes in DR, he came to America, and realized what was missing. He's hoping a win over Quillin sends a jolt through his homeland. "In the Dominican Republic, it's all about baseball, they've never had that person to idolize in boxing. I want to be the Sammy Sosa of boxing."

The left-hander Guerrero took some hits on the message boards that he got this shot not because of his talent, but who he knows. He's repped by influential advisor Al Haymon; I asked Guerrero if that line of thinking insulted him. "Those people are opinionated," he said. "I'm not a matchmaker. I'm trying to do my dream. Whoever they put in front of me, let the best man win."

More drama ahead of Garcia-Judah fight

April, 25, 2013
If the Saturday clash between WBA and WBC 140-pound champion Danny Garcia and ex-junior welter and welter titlist Zab Judah contains half the drama that the buildup to the fight has provided, then fans at Barclays Center and watching on Showtime will have gotten their money's worth.

Team Garcia and Team Judah butted heads on Tuesday, at a promotional appearance held at the Modell's sporting goods store across from the arena, with the Garcia crew maintaining that Judah crashed the event and thus spurred a dustup. No punches were thrown, but Garcia's dad/trainer Angel Garcia yelled at Judah, the 35-year-old Brooklyn-born hitter, and tried to flip a table. Promoter Golden Boy didn't want a repeat performance, or even a full-blown rumble, so they sent out word on Wednesday night to both camps that the final press conference would run differently than normal. The fighters would appear at the arena separately, and wouldn't cross paths, the promoter decided.

So, after Oscar De la Hoya talked about the headline bout, and the undercard attractions, and let fighters like Peter Quillin and challenger Fernando Guerrero speak, the dais was cleared, and the Garcias sat down. Angel, who has history of being incendiary and provocative, apologized to Modell's for the dustup the other day. The 25-year-old Philadelphian Danny Garcia (25-0 with 16 KOs) then took to the mic and said he was "gonna destroy" Judah (42-7 with 29 KOs). "I'm injury free, the most motivated I've ever been, and I'm more dangerous than I was before," Garcia said. He promised to "beat the s---" out of Judah and then sat down.

The press was then told that Judah had been waiting at the arena, but had left. De La Hoya commented to the press that Judah's conduct was "unprofessional." Lo and behold, 10 minutes later, word spread that Judah was on his way back, and would make an appearance.

Fifteen minutes later, after Team Garcia was hustled out, Judah, along with his father-trainer Yoel and about eight other crew-members, took to the mic. "You called me unprofessional," Judah accused De La Hoya, who was about seven feet away from him, on the stage. Bernard Hopkins stepped between the men, to blunt any escalation.

"He made a comment," Judah said of De La Hoya. "You got to fix your facts first. I never had a problem with you!" Oscar took sips from a water bottle, a tight look on his face, but he didn't respond.

Judah complained that he'd been in the arena, with some of his crew, since 11 a.m. He said that he felt disrespected, a second class citizen and deserved better with almost 17 years in the pro game. He took questions from the press and said that he did indeed return to Barclays after reading on Twitter that De La Hoya called him "unprofessional."

He said he crashed the Modell's event not to make trouble, but to support fellow Brooklyn and New York talents Danny Jacobs, Peter Quillin and Marcus Browne. He implied that he did so to send a message that Brooklyn is his turf. He said, "I was born and raised in Brooklyn!" The veteran fighter had choice words for the senior Garcia, who he called a "dopehead" and a "custie," which is street slang for a user.

Judah then got off the stage and was barraged with more questions from the press. After a few minutes, Oscar came over and shook his hand, nodded at him, without saying anything, and left. Judah explained further that he came back for the presser to show he's "not a quitter, not a runner."

A source from Showtime told NYFightblog that Judah called Showtime executive Stephen Espinoza after the boxer left and said he was coming back, to clear his name. The source said that both camps were informed Wednesday night that the press conference would be formatted like this, so Judah should not have been surprised at the lengthy wait.

A weigh-in is to be held Friday at Barclays, at 1 p.m., and is to be open to the public. A source close to the promotion told me that switching the weigh-in to a private event is likely not an option, so probably arrangements will be made so once again, Team Judah and Team Garcia don't cross paths.

Follow Woods on Twitter here.

Quillin and Guerrero get heated on call

April, 4, 2013
One might have expected a conference call featuring Danny Garcia and Zab Judah to devolve into a word war, a violent tennis match of insults and threats such as we saw when the Brooklyner Judah became insulted by Garcia's father/trainer Angel Garcia during a Dec. 1 presser in NYC, and the two crews almost brawled.

But the call didn't deteriorate into a too-passionate showcase of cojones, likely because Mr. Garcia, an excitable provocateur who has succeeded in spicing up most of his son's recent promotions with inflammatory trash-talking, didn't take part.

"Zab is a four-round fighter," said Angel Garcia on Dec. 1, "and Danny's going to knock him out in four rounds."

"ICU doesn't discriminate on any patients," said Judah in response, following up with some off-color words and implying that Team Garcia would have a hard time making it back to Philly without getting touched up. But things simmered down and the event proceeded. The bout didn't, though, because Garcia hurt his ribs in training, so the Feb. 9 date got moved to April 27, at Barclays Center.

On a conference call to bang the drums for the Golden Boy card, which will be televised on Showtime, Judah and the unified junior lightweight champ Garcia played nice, while middleweights Peter Quillin, the WBO champ, and Fernando Guerrero got heated.

Things started sedately. The Dominican-born Guerrero (25-1, age 26; a left-hander) talked about his celeb status in his home base, Salisbury, Maryland. "From my hometown, there's only one person that came out of there and did something, that was the girl from 'Terminator,'" he said, referencing Linda Hamilton. "[The Dominican Republic is a small country] and we're coming up. Back in the day people didn't understand when I tried to tell them the only person that I had to look up to was Sammy Sosa. But they're like, 'Oh, he's not from boxing.' I was like, yeah, but that's my idol. I want to be the Sammy Sosa of boxing."

Things started to turn when Quillin (28-0, age 29; lives in NYC, trains in L.A.) delved into his ethnic pride. "I have my own reasons why I should be doing what I'm doing," he said. "A lot of Cubans back in Cuba, they sit on the beach and it's a sad thing to watch. People just want to get out of that country and fight for opportunity. So, me doing this, it's more than just like for Cuba and my father, who came over here with just a pair of pants and a shirt with no shoes on and come over here to make a ..."

Guerrero interrupted, they engaged in cross talk, and Quillin got more pointed. "You will not beat me April 27th," he said. "The only thing you're going to know how to do is run back in that hole like you did with Grady Brewer. You know how to lose."

There isn't huge buzz over this fight, as Guerrero isn't a buzz-y fighter, but this faceoff could well steal the show in Brooklyn.

Quillin joins fight against colorectal cancer

February, 28, 2013
WBO middleweight champion Peter Quillin, who fights April 27 at Barclays Center, will help kick off a campaign called "One Million Strong" on Friday at the NASDAQ MarketSite in Times Square.

The boxer will take pictures with colorectal cancer survivors and the best photo will be posted on the NASDAQ board at the end of the day.

"Having just lost my best friend's father to a rare form of cancer a little over a week ago, it is an honor to join the fight against cancer and be able to use my boxing platform to save lives," said Quillin, a resident of Manhattan. "I'm no stranger to a good fight. Let's knock out colorectal cancer."

WHERE: Times Square, at the NASDAQ MarketSite Tower, located on 43rd Street and spanning the entire block of Broadway through 44th Street.

WHEN: Friday, March 1, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

WHY: March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. Inspired by the more than one million colorectal cancer survivors in the United States, Fight Colorectal Cancer has launched One Million Strong to raise awareness about the disease and create action that will lead to better prevention, diagnosis, patient care and treatments.

Activities will include:
• A ceremony and Tweet up in Times Square to celebrate the official debut of a new public service announcement, playing on NASDAQ Towers 1 and 2 from March 1-7.
• Distribution of educational information about colon health and collection of pledges to join One Million Strong on iPads; distribution of 25,000 blue-star tattoos to show support.

Snow can't KO Ring 8 awards show

February, 11, 2013
First it was Sandy's wrath, and then Nemo left a calling card on the Tri-State Area, but Ring 8's awards gala could not be kept on the canvas. The event, which unfolded Sunday afternoon at Russo's on the Bay in Howard Beach, Queens, was originally set for Dec. 18, but Sandy impacted Russo's, so the event was shifted to February.

Ring 8, a veterans boxers association formed in 1954 which holds as its motto "Boxers Helping Boxers," puts on an annual bash and gives out awards to spotlight NY-area fighters and fight game people. An out-of-area bigwig will sometimes be flown in to make a splash, and this time around, future Hall of Famer Joe Calzaghe, an ex-cruiserweight champion, was all set to hop on plane and receive a Fighter of the Decade award.

And then Nemo showed up, dumping loads of snow on the region, and forcing the closing of JFK Airport. Ring 8 president Bob Duffy worked the phones, trying to find alternative flights, but Calzaghe had a TV appearance set up for Tuesday morning, and it just wasn't doable.

The show went on, though, and close to 400 people did show up. Duffy wasn't sure if his Fighter of the Year, Peter Quillin, was going to make it, but Kid Chocolate made a dramatic entrance and went to the dais to get his bauble. The WBO middleweight champion grew up in a humbling home environment and tasted homelessness as a teen after coming to New York to make his mark, so it was positive to hear another story of boxing doing some good, providing a platform for an at-risk youth to focus on a goal and be a productive role model.

I was fortunate enough to be named Writer of the Year and am not too cool to admit that I have looked at the award about 20 times since I received it, and smiled each time, out of pride. My wife, Jessica, said my speech was good, which I was happy about, considering I spoke soon after "Jersey Shore" alum Snooki, who is doing boxing promotion along with her father, Andy Polizzi.

My wife also liked that other awards winners -- like David Sears, Bob McGuire, Pat Russo, Dave Seip, Eddie Claudio, John Signorile, Ron McNair, Frankie Russo Jr., Floriano Pagliara, Adam Willet and Bobby Czyz -- kept speech short and sweet.

Thanks to Ring 8 for the award, and keeping the memories of some of the stellar fighters from decades past alive.

Ring 8 awards gala will go on

February, 8, 2013
Blizzard be damned. Neither snow, sleet nor any other combo winter storm Nemo can put together will keep the Ring 8 awards gala from taking place on Sunday, Feb. 10 at Russo's on the Bay in Howard Beach, Queens.

WBO middleweight champion Peter Quillin will be present to pick up his award as 2012 Fighter of the Year.

Even if I need snowshoes to make it, I will also attend, and will have a report for NYFightblog readers.

Follow Michael Woods on Twitter here.