Lee and Quillin battle to a draw
By Matt Richardson and Arvin Nundloll at ringside
Credit – Photos: Emily Harney –
Going into their middleweight fight on Saturday, most observers figured the Andy Lee-Peter Quillin encounter to be the best and most competitive fight of the night.
They weren’t disappointed nor were they wrong as the two hard-hitters fought to a 12-round split draw. Scores for the fight were 113-112 for Lee, 113-112 for Quillin and 113-113. Fightnews figured Quillin (31-0-1, 22 KO’s) to be a close winner, largely due to the two knockdowns he scored earlier in the fight. One of those was later negated, however, when Lee (34-2-1, 24 KO’s) dropped Quillin.
The fight began tentatively with neither fighter willing to throw punches. It appeared that both were looking for one knockout punch to end it all. Quillin found it first. In the final thirty seconds of the round he landed a hard, straight right that dropped Lee near the ropes. Referee Harvey Dock issued an eight-count but Lee still appeared to be hurt. Quillin cautiously moved in again and soon landed a flush left hook in the corner but the bell rang right after, halting his opportunities for the moment. Lee wobbled Quillin with a straight left in the third but he was soon on the floor again, this time after taking a right-left hook combination. Lee appeared to be off balance and not shaken but he was bleeding in the corner of his left eye by rounds end.
Quillin connected well with combinations in the fifth and again in the sixth but he walked into a great left thrown by Lee in the seventh and soon a left-right combination dropped him to the floor. Again, the timing didn’t work out and the round ended before Lee could capitalize.
Lee appeared to be slightly more active in the eighth. Quillin landed big left hooks in the ninth and tenth but was largely outworked in both rounds. Going into the eleventh Lee seemed capable of winning the fight but it wound up being Quillin who was more accurate and all three judges gave him the final round. If Lee had won the round he would have won the fight.
“There’s a reason why judges are judges,” Quillin said after the fight concluded. Lee, who retained the WBO title he won last December, said he would be open to a rematch but that it should be overseas. “It should be in Ireland,” he said, “because he has an Irish last name and he might find some of his ancestors.”
Quillin would not have been able to win the belt even if he won the fight due to a failure to make the 160-pound weight limit on Friday afternoon.