NBC results: Quillin brutally KOs Zerafa; Charlo wins title
Peter “Kid Chocolate” Quillin knocked Michael Zerafa out in the fifth round and, given all the details of the fight, the challenger could have probably been prevented from being taken out of the ring on a stretcher. The fight was the main event of a Premier Boxing Champions card on NBC Saturday afternoon and held at the Foxwoods Casino in Mashantucket, Mass.
Not only was Zerafa put in there as a tune-up fight for Quillin but the former middleweight titleholder ballooned up to 182 pounds for the fight after weighing in under the 163 pound limit yesterday. Those were a couple of factoids briefly mentioned before the two squared off and, as Zerafa was being tended to with a neck brace in the ring after the knockout, NBC broadcaster Marv Albert questioned the weight difference by asking, “What’s the point of the weigh-in?” Certainly a great point to make but a question that should have been asked before the fight even took place.
Zerafa, 17-2 (9), traded in his bowtie as a former Chippendales employee for boxing gloves and it was surprising to see him land so many right hands before inevitably getting knocked unconscious. It’s not Quillin who should get the blame for doing his job but rather the promotion who matched this fight and the rules in boxing that allow such inconsideration for safety in this violent sport.
Quillin, 32-0-1 (23), gets his first victory since April of 2014 after fighting to a draw with Andy Lee last April. It was widely known already that if he were to beat Zerafa, Peter would face WBA “regular” middleweight titlist Daniel Jacobs in December. Hindsight is 20/20, especially when someone is seriously injured in the ring but, given that Zerafa was a 50-1 underdog, it begs the question of why even make this fight in the first place?
In the co-feature of the NBC broadcast, Jermall Charlo knocked Cornelius “K9” Bundrage down four times in three rounds before the fight was stopped by referee Johnny Callas, earning Charlo the TKO victory. With the win, Charlo is the new IBF junior middleweight titleholder.
In his first world title opportunity, Charlo, 25, quickly seized the moment with a counter, overhand right that dropped Bundrage in the opening round. Bundrage, 42, already showed wobbly legs after the first knockdown but refused to give up. In the second round, a straight left jab sent Bundrage to the floor a second time in what resembled a flash knockdown. Bundrage started to look his age at this point and every offensive tactic he used against Charlo was easily countered going forward. Charlo landed a flush left hook in the third that was the beginning of the end as Bundrage got up from it tentatively. Seconds later, a right hand to the side of the head dropped him a final time and that’s when the fight was rightfully stopped.
“I’m champion of the world,” proclaimed Charlo, 22-0 (17), to NBC reporter Kenny Rice in the post-fight interview. Along with his twin brother, Jermell, the Charlos use the rallying cry, “Lions Only” and Jermall reminded everyone, “You never put a dog in the pen with a lion.” Bundrage, 34-6 (19), felt that ring rust was his problem going into this fight after an 11-month layoff since winning the title against Carlos Molina in Mexico.