The fight lasted the entire 12 rounds, but for Peter Quillin in his split-decision draw with Andy Lee on Saturday night, The Moment happened with about 30 seconds left in the first round.
That’s when Quillin’s lead right hand put Lee on his backside. Lee escaped on wobbly legs and regrouped to go the distance, but Quillin’s perfect execution early on not only set the tone in the fight at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, but also provided him with crucial points that would affect the decision.
The knockdown was the first of two by Quillin, who had ducked the southpaw’s counter right hook to deliver the blow. Quillin knocked down Lee again in the third round, yet judge Glenn Feldman scored the round 10-9 for Quillin while fellow judges Guido Cavalleri and Eric Marlinski both scored it 10-8.
That additional point Feldman gave Lee in the third directly affected the outcome of the fight, as the judge scored the bout 113-113. Cavalleri had it 113-112 for Lee, while Marlinski had Quillin winning, 113-112.
Ringside NBC analyst B.J. Flores noted Quillin’s effective aggression as “beautiful work” in the second round. His head movement set up Lee for “that big, lead left hook.”
Quillin was unable to capitalize on his early advantage, and suffered a crucial setback with 28 seconds left in the seventh round, when Lee dropped him with a right hand. It was the first knockdown of Quillin’s career, as Lee employed the same blow that he used to gain come-from-behind knockouts in his previous two fights.
Quillin had already been stunned with a separate left cross and right hook during the third round, after which he managed to floor Lee later in the stanza.
Quillin was pressured and jarred during two more significant sequences in that round by Lee, which likely led to Feldman only giving Quillin credit for a 10-9 frame despite the knockdown.
With every point being so crucial in the back-and-forth brawl, that early knockdown by Quillin not only provided The Moment of the fight, but also saved him from experiencing the first loss of his career.
For complete highlights of Lee vs. Quillin including photos and videos, check out our fight night coverage.