Before Saturday’s fight at Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, Connecticut, Peter Quillin demurred when he was asked if he needed to make a statement against Australian opponent Michael Zerafa.
Quillin (32-0-1, 23 KOs) might not have been trying to make a statement, but he made one anyway courtesy of a savage right hand that exploded on Zerafa’s (17-2, 9 KOs) nose, immediately dropping the 23-year-old Aussie in the midst of a wild fifth round. Referee Arthur Mercante Jr. swiftly halted the fight, and the Ausssie was eventually carrried out of the ring on a stretcher.
Minutes later, the ring doctor said Zerafa was responsive, and he expected the beaten fighter to fully recover.
“It’s very scary,” Peter Quillin said of watching his foe being carted off. “It was hard to celebrate a win like that.”
From the get-go, Quillin unleashed a torrent of big shots—huge overhand rights and uppercuts that Zerafa managed to avoid. The left hooks, though were another story.
Quillin landed several of those, but Zefara proved game enough despite offering little in the way of defense. He absorbed plenty of punishment to the right side of his head, but bravely stayed on his feet and continued to press forward.
“When you’re a fighter, you got a will to win. That will let [Zerafa stay standing],” Quillin said. “If he stands in there and he’s able to take punches the way he did, then I’ve got to keep doing it.”
Zerafa occasionally exchanged with Quillin and got in a few decent shots, but for the most part seemed content to work off his jab and try to stay out of trouble. On his end, Quillin finally took his corner’s advice and started mixing in his own jab more in the third and fourth rounds.
Instead of settling in, though, Zerafa inexplicably abandoned his game plan and opted to go toe-to-toe with the heavy-hitting former champ in the fifth. That decision would lead to disastrous results.
“When you’re in there, you kind of get that feeling of wanting to do that,” Quillin said of Zefara's choice to turn into a brawler. “It’s hard not to get beside yourself. I think that’s what he did, and it cost him dearly. It’s like two freight trains heading at each other. It makes a big splash and a big boom, and that’s what happened tonight.”
Quillin was clearly the stronger man in the ring while they were banging away in close quarters, and he was able to muscle Zerafa into the ropes. He followed that up with a bounding, two-step right that had all of Quillin’s weight and momentum behind it. The punch found paydirt, and knocked Zefera back to his native Victoria Time Zone.
“I just sat down with the punches when I saw him hurt, and I went in for the kill,” Quillin said. “I landed those punches where they needed to be landed, and I put him out of there.”
After the victory, Quillin wasn’t shy about calling out Daniel Jacobs, who was sitting ringside.
“Now it’s time for Brooklyn, [New York], to see me and Danny Jacobs,” Quillin said. “I’m an animal. I’ve been practicing this. I’m coming for you. I’m coming to get it.” "Kid Chocolate" wasn’t done there: He dared Jacobs to take off his suit and put on some gloves.
Jacobs, for his part, laughed it off. But he got serious real quick when he started talking about the fight that’s been building up a head of steam for years.
“I never ran, and I never will, period,” Jacobs promised. “It’s going to happen.”
For the full recap of Quillin vs Zerafa, including photos, videos and highlights, make sure to visit our fight page.