"Kid Chocolate" fell off the prospect map due to injuries, but with tonight's dominant performance in Nevada, Peter Quillin is back on the watch list.
Quillin (24-0, 18 KO) never gave Jesse Brinkley (35-7, 22 KO) much of a chance in this one, rocking the Reno crowd favorite in the first round with a short right hand, and then in the third blasting away with power shots until referee Joe Cortez jumped in to stop it, getting the best win of his career and showing the physical tools that say he's ready to take another step up.
Quillin is 27 years old and no baby out there, and while he's not yet ready to face the elite at 168, there are a lot of decent fighters out there he could take on as he works his way into major contention. He was simply far too fast and strong for Brinkley, who looked 34 years old and then some as he was soft and looked a bit dried out. The veteran appeared to have almost nothing going for him tonight, but as usual he tried to battle his way through it.
I would be leaving something out if I didn't mention that referee Cortez did his usual questionable job in this fight, first breaking up the action after Quillin rocked Brinkley with a right hand bomb in the third, then allowing it to restart when it turned out that Brinkley was in fact not on the canvas. It's not that these things can't happen to any referee, even the best; it's just that too often it seems like there are legitimate reasons to criticize Cortez's performance. At some point Nevada has to consider the idea that Cortez is past his prime. It happens to referees, too.
In the co-feature, Lonnie Smith (13-2-1, 9 KO) outfought David Rodela (15-4-3, 6 KO) over six rounds of super featherweight action. Smith was aggressive from the opening bell and constantly walked Rodela down, forcing him to fight off of his back foot and on the ropes. Rodela had moments of good counter punching, but he just never could get into any rhythm. Scores were 59-55 (twice) and 58-56. Bad Left Hook scored it 58-56 for Smith.