Peter 'Kid Chocolate' Quillin gets his first world title shot tomorrow night in Brooklyn. Does the adopted New Yorker have the skills to top a talented French titleholder in Hassan N'dam?
In the real main event of the evening, as far as division relevancy / competitiveness go, Quillin should beat a defensively flawed N'dam by hurting him throughout the fight with straight right hands and left hooks. Although I expect N'dam to go down at some point, I'm counting on him to get up and finish the fight on his feet. If someone from the future were to tell me N'dam never gets hurt, I'd actually favor his chances of winning bar a robbery. On paper this is the most difficult fight for either fighter in their entire career. Picking a winner was far from easy, but this is how I came to my conclusion:
Hand Speed: N'dam
Foot Speed: N'dam
Work Rate: N'dam
Gas Tank: Even
This has the makings of a great boxing contest. I don't expect an action fight, but anyone who appreciates athleticism and skills will be entertained. Quillin UD-12.
Ballsy fight for both guys but Quillin is the real deal. Sure, beating up on old ass Winky Wright didn't prove much, but he's got the tools and an attitude that rides the mean and confident line perfectly in my mind. N'jikam will be in over his head here. I'll take Quillin by late TKO.
N'dam is a good, skilled boxer, and could very well win this fight. Talent-wise, he shouldn't be outclassed by Quillin. But there is a lot working against him. Quillin will have home field advantage in Brooklyn (and would have it anywhere in the States, in theory), and if the fight is even close, I expect Quillin to get the cards. There are two ways this comes out, I think: Quillin's power and determination really overwhelm N'dam, and "Kid Chocolate" proves the real deal for sure, or it's a 12-round struggle where Quillin escapes with a debated win. I'm going with the latter. Quillin UD-12.
N'dam has been on the peripheries of the ‘real' middleweight title picture for a while now - I suppose that's where a WBA/WBO interim title gets you these days - so it'll be interesting to see how he fares here.
I've found it hard not to be impressed by Quillin up to this point, though. This, however, figures to be a step up - and perhaps more of a step up than some would have you think. A retired Winky Wright and Craig McEwan aren't much to shout about, and the Frenchman will be a sturdy test. There's no real doubt in my mind that Quillin gets the job done one way or another on home turf, but I think he'll learn much from it. Quillin UD.
The Peter Quillin-Hassan N'Jikam fight is probably the toughest to pick. I could see a dull fight with a lot of feinting and stare-downs and Quillin eking a lifeless, maybe controversial decision win. I could see the relatively unknown N'Jikam boxing Quillin's ears off with superior technique and footwork, staking his claim as a player in the suddenly intriguing middleweight division. But I've got a weird feeling it will be Quillin who rises to the occasion and does so in style. After a few boring rounds, Quillin will land one big, fight-turning shot, hurt N'Jikam, and batter him to submission. Quillin by TKO.
I'm really torn on who to pick here as I can definitely see this fight going either way. I like both fighters, and a case could certainly be made for each to conquer the other here. But I'll go with Quillin. I'm not as high on him as some seem to be, but I feel he is a solid fighter with some good tools. N'dam, however, will not make it easy. I think he will score from the outside with his jab and perhaps land a sneaky uppercut or two which will produce some tense moments for his opponent. It will likely go down to the wire, but I like Quillin to take a close, hard-fought decision that will be hotly debated. I just get the sense he is going to step it up a little Saturday night. Quillin by decision.
One of the brightest prospects (albeit an old prospect) in boxing up against one the most underrated boxers, both of whom are undefeated in 27 fights. This is a really good fight, N'Jikam hasn't caused any waves, he's gone about his business in a quiet manner, steadily racking up victories. Whereas Quillin has been touted as a future champion for the past couple of years.
This is undoubtedly the hardest fight of both boxers career. I'm leaning towards Quillin purely because of his slight edge in speed and punch power but it's going to be a very close affair.
Final Tally: Peter Quillin 7, Hassan N'dam 0.