Home News Big-time boxing back in Brooklyn at Barclay’s: Opening presser quotes, photos &...

Big-time boxing back in Brooklyn at Barclay’s: Opening presser quotes, photos & notes

Credit: Tom Casino / Showtime

The last world title fight in Brooklyn took place on August 5, 1931 when defending Light Heavyweight World Champion Maxie Rosenbloom outpointed Jimmy Slattery over 15 rounds at Ebbets Field. After more than 80 years, Brooklyn’s world championship fight scene will be revitalized on Saturday, October 20 with the first boxing event at the new Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. The event will feature a star-studded line-up including three world championship fights and a lengthy roster of New York City’s top pugilists.

In the main event, which will be televised live on SHOWTIME, unbeaten Danny “Swift” Garcia defends his WBA Super, WBC & Ring Magazine Super Lightweight World Championships as he rematches with legendary Mexican warrior and future Hall of Famer Erik “El Terrible” Morales.

In the evening’s co-featured bouts also to be televised live on SHOWTIME, Brooklyn’s own Paulie “Magic Man” Malignaggi puts his WBA Welterweight World Championship on the line against hard-hitting Pablo Cesar “El Demoledor” Cano and undefeated, number one rated WBO middleweight contender Peter “Kid Chocolate” Quillin of Manhattan takes on unbeaten Hassan N’Dam in a 12-round battle for N’Dam’s WBO Middleweight World Championship.

The undercard is stacked with the return of a bevy of New York’s best including Brooklyn’s hot middleweight prospect Daniel “The Golden Child” Jacobs, former World Champion Luis Collazo, the Bronx’s rising star Eddie Gomez, former world title contender Dmitriy Salita and Brooklyn prospect Boyd Melson.

The fights will mark the first event of the previously announced deal between Barclays Center and Golden Boy Promotions under which at least 12 boxing events per year will be hosted at the new sports and entertainment venue.

“This fight is going to be a tremendous night of boxing for Barclays Center, Golden Boy Promotions and all of the boxing and sports fans in and around the New York area,” said Oscar De La Hoya, President of Golden Boy Promotions. “To be a part of a historic night of championship boxing returning to Brooklyn with the rematch of Danny Garcia against Erik Morales, coupled with the opportunity to see some of New York’s best fighters such as Paulie Malignaggi and Peter Quillin is a can’t miss moment.”

“Boxing has a powerful heritage in Brooklyn, especially at the old Ebbets Field, and we are proud to team with Golden Boy Promotions to bring world championship fights back to its roots in the borough,” said Barclays Center CEO Brett Yormark. “Brooklyn has produced some of the great world championship fighters, from Mike Tyson to Riddick Bowe, to name a few, and we are excited to re-ignite the sport in the borough, while giving emerging Brooklyn fighters a chance to perform on Brooklyn’s biggest stage.”

“From top to bottom, this fight card is filled with exciting match-ups and world-class talent,” said Stephen Espinoza, Executive Vice President and General Manager of SHOWTIME Sports. “I am proud that Showtime will be part of this milestone event as the television partner for the first boxing event at the beautiful new Barclays Center. With three world title fights, representing the first championship fights in Brooklyn in over 80 years, and plenty of homegrown Brooklyn talent, it is sure to be an exciting and historic night of boxing.”

Seen as one of boxing’s emerging stars for years, Danny “Swift” Garcia (24-0, 15 KO’s) arrived in 2012 when he defeated Morales via unanimous decision for the WBC Super Lightweight World Title. The 24-year-old Philadelphian of Puerto Rican descent was just getting started, as on July 14 he made an emphatic statement to the boxing world with a fourth round technical knockout victory over British superstar and former Unified Super Lightweight World Champion Amir “King” Khan. On October 20, he will not only attempt to repeat his win over Morales, but to better it by stopping the future Hall of Famer.

“I am excited to be a part of this great night for boxing and also to give the legendary Erik Morales the opportunity to try to beat me and take back the title,” said Garcia. “Unfortunately for him, that’s not going to happen. My career continues to grow and I am only getting better every time I step in the ring. I am going to ride these championship moments for as long as possible.”

The legacy of Tijuana, Baja California’s Erik “El Terrible” Morales (52-8, 36 KO’s) has been set for years, thanks to his wins over boxing superstars and world champions Manny “Pac-Man” Pacquiao, Marco Antonio “Baby Faced Assassin” Barrera, Paulie Ayala, Kevin “The Flushing Flash” Kelley, Daniel Zaragoza and Junior Jones, along with his world titles in four weight classes. Most recently, it was his stirring return in 2010 after nearly three years away from the sport that captivated the boxing world. Now looking to add another chapter to his amazing career, Morales challenges Garcia this fall with pride on the line.

“I am very excited to be back in the ring and fighting Danny Garcia once again,” said Morales. “He beat me the first time, but I know I have what it takes to avenge my loss. I am a veteran at learning from my mistakes and correcting them.”

The owner of a spectacular comeback that epitomizes the fighting spirit of the Brooklyn boxer, Paulie “Magic Man” Malignaggi (31-4, 7 KO’s) was at a career crossroads after a 2010 loss to Amir Khan. After moving up to 147 pounds, the former IBF Junior Welterweight World Champion showed that he was still among boxing’s elite as he won four fights in a row, capped off by a ninth round technical knockout victory over Vyacheslav Senchenko in April of 2012 that earned him the WBA Welterweight World title in Senchenko’s native Ukraine. On October 20, the 31-year-old fights in Brooklyn for the first time since his professional debut in 2001 and knows he will have the support of his hometown fans.

“When I found out about the fights at the Barclays Center, I wanted nothing more than to be on this card,” said Malignaggi. “This is really a dream come true for me and I am confident I will make my fans proud and come away with a win. Anyone that knows me knows that my Brooklyn roots make me the fighter that I am and that I have been throughout my career. I don’t give up ever. That’s Brooklyn baby.”

Hailing from Tlanepantla, Mexico, 22-year-old Pablo Cesar “El Demoledor” Cano (26-1-1, 20 KO’s) has been hailed as the future of Mexican boxing, but as far as he’s concerned, the future is now and he’s ready to bring his first world title back home. A professional since 2006, Cano impressed fight fans with his gutsy effort against Erik Morales in a short-notice title fight in September of 2011. He has not slowed down since, stopping tough talents Francisco Contreras and Fidel Munoz and, in his most recent fight in July of this year, capturing the WBA Interim Super Lightweight World Title by decisioning then undefeated Johan Perez. Next up he moves up in weight class to face Malignaggi and he has plans on making the “Magic Man” disappear.

“I will be ready to fight Paulie Malignaggi on October 20, even in his own backyard,” said Cano. “The opportunity to fight for a world title is something I have wanted my whole life. I am the younger, stronger fighter and I will do everything I can in training to be victorious that night.”

The current WBO Middleweight World Champion, Cameroon-born Hassan N’Dam (27-0, 17 KO’s) was a 2004 Olympian who scored a win over world title contender Andy Lee during the Athens Games. The talented 28-year-old is now based in Pantin, Seine-Saint-Denis, France and has steadily risen to become one of the best middleweights in the world. A consistent victor over top European talent, N’Dam made his move on the international scene in October of 2010 when he defeated Avtandil Khurtsidze for the WBA Interim Middleweight World Title Belt. After defending it successfully against Giovanni Lorenzo in April of 2011, he captured the WBO Interim title by defeating previously unbeaten Max Bursak this past May and was recently elevated from interim to regular champion. On October 20, he makes his United States debut against the hometown favorite in Quillin, but is definitely up for the challenge.

“I am going to be ready and prepared to make my American debut in front of a large crowd on a big stage in one of the greatest cities in the world,” said N’Dam. “No big city or bright lights are going to get in the way of my ability to be the best in the ring and defeat my Quillin. I am going to impress everyone on October 20.”

Undefeated, number one rated WBO middleweight contender Peter “Kid Chocolate” Quillin (27-0, 20 KO’s) has long been a lock to win a world championship. On October 20, the crafty and charismatic Manhattan resident who resided in Brooklyn for several years will get his chance. A force at 160 pounds, Quillin recently scored the biggest win of his career by dropping and soundly defeating former Undisputed Junior Middleweight World Champion Winky Wright in June. That victory was the 29-year-old’s 27th without a loss, setting up the showdown with N’Dam for the title in what will be Quillin’s first fight in New York since 2008.

“I am excited to be back in New York and to be part of this historic night of boxing in Brooklyn,” said Quillin. “Even though I grew up in Grand Rapids, Michigan, I consider New York to be my home because this is where I live. I will make my family, friends and all of the New York fight fans in the arena that night proud to support me and call me one of their own.”

A former world title challenger and top rated contender seemingly destined for world title honors, middleweight Daniel “The Golden Child” Jacobs (22-1, 19 KO’s) was faced with the toughest opponent of his career in 2011 when he was diagnosed with cancer. After surgery and an arduous rehab program, “The Golden Child” is in remission and has been given the green light to continue his career. What better place for him to have his comeback fight but in his native Brooklyn? The 25-year-old is eager to get back to business and knows he has what it takes to return to the top of the middleweight division.

“I am so excited to return to the ring after all I have been through this past year and to be able to return in front of my family and friends in Brooklyn means the world to me,” said Jacobs. “It’s a slow road in recovery and I am just grateful to be alive and well enough to have the opportunity to continue my professional boxing career on October 20. I am looking forward to it immensely.”

Brooklyn’s Luis Collazo (31-5, 16 KO’s) is unbeaten in 17 fights in his home state of New York and nothing would make the 31-year-old happier than to make it 18 in a row when he steps into the ring on October 20. The former WBA Welterweight World Champion has faced some of the sweet science’s top world champions over the years, including Ricky “The Hitman” Hatton, Sugar Shane Mosley and Andre Berto. Collazo has won two of his last three fights and is ready for to put on a show in his homecoming fight.

“What can I say other than there is nothing like fighting in Brooklyn in front of so many people I know and who know me,” said Collazo. “I am undefeated in New York State and plan to keep it that way on October 20. I am going to be ready and bring my Brooklyn best to Barclays Center that night.”

The youngest member of the New York City group featured at the Barclays Center, 19-year-old Eddie Gomez (9-0, 6 KO’s) is wise beyond his years in the ring, where his mix of boxing savvy, speed and power, has made him a must-see for fight fans. Unbeaten as a professional, this exciting junior middleweight is hoping to steal the show this October.

“I can’t believe I am going to fight on this show with so many great champions and other great fighters from New York,” said Gomez. “I am still a young professional doing whatever it takes to become a future champion and now to be able to fight so close to home is giving me the extra motivation to have a great fight and impress everyone in the arena that night.”

Nicknamed “The Star of David,” Dmitriy Salita (34-1-1, 18 KO’s) of Brooklyn has been one of New York’s most popular fighters ever since his professional debut in 2001. With a 4-0 record since the lone loss of his career in a 2009 world title fight against Amir Khan, the 30-year-old practicing Orthodox Jew is back on track and looking for a shot at friend and fellow Brooklynite Paulie Malignaggi. To get in the running, Salita has to win impressively on October 20.

“This will be one of the most defining and memorable moments of my career,” said Salita. “To have the opportunity to fight on boxing’s opening night at Barclays Center in front of all of the people who have supported me throughout my career and the great boxing fans we have in New York is the best gift of all.”

A four-time United States Army champion and West Point graduate, Brooklyn’s Boyd “Rainmaker” Melson turned pro after earning an alternate spot on the 2008 United States Olympic team, and he has since put together a 9-1 (4 KO’s) record. A popular figure on the local Big Apple fight scene, the 30-year old southpaw fights for more than glory, as he is heavily involved in raising money for spinal cord injury and stem cell research.

“I love fighting in New York and people around the area know I come to fight,” said Melson. “This is going to be an unbelievable night of boxing for me.”

Opponents for Jacobs, Collazo, Gomez, Salita and Melson will be announced shortly.

Complete Fighter Quotes:

DANNY GARCIA, WBA Super, WBC & Ring Magazine Super Lightweight World Champion

“Thank God for giving me the opportunities I have in boxing today.  I also want to thank Golden Boy, Barclays Center and SHOWTIME for making October 20 such a great night for boxing.  I might not be from Brooklyn, but I can celebrate it and my hometown of Philadelphia all in one night.

“Most of these fighters are my friends.  We came up together in the amateurs and it feels great to share a card with them.  They all can fight and it is good to see so many young guys on the show getting ready to steal it.

“I bring heart, skill and determination into the ring.  Every time I win the fighter I beat has an excuse.  Now for Erik Morales, its surgery or medical.  Well really, and his father is sitting right there, if it was so bad, why would he let his son fight. I know my Dad wouldn’t let me fight if there was something wrong.  It’s always something.

“I am just excited to being a part of bringing boxing back to the East Coast.  Guys like us – it is up to us, to help make that happen.  October 20 is a great new beginning and I will be ready to put on a spectacular performance.”

ERIK MORALES, Former Four-Division World Champion and Future Hall of Famer

“This is one of the most important fights of my career.  I am 36 years old and past my prime fights. But I know I still have a lot to do in my career as my experience at such a high level still gives me the advantage over a lot of fighters.

“The expectations are going to be very high that night for me and I am going to do whatever it takes to avenge my loss and bring home another championship.”


“I always thank God first because God makes miracles and dreams come true.

“Danny is always ready.  He doesn’t drink or smoke.  He takes care of himself.

“And in the first fight, Danny beat Erik Morales 10 rounds to two in my book.  Danny is still younger, but has now learned more.  Last time I think he respected Erik a little too much, but that is not the case now.  This time, no respect.

“What we do respect is that Erik Morales gave us an opportunity to fight him and now we are giving him back that chance.

“Listen, my son was feed to the wolves in Eric Morales and Amir Khan and he beat him both.  And they always have excuses as to why he beat them.  People need to start giving Danny credit for what he has done.  My son is a very talented fighter.

“This time Eric Morales is going to get beat and stopped.  Period.”


“October 20 will be for a world championship.  And we are fighting Danny Garcia, who we thank for the opportunity.  We want to congratulate him on his win over Amir Khan, too.

“In the first fight, Erik never had problems with his weight.  But he did have medical issues that he was dealing with three months before they fought and I think that had an effect on his performance.  But now those issues are completely gone and we are ready to fight.

“Erik has a lot of experience and he knows how to beat Danny Garcia.  We are going to take all of those belts too.”

PAULIE MALIGNAGGI, WBA Welterweight World Champion (Brooklyn)

“Brooklyn, baby. All about Brooklyn for me, and it is amazing because the Barclays Center is so close to where I was born. And I just don’t mean New York close, I mean close as in 5 miles from the hospital.

“This is going to be a great show. When I got to the hotel I saw Danny (Jacobs) in the lobby and we both realized it was two years ago that we were together at Gleasons Gym with Brett Yormark and Oscar de la Hoya to announce this whole boxing program.

“If anyone had bet that day that Danny and I would have both been on the show and I was going to headline as one of the main events, they would have made a lot of money because the odds would have been huge.

“(There have been) lots of doubters for both of our careers.  But we learn from our mistakes and pick ourselves up. Trust me, even I doubted myself, but you have to dust yourself off and come back stronger than ever.

“When I lost, a lot of people wrote me off, but I got with some great people, went west to train and found a way to get it done. I have always been an ambitious person and a go-getter.

“I have great respect for Golden Boy and I appreciate them believing in me.  Since I have signed with them, I have had four fights and now a world championship.

“I respect Cano.  There is a level of fighting with a world championship when you’re young like he is and of course he is going to be hungry.  I know he came up the hard way.

“But they didn’t give me either of my world championships, especially not this one.  I went across the world and knocked out an undefeated champion who no one thought I was going to beat.  That is why I can be proud of my boxing career and put in on display October 20.”

PABLO CESAR CANO, Former WBA Interim Super Lightweight World Champion

“It is a pleasure to be here in Brooklyn and in New York City for my very first time.  I am here to challenge Paulie Malignaggi for this championship and I thank him for the opportunity.

“I am going to train very hard, be prepared and win the fight.  It has always been my dream to be a world champion and this is an opportunity of my lifetime.  I plan to take full advantage it.”

PETER “KID CHOCOLATE” QUILLAN, #1 Rated WBO Middleweight Contender (Manhattan)

“I am so excited to be on this card and I want to thank everyone who made this card happen.

“I have lived in New York for 12 years, four of those in Brooklyn. I know the struggle of a lot of people that live around here and I am going to be fighting for them that night. I am also looking forward to fighting in New York again.

“Fighting for a championship has always been my dream.  This is my first step in securing all of those belts.  I thank God because this was already written.

“I am going to bring it and you are going to see Kid Chocolate ‘bring it.’

“You should definitely follow me for this fight. I can’t even pronounce my opponents name, but I can pronounce WBO title.  I plan to destroy this guy and win that title.  Cuz Kid Chocolate is coming.”

DANIEL JACOBS, Former World Title Contender (Brooklyn)

“You can only imagine how I feel after having the year I had last year battling cancer and being paralyzed.  But now I am better and not looking back.  I have to thank my family and friends, because without their help I don’t know if I would have been able to make it.

“Now that I am 100 percent healthy, I am so grateful to be on the first ever show in Brooklyn at Barclays Center.  It is a night I am going to remember and cherish all of my life.  So here we come . . . from Brownsville to Barclays!

“I look forward to showcasing my skills and you have definitely not seen the last of Danny Jacobs.  I appreciate all of you, particularly Golden Boy and people like Brett Yormark who supported me during my down time.  I promise I will not let you down.”

(DE LA HOYA; “Danny Jacobs is a fighter who is a great example to so many people.  You can’t give up no matter what and we thank you Danny for that.”)

DMITRIY SALITA, Former World Title Contender (Brooklyn)

“I always want to thank God and my supporters who have believed in me throughout my career.  Also, to Golden Boy and Barclays Center for bringing boxing back to Brooklyn.

“I want to congratulate Paulie for going overseas and winning the title.  I want to be able to participate in a world title fight, too and that could be in Brooklyn against Paulie.  That is why it is so important for me to look impressive on October 20 – to elevate my status so I can fight Paulie for that belt he has now.”

BOYD “RAINMAKER” MELSON, Junior Middleweight Prospect (Brooklyn)

“I am from Brooklyn and I am so excited to be on this show.  Since I was in the military and have boxed mostly away from home, some of my best friends haven’t even seen me fight yet.  I am excited to be here and to share with you some of the things I do outside of the ring.  I am passionate about a lot of things and boxing is one of them.”

EDDIE GOMEZ, Undefeated Rising Junior Middleweight Star (The Bronx)

(DE LA HOYA ON GOMEZ: “He is a must-see fighter who is wise beyond his years. I know he wants to come in and steal the show.”)

“Thank you everyone for coming here today and giving me this opportunity.  I am and will be ready for October 20.  Thanks for the support.”

LUIS COLLAZO, Former World Champion (Brooklyn)

“I am excited and can barely talk right now. That is how excited I am to fight in Brooklyn where I was born.

“It feels good to be back too. I am finished with my rehab and ready to fight in front of all of my Brooklyn fans.”