Monday, March 20, 2023  |



Danny Garcia, Lamont Peterson keep it classy at final presser (alas)

(L to R) Andy Lee, Danny Garcia, Lamont Peterson and Peter Quillin. Photo by James Devaney/Getty Images.

(L to R) Andy Lee, Danny Garcia, Lamont Peterson and Peter Quillin. Photo by James Devaney/Getty Images.

“This is all about the fighters,” said Lou DiBella on Thursday, looking fit and splendid in a well-tailored suit at the Edison Ballroom on 47th St. in NYC ahead of the show he’s promoting in Brooklyn on Saturday night, portions of which will run on NBC, on primetime.

And as such, some of the stuff which I am not afraid to admit I enjoy, some of the fiery posturing, and ill-tempered diatribes from cornermen, was absent as main-eventers Danny Garcia and Lamont Peterson and Peter Quillin and Andy Lee talked up their scraps, a 143-pound catchweight showdown and WBO middleweight title crack, respectively.

Yes, friends, that meant no Angel Garcia firing from the hip and the lip and everywhere in between, no smack talk from the father of the 140-pound champ who is now toiling in between the junior welter and welterweight classes. We’ve become accustomed to Angel proclaiming his devotion to his son with profane urgency and now, in this milieu of a new normal, as Al Haymon seeks to introduce, or re-introduce pugilism back into the sporting world mainstream, that is no more.

Excuse me as I shed a tear…

Actually, part of the chill atmosphere had to do with the four principals mentioned. Garcia has always let Pop do the heavy lifting in the promotion and trash-talking arena, and Peterson is a consummate classy sportsman. Quillin is prone to thanking God first and showing respect for a foe, while Lee has always preferred to let his fists be furious, and generally eschews pre-fighting yapping.

Other scrappers on the Brooklyn card, which kicks off at 5:05 PM, include Gabriel Bracero, of Sunset Park, on the cusp of a game-changer payday if he gets past Felix Diaz; the pugilistic pride of Staten Island, Marcus Browne, a light heavy contender; ex-titlist Luis Collazo, seeking to rebound from an L to Amir Khan; up ‘n comer Errol Spence, and Heather Hardy. The Brooklyner Hardy, who will appear in an episode of Louis CK’s FX show on April 30, told me she’s ready to rock, get the W, and then wants to sip some Champagne, and maybe chow down on a roast beef sandwich. Why the talk of drinking and eating? Because, she admitted, her caloric intake for the day consisted of some beet and blueberry baby food to insure she hits her mark at the Friday weigh-in.

Quillin promised a win (“We gonna take that belt”) while his foe, Lee, admitted he was feeling “very dangerous.” His right hook off the lefty stance is a chin-changer sort of a launch so Quillin will be ultra cognizant of that weapon.

The Michigan-born hitter said he foresees a “chess match” but if Lee comes out looking to trade, that’ll be a mistake, because he is vicious when his back is to the wall, he said.

Lee told me he said he feels “dangerous” because he’s been hitting pads and bags and now wants to try it out on a real, live human.

Yep, not much going on in the overwrought-drama department, unless you count Peterson’s beard. That hobo’s delight will be trimmed tight for fight night, as the NY commission told the DC boxer that such a growth could function as a shock absorber, and thus would be seen as a performance enhancer. No big deal, Peterson told me. He’s been growing it since August but isn’t married to it. He said a win would “solidify and stamp me as an elite fighter.”

All in all, everyone was professional and courteous. Lord, what is this sport coming to?

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