Fighting

Gracia-Peterson fight the jewel of NBC telecast

On the heels of CBS’ telecast of Adonis Stevenson’s successful defense of his light-heavyweight belt Saturday afternoon, boxing enjoys a second consecutive week of network television exposure.

NBC will showcase the sport with another live broadcast Saturday night from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

Danny Garcia and Lamont Peterson will fight in a scheduled 12-round welterweight bout. Although sanctioning bodies recognize both fighters as super-lightweight world champions, Saturday’s bout will be at a catch weight of 143 pounds and no titles at stake.

“I’m going to bring fireworks and I’m going fight my heart out like I do every time,” Garcia said.

Peterson (33-2-1, 17 KOs) looks forward to putting the first blemish on Garcia’s spotless record.

“My fight with Danny Garcia is the biggest fight of my career,” Peterson said. “Of course, Danny Garcia is undefeated. I’m ready to step on his throne and take over.”

The telecast also will feature Andy Lee’s first defense of his World Boxing Organization middleweight title against former champion Peter Quillin. Lee (34-2, 24 KOs) won the vacant belt, previously held by Quillin, with a sixth-round technical knockout victory over Matt Korobov last December.

The title was declared vacant after Quillin (31-0, 22 KOs) renounced the belt instead of facing Korobov in a mandatory defense. Now, Quillin will be attempting to reclaim the title he held for two years.

“I’m actually going to let Andy Lee have that pressure on him -to be able to perform as the champion,” Quillin said. “Now I have pressure of being the challenger. I’ve been here before so I’m going to do no different than what I’ve learned as being a champion - to go in as a more polished challenger.”

Stevenson solidified the possibility of a title unification bout against Sergey Kovalev after his unanimous decision win against Sakio Bika in Quebec City.

A native of Haiti and Canada resident, Stevenson (26-1, 21 KOs) scored two knockdowns and outlasted a game-challenge from Bika. All three judges scored the fight for Stevenson, 116-110, 115-111 and 115-110.

Kovalev, a part-time Fort Lauderdale resident, retained his three sanctioning body belts with a TKO victory over former champion Jean Pascal March 14. The prospects of a unification match between Stevenson and Kovalev last year ended after Stevenson signed with influential manager Al Haymon.

But talk of the light-heavyweight champions meeting has resurfaced again now that they continue making further separation from the rest of the 175-pound talent pool.

▪ Miami resident Joey Hernandez lost a lopsided decision against Julian Williams on the undercard of the Stevenson-Bakia bout. Williams (19-0-1) won the junior-middleweight bout on all three judges’ scorecards, 100-89.

Hernandez is now 24-3-1.

Coming up

Friday (9 p.m.): Stanyslav Skorokhod vs. John Thompson, 8, junior middleweights.

Friday (10 p.m., Showtime): Frank Galarza vs. Sheldon Moore, 8, junior middleweights.

Saturday (8:30 p.m., NBC): Danny Garcia vs. Lamont Peterson, 12, welterweights; Andy Lee vs. Peter Quillin, 12, for Lee’s WBO middleweight title.

  Comments