Former middleweight champ Peter Quillin defeats top contender J'Leon Love and former super lightweight titleholder Sergey Lipinets is victorious in his welterweight debut.
After falling behind early, former welterweight champion Andre Berto came on strong in the final rounds against Devon Alexander—and it proved to be the difference Saturday in their FOX-televised Premier Boxing Champions main event.
Berto (32-5, 24 KOs) overcame a third-round knockdown to earn a split decision win over Alexander (27-5-1, 14 KOs) in a 147-pound crossroads fight that highlighted a PBC on FOX card from NYCB Live, home of the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, New York. The 115-112 scorecards overruled a 114-113 card in favor of Alexander.
The knockdown came when Alexander tagged Berto behind the head, a call that could have easily gone the other way and been ruled a foul.
“He punched me in the back of my head,” Berto said of the knockdown. “But I know I was in ridiculous shape so I went to the corner and knew what I had to do. I know I was faster, I know I was stronger. I just had to get my combinations off faster.”
Berto’s win ends a nearly 16-month layoff since he was stopped by Shawn Porter, who was calling the fight for the FOX broadcast. Berto made it clear after the fight he’d love to get the winner of Porter and Danny Garcia.
“This is year fourteen or fifteen for me,” Berto said when asked about what’s next. “I see Shawn Porter back there. I see Guerrero back there. I know he has a big fight with Danny Garcia and I wish them the best but it looks like I'm next in line.”
Alexander had seemingly built an early lead by boxing on the outside, but by the halfway point in the fight he seemed to fade. After finding himself the victim of a badly-scored draw against Victor Ortiz in February, one would have expected Alexander to be more active in the second half.
“I slowed down a little bit around the sixth round, he picked it up a little bit,” Alexander said after the loss. “I don't want to make any excuses.”
Instead, it was Berto who came on late in the fight. He even staggered Alexander a minute left in the fight but Berto couldn't land the necessary follow-up to render himself the winner by knockout. Alexander had built up enough points early to earn a unanimous decision, continuing his upward climb since coming back from an opioid addiction that threatened his life.
“I've been off for a while but it felt good in there,” Berto said. “I felt like I was in better shape and quicker to the target than he was. ... This is a tremendous feeling and I’m looking forward to getting in there and doing it again.”
Peter Quillin defeats J'leon Love in a 168-pound crossroads bout
In a crossroads fight where neither guy made a strong case, Peter Quillin (34-1-1, 23 KOs) earned a wide unanimous decision over J'Leon Love (24-2-1, 13 KOs) in a fight that both guys desperately needed to win. Quillin spent the first couple rounds in the fight talking to Love and shouting to people outside the ring, with Love not offering much up to keep him quiet. Quillin won by scores of 99-91, and 98-92 twice.
“It was very important for me to go up in there and break his spirit,” said Quillin. “I established my will in there, but I'll wait to judge how I looked until I see the tape.”
Quillin’s power and punch output proved to be the difference as he focused on getting into range of Love while delivering power punches to back Love up. With his promoter, all-time great Floyd Mayweather, sitting ringside, Love focused on a strategy that saw him move throughout the 10 rounds while trying to build his offense off of his jab.
“Sometimes you don't have your best night, but I'm far from done,” said Love. “I have a lot of good fights left in front of me. I will be back. I could have pressed a little bit more, but he's a puncher. I wasn't trying to turn it into a brawl. I went at him and then slid right out. That was the game plan.”
Round eight began with Quillin on the offensive as he pinned Love in the corner and unloaded a massive series of shots, many of which landed flush. Love was able to avoid any serious danger from the onslaught, but was never able to land anything that bothered Quillin over the remaining moments of the fight.
The judges scored the bout 99-91 and 98-92 twice, all in favor of Quillin.
“For people who think that I had ring rust, we’ve been in the gym training hard to be ready for a challenge like this,” said Quillin. “We’re going to build from this and use it from a foundation. Only time will tell what comes next, but we'll use this as a measuring stick.”
Former champ Sergey Lipinets bounces back with UD win against Erick Bone
Sergey Lipinets (14-1, 10 KOs) made his welterweight debut, earning a 10-round majority decision over battle-tested Erick Bone (20-6, 8 KOs). Lipinets had trouble cutting off the ring but landed the bigger shots against Bone, bouncing back from his first loss—to Mikey Garcia in a spirited fight in March. Lipinets won on scores of 99-91, 98-92, and a 95-95 draw card that wasn't in line with the action.
“I always take a couple of rounds to figure the guy out, but once I loosened up I felt pretty good,” said Lipinets. “I loaded up on my punches a little more than I had to, but this fight was exactly what I needed to get myself ready for another big challenge soon.”
Both fighters spent most of the bout exchanging single power punches, with Lipinets showing off his superior power to bust open Bone's nose in the early rounds and cause blood to pour from it throughout the rest of the fight.
Lipinets continued to throw power punches to the end, connecting with a left hook midway through the final frame that caused Bone to jump back toward the ropes. One judge scored the fight a 95-95 draw but was overruled by scores of 99-91 and 98-92.
“If anybody saw any flaws in my performance today, then they’re welcome to step up and come take the fight against me,” said Lipinets. “Everyone knows that I’m going to come and bring a great fight to whoever is in front of me.”
Former Champ Luis Collazo defeats Bryant Perrella, while Marcus Browne and Joey Spencer remain undefeated in undercard action
Additional FOX and FOX Deportes action featured rising unbeaten middleweight prospect Joey Spencer (4-0, 4 KOs) as he delivered a dominant second-round KO over Bruce Lutchmedial (2-5, 2 KOs).
Marcus Browne (22-0, 16 KOs) worked through a mid-round knockdown on his way to a unanimous decision victory over Lenin Castillo (17-2-1, 12 KOs) in their 10-round light heavyweight bout.
"I wasn't consistent enough or as effective as I wanted to be tonight," said Browne. "I fought in spurts too much. I need to be more consistent to get the performance I want.
"The knockdown felt like a slip to me, but this is boxing. I just had to keep focus and move forward to get the win."
The Staten Island-native Browne showed off his impressive speed and jab through the early rounds of the fight, keeping Castillo's offense at bay. As the fight opened up in the middle rounds, Castillo caught Browne with a right hand during a wild exchange that knocked him off balance and caused him to hit the mat.
Browne was able to recover with ease and continued to show off his boxing skills throughout the remainder of the night, as Castillo was unable to replicate his round five success. The judges saw the fight for Browne by the scores of 97-92 and 98-91 twice.
"I appreciated everyone who came out for me tonight," said Browne. "I'm ready to move on to the next challenge. I'm going to stay focused and be even better next time."
Former world champion Luis Collazo (38-7, 20 KOs) earned a majority decision victory over Bryant Perrella (15-2, 13 KOs) in their 10-round welterweight showdown.
Perrella entered the ring with the reach and height advantage, but the veteran Collazo quickly strategized to walk through Perrella's jab to deliver power punches. Collazo started to inflict damage beginning in rounds three and four when he had Perella stunned several times against the ropes.
"Perrella didn't have much power, which allowed me to just stay on top of him and smother his punches," said Collazo. "I was able to play the aggressor and control the fight."
Collazo had to continue to stalk the increasingly evasive Perrella, but was able to show off his impressive ring savvy by cutting off the ring to implement his offense. Collazo had Perrella hurt badly in the late rounds of the fight, but Perrella was able to show enough toughness and athleticism to see the final bell.
"I've had a lot of fights that prepared me for what I had to do tonight," said Collazo. "I felt strong in there, but I'll know more once I look at the tape. I want one of the top welterweights next."
For a complete look at Berto vs Alexander, check out our fight page.