AFTER enduring some resistance from a spirited Michael Zerafa, former WBO middleweight champion Peter Quillin scored a shocking fifth round knockout at the Foxwoods Resort in Mashantucket, Connecticut.
The writing appeared to be on the wall early when a clearly bigger Quillin (now 32-0-1, 23 KOs) was listed at a remarkable 182 pounds in the dressing rooms, giving him a 14 pound advantage over the smaller Zerafa.
Zerafa, 23, was game and gave the big-punching Quillin, 32, some moments of difficulty in a fight that featured some closely contested sequences, but was ultimately won by the popular Brooklyn native.
The fast-handed Australian (now 17-2, 9 KOs) was successful with his jab on multiple occasions, but came off worse for wear when the pair decided to stand in the pocket and exchange.
The fights sudden conclusion came about at 1:02 in the fifth stanza, when Quillin appeared to rattle Zerafa with a flurry of short hooks before a thudding right hand levelled Zerafa, who instantaneously fell to the canvas.
Michael Zerafa just got off the phone with @KIDCHOCOLATE. He is ok, tests are good, and Michael likely to be released shortly.
— Lou DiBella (@loudibella) September 12, 2015
Referee Arthur Mercante Jr. showed his experience, immediately calling the fight without a count.
Right after the fight had ended, a stretcher was brought into the ring while the Craigieburn-based Zerafa was examined by the ringside physician, who remained on the canvas for several minutes.
Although he was responsive backstage, Zerafa was sent to a local hospital upon the advice of the physician, who later confirmed that Zerafa was responsive upon being carried out of the ring.
“It’s hard to celebrate when someone is leaving on a stretcher,” said Quillin in his post-fight interview. “That’s not the way I want to finish my job. Unfortunately this is part of the game.”
“I want to pray that he gets well and gets back home to Australia, that’s what’s important,”
“He was game, but boxing is a dangerous job. I don’t want to hurt people.”
“I pray for both myself and my opponent during a fight, and I want everyone to be safe.”
Photo: Billie Weiss/Getty Images North America