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Danny Garcia, Paulie Malignaggi win title fights in historic Brooklyn card

Randall Bailey and Devon Alexander exchange punches during

Randall Bailey and Devon Alexander exchange punches during their IBF welterweight title fight at the Barclays Center. (Oct. 20, 2012) Credit: Getty

With a potent left, Danny Garcia capped a historic night for boxing in Brooklyn.

Garcia, 24, remained undefeated and kept his unified super lightweight world championship with a powerful punch that spun Erik Morales down and into the lower rope at 1:23 of the fourth round at Barclays Center Saturday night.

Morales, 36, was allowed to fight in the historic card at the $1 billion home of the Nets -- the first major championship title event in 81 years in the borough -- despite two tests earlier this month that found minor traces of clenbuteral, a banned weight-loss drug. A third test, taken Wednesday, came back negative. Morales said he had eaten contaminated food and the New York State Athletic Commission said Saturday that there was "inconclusive data to make a final determination on a suspension" and would continue investigating.

Garcia, a Philadelphian who is 25-0 with 16 knockouts, beat Morales in a unanimous decision in March for the WBC light welterweight title and won the WBA light welterweight title with a fourth-round TKO of Amir Khan in July. "I was more aggressive this time [against Morales],'' Garcia said. "I don't duck anybody. I fought Khan when nobody gave me a chance. Line 'em up and I'll knock em down. My dad called it in the fifth. Well, it was the fourth.''

So the borough officially came back on the boxing map -- in more ways than one -- with all the local talent on the bill winning before a crowd of 11,112.

Brooklyn favorite Paulie Malignaggi (32-4, seven knockouts) kept his WBA welterweight world championship belt against Pablo Cesar Cano (25-2-1, 19 KOs). Cano, 22, technically wasn't eligible to win the crown; he weighed in above the 147-pound limit. Cano landed a right to send Malignaggi down in the 11th, but the judges gave the bout to the hometowner in a split decision. He won, 114-113, on two cards; Cano had the other, 118-109.

Cano did land more power punches -- 65 to 57 -- and 35 percent of punches thrown, compared to Malignaggi's 26 percent, and his team wasn't happy.

Just before that, Manhattan's Peter Quillin won his 28th straight fight, a thriller, in a unanimous decision and took the WBO middleweight world championship belt from the previously undefeated Hassan N'Dam, who was knocked down six times in the 12-rounder. All three judges scored it 115-107.

In the first championship bout in the borough since Aug. 5, 1931, when "Slapsie Maxie" Rosenbloom retained the New York world lightweight title at Ebbets Field with a decision over Jimmy Slattery, Devon Alexander (24-1) took Randall Bailey's IBF welterweight crown with flurries of jabs in a unanimous 12-round decision. It was only the second fight as a welterweight for Alexander, 25, who hails from St. Louis.

Perhaps the most impressive display on the undercard was by middleweight Danny Jacobs, a 25-year-old Brownsville native who was paralyzed by cancer in his back in 2011 and was making his comeback against Josh Luteran. Jacobs unleashed a left-right combination at 1:13 of the opening round to floor Luteran and move to 23-1.

New York Sports