This Saturday night from snowy Minneapolis, Peter Quillin and Caleb Truax meet in a crossroads bout for an IBF super middleweight title eliminator. The co-feature pits Sergey Derevyanchenko against Jack Culcay for an IBF middleweight title eliminator. Also, hot-prospect Joey Spencer will be featured in the opener of the FS1 broadcast. Eerily similar to last April’s PBC on FS1 card, a snowstorm has hit the Twin Cities in Minnesota which could hurt the walkup traffic. The event handlers behind the scenes were expecting a full sellout at the Armory configured to around 5,500. Either way a robust crowd will be on hand to support Minnesota native Caleb Truax in his quest to make another run at a world title.
Caleb scored a major upset with a surprising victory over James DeGale. As quickly as he lifted the IBF super middleweight title off DeGale, Truax would lose in a close rematch just over a year ago. Truax had a stay busy outing last August and now primed to secure an important win over a former middleweight champion.
The curious case of Peter Quillin is a good way to describe Peter’s rise to become a titleholder and what has proceeded since his stunning first round TKO loss at the end of 2015. Just as Quillin’s name was on the rise at the 160-pound division, a guy who was developing into a name at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, it was all taken away on the night of December 5th, 2015. In what was perceived as a razor-tight matchup on paper, Quillin was sparked early by the Brooklyn bred Daniel Jacobs.
Quillin had faced some decent opposition in names such as Gabriel Rosado, Hassan N’Dam, Fernando Guerrero, and a draw to Andy Lee month’s before his downfall to Daniel Jacobs. Almost two year’s past until Quillin got back on the horse in 2017. 11 months later he would face J’Leon Love in an ugly fight that Quillin didn’t look himself and a full 10-month’s from that point Quillin is stepping up in a crossroads scenario.
The man Quillin will be opposite to in the ring this Saturday is a hardened-veteran through and through. Caleb Truax hasn’t had much handed to him in his pro career which started to gain traction on the national level in a loss to Jermain Taylor in 2012 on Showtime. After a few build-back outings Truax defeated a home-state rival in Matt Vanda, which led to an appearance on ESPN2’s Friday Night Fights versus Donavan George, shrinking down to middleweight. Truax stopped George in the 6th round.
The very next year FNFs came back to Minneapolis, this time at the Target Center, only to see Truax fight to a draw with Ossie Duran. Things went from bad to worse when Truax not only loss to Daniel Jacobs via 12-round stoppage, but two fights later he was stunned in the very first round by Anthony Dirrell in 2016. No shame in losing to Jacobs or his performance, however mentally Truax was a mess heading into the Dirrell fight and rightfully so dealing with his wife’s complications from a stroke while 8 months pregnant.
Quillin vs. Truax is a throwback of sorts, a pressure fighter against a counter puncher, always interesting on paper especially in a win or go home scenario. Will Quillin be able to weather the storm by landing meaningful punches to keep Truax at bay? Can Truax summon the strength to go to the well yet another time and handle the incoming accurate blows as he attempts to close the distance?
Both men will be patient, to an extent anyways, so expect one or two frames to be mild. Quillin will definitely be pumping his jab looking to land a right hand or left hook behind it. Quillin is a sharp puncher and combined with his outside ability it will likely give him an early lead on the cards. Truax is not a fighter who will get discouraged regardless of any early frustration.
Caleb has a few things going for him to upend Quillin. One is his jab which will help him close the gap in order to get into Quillin’s chest. Truax also has longer arms, which may come in handy once he can time Peter when the action is in the middle of the ring. The elephant in the room is the hometown setting which can only help Truax in the close rounds.
If Truax can take Quillin’s best overhand right and left hook, it’s just a matter of time until the tide begins to turn on Peter’s early lead. Truax will trap Quillin on the ropes and tee off to his body and up top. Peter is accustomed to fighting off the ropes but the suffocating pressure will add up round after round.
This born and bred Minnesotan podcaster could be biased toward Truax, but the style matchup along with the unknown mental state of Quillin post-Jacobs knockout is difficult to judge. Add in not only the inactivity of Quillin but how mediocre he’s looked in those two bouts over a 3 1/2 year span, and it equates to a Truax victory.
My Official Prediction is Caleb Truax by Split-Decision.
If you’re plugged into the main event for the PBC on FS1, then the undercard bout between Sergey Derevyanchenko and Jack Culcay for an IBF middleweight title eliminator should give plenty of thrills. Derevyanchenko’s lone loss came by the hands of Daniel Jacobs in what was a very competitive bout on HBO last October. Sergey more than accounted for himself in a positive light showing. He’s a legit 160-pound contender worthy of a second crack at a title.
Jack Culcay won’t blow anyone away with overriding power, hand speed, or skill, but that doesn’t mean he’s not a quality fighter. Case in point is his two losses. One came against Maciej Sulecki, and the other came via split-decision to a very talented Demetrius Andrade. Culcay has a tendency to start slow and eventually turn up the volume as he did in the second half of both missteps. This fight could be set ablaze on the inside where both men generally do good work. Derevyanchenko has a tendency to fight to the opponent’s level and even though the betting lines would have you think this is a mismatch don’t be shocked to see a nip-and-tuck affair down the stretch. Sergey’s confidence even in defeat to Jacobs should be improved knowing he is at the top level.
My Official Prediction is Sergey Derevyanchenko by Unanimous-Decision.
Side Note: Don’t forget to watch or at least DVR Shields vs. Hammer on Showtime Saturday night which starts before the PBC on FS1 card. Also, I will be covering the PBC on FS1 event so follow me on Twitter to keep up with all the action and keep an eye out for the recap article.