Disclosure: Damn right I'm psyched that the Barclays Center in Brooklyn will feature boxing every month for the foreseeable future, and that the Barclays crew is making boxing an immense building block of their brand. I live a couple minutes away, in Park Slope, so the proximity for me is enticing.
Madison Square Garden has so many other things going on, the Knicks, the Rangers, etc., that it doesn't need boxing to flourish. So rI find myself going there maybe twice a year for big bouts. The fact that there is a new kid on the block who is embracing the sport, which will attract big fights and new fans ... well, I just admitted I am pumped about that.
At a Thursday news conference to hype the Oct. 30 debut of boxing at Barclays, I asked Peter "Kid Chocolate" Quillin -- who lives in Manhattan and lived for four years in Brooklyn -- if he thinks that Barclays is in direct competition with MSG, and how he sees that playing out.
"Barclays is new, is hot," said the middleweight, who is getting a shot at WBO middleweight champ Hassan N'Dam N'Jikam of France underneath Danny Garcia-Erik Morales II. "But MMA, when it first came out, people thought it would take over for boxing, because it was the new thing. People get familiar with a new thing, and jump on it, and it'll go viral. This is what could happen with Barclays.
"But I think (the competition) is going to be a good thing, because the fights are going to be good fights, and good for Brooklyn. Being part of something new is always fresh."
Quillin says New York is where the money is, and that makes people scratch and claw and work OT to get their share of it. "They say if you can make it in New York, you can make it anywhere else, and I believe that," he said.
Quillin was asked if he sees himself as Brooklyn, the up-and-coming borough, and vet Sergio Martinez, on his target list for two years, as Madison Square Garden, more of a distinguished gent. "Nah, I'm all of New York City," Quillin said. "I want the whole tri-state area, and Brooklyn is a start."
Another plus to the Barclays arrival: Quillin said he's had better luck when in Manhattan getting a cab, because now cabbies are liking Brooklyn more, and a large part of that is the Nets and Barclays.
"Now y'all are going to have to start going to Brooklyn now," Quillin said he told a cabbie the day before.
"Yeah, there's money there now," the cabbie replied.