NEW YORK -- "Kid Chocolate" Peter Quillin could not win a middleweight title from Andy Lee, and Lee could not lose it because Quillin did not make weight, but it turned out not to matter.
In the end, nobody won because the judges ruled it a split draw on the undercard of the Danny Garcia-Lamont Peterson welterweight showdown Saturday night at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
One judge had it 113-113, one judge had it 113-112 for Lee, and one had it 113-112 for Quillin, who appeared headed for an early knockout victory.
"There's a reason why judges are judges," Quillin said. "They see it their way. I respect the decision."
The CompuBox punch statistics sure made the fight look close, crediting Lee with landing 113 of 299 punches (38 percent) and Quillin with connecting on 103 of 267 blows (39 percent).
"It was a tough fight. I got dropped early because I was lazy, but I got the momentum late in the fight and boxed consistently," Lee said. "I understand with two knockdowns, people felt he won. The decision was fair. I could have done better tonight."
Quillin got off to a strong start, dropping Lee in the first and third rounds, but he also tasted the canvas in the seventh round and appeared to fade down the stretch.
Quillin, fighting for the first time in a year, was not eligible to win the title because he could not make the 160-pound division limit at Friday's weigh-in. While Lee, who could not lose the title even if he had lost the fight, weighed 159.6 pounds, Quillin at first was 161.4 pounds. He returned about 90 minutes later (he had two hours, per commission rules) but could only get down to 160.6.
After they spent most of the opening round feeling each other out, Quillin nailed Lee with an overhand right on the chin with about 30 seconds left, and Lee went down hard. He was badly hurt and barely made it to his feet.
Just as the bell sounded to end the round, Quillin nailed Lee with a clean left that appeared to have him out on his feet.
Quillin (31-0-1, 22 KOs), 31, of Brooklyn, rocked Lee again late in the second round as they engaged toe to toe in the final few seconds, and again, Lee appeared lucky to make it out of the round.
Lee, left eye damaged, went down again in the third on a left hook, but it was a flash knockdown. He got up and hurt Quillin with a right hook.
A southpaw, Lee was looking to land the kind of big right hook with which he had knocked out his previous two opponents in fights he was behind in the scorecards. He came close, but Quillin hurt him yet again with a combination along the ropes in the fifth round.
Lee (34-2-1, 24 KOs), 30, of Ireland, finally found the right hook late in the seventh round and caught Quillin on the chin when he was coming in. Quillin went down to all fours but survived the round.
Lee, who won the vacant title in December by comeback, sixth-round knockout of Matt Korobov -- after Quillin had relinquished it in September -- seemed to win some of the later rounds as Quillin tired and did not appear to have the same kind of snap on his punches as he did earlier.
"There's no perfect story," Quillin said. "I come from nothing, and to have a little bit is something. I was here to fight. I was able to go 12 rounds. I could have kept going."
Lee now owes a mandatory defense to England's Billy Joe Saunders, who made a deal with Lee to step aside in order for him to first face Quillin.
Collazo blows out Degollado
Former welterweight titlist Luis Collazo, out of the ring for 11 months, returned with vengeance as he destroyed Chris Degollado in the second round.
Collazo, 33, of Brooklyn, was fighting for the first time since losing a 12-round decision to Amir Khan on the Floyd Mayweather-Marcos Maidana undercard in May. After the loss, Collazo said he contemplated retirement but eventually decided boxing was too much a part of him to give it up.
"Last fight wasn't the way I wanted to go out," Collazo said. "I took some time off and thought about what was next and started waking up again at 4 a.m. for training. It came naturally, and I felt great, and I knew I wanted to keep fighting."
Degollado (12-5, 10 KOs), 26, of Mexico, was outclassed, as Collazo felt him out in the first round and then crushed him in the second.
Collazo (36-6, 19 KOs), who held a 147-pound world title in 2005 and 2006, forced him to a neutral corner and went to work, hammering him repeatedly with punches to the head and body with both hands. He landed more than a dozen punches before referee Shada Murdaugh stepped in and waved it off at 1 minute, 46 seconds.
"I was trying to move a lot and see where he'd bite," Collazo said. "Eventually, the left started landing consistently. I started faking that more, and he kept falling for it. I also started working the body."
Degollado lost his fourth right in a row and fifth in his past six bouts. Collazo proclaimed himself ready for anyone.
"I'm ready for any and all, including the fighters at the top of my weight division," he said. "I'll be back in the gym in a week. I could see myself fighting another two or three years, but who knows?"
• Unbeaten welterweight prospect Errol Spence Jr. continued his rise toward title contention by scoring a dominant fourth-round TKO of Samuel Vargas.
Spence (16-0, 13 KOs), of Dallas, dropped Vargas (20-2-1, 10 KOs) early in Round 2 after finishing off a three-punch combination with a hard left hand. Spence, 25, continued to trap Vargas along the ropes and overwhelm him with flurries at close range.
Vargas, a native of Colombia who fights out of Toronto, stepped on the gas pedal to open Round 4 and was repeatedly stung with left hands. Once Spence began to unload with clean shots in the corner, Vargas' trainer Billy Briscoe stepped up on the apron to throw in the towel.
• Staten Island, New York, light heavyweight prospect Marcus Browne (14-0, 11 KOs), a 2012 U.S. Olympian, dominated Aaron Pryor Jr. (19-8-1, 12 KOs), the son of the Hall of Fame former junior welterweight champion, en route to a sixth-round knockout. Browne, 24, much faster and more powerful than the 36-year-old Pryor, of Cincinnati, did as he pleased. He hurt Pryor at the end of the third round and was breaking him down before Pryor retired on his stool at the of the sixth round.
• Ukrainian junior welterweight contender Viktor Postol (26-0, 11 KOs) got in a good workout as he blew past Jake Giuriceo (17-2-1, 4 KOs) in their eight-round bout at 144 pounds. Postol dominated, winning 80-72 on two scorecards and 79-73 on one.
Postol, 31, of Ukraine, is the mandatory challenger for unified junior welterweight champion Danny Garcia but made a step-aside deal with him to allow his main event against Peterson to take place. Part of the deal called for a fight on the undercard and whipped Giuriceo, who showed a lot of toughness but had nothing to offer competitively.
Postol banged him around with both hands and kept a steady jab in his face, leaving him with a black and blue left eye.
The fight was Postol's first since an 11th-round knockout of Selcuk Aydin in a May world title eliminator that earned him the shot at Garcia, whose next fight is a mandatory against Postol. Postol is supposed to fight for a world title in his next bout, be it against Garcia or somebody else for a vacant belt, should Garcia relinquish it.
Giuriceo, 30, is club fighter from Youngstown, Ohio. He lost for the third time in his past four fights.
• Prichard Colon (14-0, 11 KOs), a 22-year-old welterweight prospect from Puerto Rico, dominated Denver's Daniel Calzada (11-14-2, 2 KOs) en route to a ninth-round knockout. Colon had his way with Calzada, 24, and when he staggered him with a right hand followed by a left uppercut, referee Shada Murdaugh stepped in and called off the fight at 1 minute, 38 seconds. Colon was ahead 80-72 on all three scorecards at the time of the stoppage.
• New Yorker Heather Hardy (12-0, 2 KOs) and Renata Domsodi (11-6, 4 KOs) of Hungary fought to a third-round no-contest. An accidental head at 1 minute, 57 seconds of the round left Domsodi with a cut over her right eye and a bad gash on her right cheek, and she was unable to continue. Domsodi, 40, was also cut over her other eye, and Hardy, 33, had a bloody nose in their rough fight. The scheduled eight-round bout was declared a no-contest because the fighters did not go the requisite four rounds needed to render a decision.
• Irish bantamweight Ryan Burnett (8-0, 7 KOs) blew out Atlanta's Scott McIntyre (2-8-2, 0 KOs) by knocking him out with a left hook to the body. McIntyre was counted out by referee Tony Chiarantano at 2 minutes, 59 seconds and remained on the canvas for a few minutes.