(Photo courtesy of Premier Boxing Champions)
Quillin is focused and ready for NBC debut.
By Igor Frank
Talent is not enough. To become a champion, to become a star requires a lot of sacrifices and hard work.
” If you don’t work you won’t eat,” said former middleweight champion Peter Quillin last Friday when I came by to visit his training camp at the Wildcard West Boxing Gym in Santa Monica, California.
Quillin, also known as Kid Chocolate, is hard at work in the middle of preparation for April 11th showdown with Andy Lee. Co main event of the second installment of Premiere Boxing Champions will be televised live by NBC from Barclay Center in Brooklyn, New York.
” I think I am just going to walk to the fight,” said Quillin when I asked him what he thought about fighting at the Barclay Center, which is located in the neighborhood where Peter resides with his family.
Ironically, Quillin (31-0,22KO’S) will be challenging Andy Lee (34-2,24KO’S) for WBO middleweight title, the same title he gave up without a fight when he turned down a lucrative defense against Mat Korobov last year. Instead Mat Korobov faced off against Andy Lee for the vacant WBO belt last December in Las Vegas. The Irish boxer scored a spectacular come from behind knock out and became a world champion.
“I see a story being played out,” said Quillin, 31:” Give up the belt and next fight for the belt again. I have a chance to be a two time champion of the world.”
Quillin told me that he turned down a title defense against Korobov last year after he talked to his adviser, Al Haymon. Powerful adviser, creator of Premier Boxing Champions told Peter to spend some time with his new family. He also told him to look at the big picture and promised a bright future. The future is now. Quillin will perform on National TV and earn a substantial paycheck.
“I want to thank Al Haymon for making it possible.” said Quillin. ”As you know boxing like that haven’t been on free network TV for over 30 years.”
They say most fights are won and lost in the gym. So I came to the gym to interview Kid Chocolate. I stayed to watch him spar twelve hard rounds with four different opponents; undefeated middleweight, Hugo Centeno Jr, British middleweight Craig Mc Ewan and two hard hitting brothers from New York. And just when I wanted to bow out and go home, Peter asked me to stay till the end. He said:” We are still looking for a perfect camp. We haven’t had a perfect camp yet.” He could have fooled me.
Two hours later I was glad I stayed because I understood why Peter Quillin is an undefeated fighter. Three hours training session consisted of 15 minutes of jumping rope, then 12 hard rounds sparring and then over an hour of mitt work with Eric Brown’s assistant who was sweating more than the boxer, which was followed by a variety of boxing and stretching exercises and culminated with another assistant hitting Kid Chocolate on the midsection for what seemed like an eternity. And just when I thought it was over Peter had assistant drop medium leather bound bag on his stomach and on his sides… continuously for another fifteen to twenty minutes.
“I just focus on the work and what we are here to accomplish,” said Quillin when I expressed my admiration for his work ethics. Practice makes it perfect. When it comes to plying his craft Kid Chocolate takes practice to another level.” Wiseman said if somebody gives you a fish you’ll eat for the day,” reflected Quillin who recently became a father:” but if somebody will give you a fishing poll you will eat for life. Now I have to instill the same kind of traditions for my kid to let him know that he would have to provide for his own one day.”
Meanwhile Peter is doing quite well to provide for his new family. On the job front Quillin is to face Andy Lee.
” He is a good fighter,” said Quillin. It’s an exciting match up for the fans, because both guys are big punchers and this contest will most likely end in a dramatic fashion.
“I never look for knock outs,” replied Peter when I asked him if he was looking to end the fight with a knock out:” Knock outs come. I learn when you look for a knock out your ass might get knocked out. I look to be the supreme boxer that I am because that’s my craft.”
April 11th at Barclay Center promises to be explosive. If you can’t go to New York, it’s no problem, because you can watch it on NBC for free. And If Lee vs. Quillin is not enough consider a co feature between junior welterweights Danny Garcia and Lamont Peterson.
Contact Igor Frank at email@example.com or via Twitter (Fightmonger)