|Quillin Comes Full Circle
By Steve Kim, MaxBoxing (Oct 20, 2012) Doghouse Boxing (Photo © Marty Rosengarten - Hoganphotos/ Golden Boy Promotions)
now you’ve probably heard the Horatio Alger-like story of Peter Quillin
and his departure from Grand Rapids, Michigan to New York with nothing
but a sense of desperation and his dreams. As his boxing career stalled
in Gotham City, the middleweight hopeful migrated to Los Angeles to
regain his bearings as a boxer. This Saturday night, he returns to
Brooklyn to face Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam for the WBO middleweight crown
(Showtime, 8 p.m., ET/PT).
From virtual homelessness to the Barclays Center, “Kid Chocolate” has come full circle.
special; it’s just another step up the ladder. It’s important to show
progress,” he said a couple of weeks ago after his day’s work at the
Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood. “It’s important to show where your
hard work is trying to get you. I went to Grand Rapids, lived the same
exact way I lived in New York City and what I learned about myself is
that in the climb to get to the top, you gotta be alone a lot of the
time. So I’m just learning how to be able to be on my own and get to
where I want to be. So this magical night right here is historic, not
only for Brooklyn, but for me as well.”
you’ve perused the internet or Googled “Peter Quillin,” you’re bound to
have heard this story before. He moved from Michigan to New York in
2002 “because I wanted a change. I told myself that being in the streets
of Grand Rapids, I was just going to be a victim of my society, victim
of my community, which is a lot of poverty, a lot of people that hate
you for no reason. But what I did, I was fighting and wasn’t boxing but I
always knew how to box. So I was knocking guys out fighting in the
street and learned how to box.”
asked what his fate would’ve been in Grand Rapids (best known for being
the hometown of Floyd Mayweather), Quillin, the son of a Cuban refugee,
answers, “I never question God’s will, where God got me at now. So it’s
in the books and only He knows what He has planned for me. I didn’t
know; I just went along for the ride.”
says New York was good for him but not necessarily easy. “No, it wasn’t
easy and what I learned being in New York for all that time, what it
did, you start to create a level of comfort and as a fighter, you can
never be comfortable and you can never be relaxed. So I always wanted to
put myself in an environment where I have to challenge myself,” he
states. Back then, Quillin’s career was being handled by Cedric Kushner
and it would eventually stall. It was at that point when changes were
made. He got out of his deal with CKP and took the advice of Horace
Greeley, going west to the Wild Card Boxing Club. “I’m always trying to
get better,” he said. “I believe that putting myself in a level of
uncomfortability creates your character. So that’s what I did and moved
to California and train at the Wild Card where it’s an aggressive gym;
the atmosphere, you can smell it.”
Quillin remembers the exact date he made the move - June 2nd,
2010. Since then, he’s signed with Golden Boy Promotions and inked a
deal with the influential (to say the least) Al Haymon. During this
stretch, he racked up wins over the likes of Dennis Sharpe, Jesse
Brinkley, Jason LeHoullier, Craig McEwan and, most recently, Winky
Wright. All this set up a shot for the WBO crown. Originally, he was
slated for Marco Antonio Rubio. He ended up fighting for a major belt
but probably ended up with a tougher foe in the athletic Frenchman.
trainer, Eric Brown, tells Maxboxing, “I don’t know if it’s an upgrade;
it’s just a different style. Rubio is not the kind of boxer that’s
going to move a lot, give Pete lots of movement. He’s going to be there
in front of Pete for the most part and actually make it easier for Pete.
N’Jikam, I think is going to be more of a challenge because this guy’s a
mover; he’s a great boxer. He relies on his movement for his defense
and he counterpunches very good. So Pete’s going to have a challenge
cutting the ring and taking it to him, putting some hurt on him, slowing
him down and getting rid of him late.”
Quillin doesn’t seem too concerned either way. It’s all part of this gig.
don’t worry about the opponent,” he says. “I just worry about the fight
and I worry about the training aspect of it. I got a hardworking team
behind me who works on getting me the best fights and the best
opportunities and best money. People forget I do this for a living; this
is my job. When people say, ‘What do you do?’ I say, ‘I’m a
professional boxer.’ So you can’t think that fighting for the glory
always pays the bills. So I recognize having a group of people that’s
very powerful in boxing helps your career.”
there’s one thing that sets off the normally good-natured and
charismatic Quillin, it’s those who doubt him on social platforms like
Twitter. Yeah, he’s been known to verbally spar with various fans, fight
scribes and fellow boxers alike, 140 characters at a time. Marvin
Hagler never had to deal with this type of stuff. But again, you
probably couldn’t imagine him having a Twitter account (at least during
his days as the middleweight king) either.
a Twitter, Facebook fiend,” said Brown, laughing loudly at the thought.
“He’s like a junkie for it and I have to tell him, ‘Look, man, quit
listening to that sh*t.’ He’s a very, very emotional guy and he has a
tendency sometimes to listen to the hype and let the hype bother him. I
tell him, ‘Don’t let that bother you because it ain’t none of them
getting in the ring boxing with you, OK? So don’t worry about that;
everybody’s going to have their opinion. Everybody’s going to have
something to say. Don’t worry about that; just go in there and keep
doing what you’re doing. Keep winning and just shut all their mouths.’”
Chocolate” claims, “I’ve stopped reading that because if it’s not
positive, why put that energy into your body? So what I learned is that
most of the guys that do that are guys who sit behind their computers,
had a couple of bad fights in their life where they didn’t come up good;
they came up short. Now they try and rain on my parade. But, for the
most part, that’s the only thing that motivates me right now is getting
to the top with those guys saying that I can’t.”
For Quillin, beating N’Jikam and capturing his first major belt would only be a step from where he’s been to where he’s headed.
just shows your progress in the sport,” he said. “It might mean nothing
to the fans but it means something to me, a guy that came off the
floor, sleeping on the floor. They say that people are worried about
me coming in their house after hours; I’m that guy. But I made a 180
[degree] turn to be able to motivate people and inspire people through
the hard work I put into the gym.”
Just a day before the weigh-ins for this card at the Barclays Center,
news broke that Erik Morales, who was scheduled to face unified junior
welterweight titlist Danny Garcia in the main event, had tested positive
for a banned substance. These outlets had the story first...
These reports were later confirmed by Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer.
OK, before we go out and publicly flog anyone, everyone should let due
process take its course and go from there. But I have one question: what
are the terms of the agreement between USADA and Golden Boy as it
relates to this fight and a positive test? To me, that will determine
whether we see this main event on Showtime or not.
In my previous article, I detailed how the discounting of tickets by
Golden Boy Promotions and the Barclays Center was alienating fans who
actually purchase tickets and have the temerity to support the business
of boxing (http://www.maxboxing.com/news/main-lead/azad-championship-report-paulie-comes-home).
Well, things got even more farcical with this offer put out earlier
this week, which in effect gave any resident of Brooklyn four (not one,
two or three but four, whether you like it or not) freebies.
Uh, yeah, but I have a feeling that the Brett Yormark Foundation wasn’t
given any four-packs for the Jay-Z concert in this building. You don’t
need to be an insider at StubHub to figure out how things are going with
this promotion. It’s a very simple example of supply-and-demand; if
there was an actual demand, you wouldn’t have to do such an obvious and
brazen dumping of tickets ( What I found funny is that this latest offer
says the re-selling of tickets was prohibited. Well, yeah, the
secondary market for this event isn’t exactly robust. But trust me;
there will be folks out there scalping tickets - and they’ll be getting
pennies on the dollar. I’ve been told by veterans of this business that
free tickets always end up for sale on the street corner. After all, a
profit is guaranteed with the first dollar). This now creates a bit of a
dilemma for both sides. Why would fans possibly purchase tickets early
on at the box-office knowing that they might get slashed? On the
flipside, if the tickets don’t move, well, what do they do with a huge
It’s a vicious cycle.
Yormark, who also runs the Brooklyn Nets along with this venue (http://www.nba.com/nets/news/brett_yormark.html),
could’ve had a heavyweight title fight featuring world champ Wladimir
Klitschko but got locked into an exclusive agreement with Golden Boy
long before the doors ever opened. The Klitschkos, drawing on the
sizable Ukrainian and Russian population, have traditionally done very
well in the Big Apple (routinely drawing over 10,000 patrons).
But get your tickets, regardless. Hey, better late than...well, early.
Yvon Michel says that he has had discussions with HBO and Gary Shaw
about a potential rematch between Jean Pascal and Chad Dawson. Yeah,
that’s what HBO subscribers want: more Dawson...Main Events announced on
Thursday that Bowie Tupou will face Bryant Jennings on NBC Sports
Network December 8th at Temple University...Glen Johnson
coming back to face George Groves?! Say it ain’t so!...Seriously, the
Miller 64 song is very catchy...This is homecoming weekend at Montebello
High School. The best five years of my life...
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