Quadtrine to Fight ‘til the End By Steve Kim, MaxBoxing (Oct 27, 2010) Special to Doghouse Boxing - Tweet
Fledgling heavyweight Quadtrine Hill- who started at the University of Miami football squad at fullback between 2002-2005- learned a valuable lesson about the fight game. In his second pro bout back on September 15th in Las Vegas, he had built up a sizable lead over the first three rounds against Yohan Banks and was seemingly cruising to a four-round decision. Then it happened.
With less than 30 seconds to go from the final bell, an uppercut floored Hill, who was eventually counted out.
In football, there is no such thing as the 50-point touchdown or the 10-run home run. There is in boxing though. The only real “prevent defense” in this sport is to keep fighting hard and never, ever letting down your guard.
"Oh, yeah, there's no lead that's safe," agreed Hill, who faces Javier Francisco Diaz on Thursday night at the Irvine Marriott. "I was beating the guy down; he couldn't hit me. I hit him whenever I wanted to but I came in underprepared, got a little lazy, got a little cocky and got caught. In boxing, there is always the great equalizer- a good clean shot."
According to Hill, who has only been boxing for a few years, this was not the biggest shot he has ever taken.
"Nah, not even close," he claimed. "It definitely was not one of the hardest punches I've taken. I've been hit a lot harder, a lot worse. Maybe he just hit me on a good spot when I was kinda tired, out of air and I wasn't prepared for it. My body was tired because I didn't get a full training session in before the fight. I wasn't physically prepared for that fight. I had two weeks for that fight. I had two weeks with a new trainer for that fight. Two weeks, you're not going to really train the whole two weeks. You have days off leading up to the fight. So it was one of those things where I didn't have everything right. It wasn't the hardest I've been hit or taken. I really don't know how it dropped me."
It's one thing to take on an oncoming linebacker through the hole; it's a whole different thing to take one on the chin from a heavyweight. But it's all part of the steep learning curve Hill faces. The former Hurricane moved to Los Angeles in early September from Florida and soon began working under the guidance of Eric Brown at the famed Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood.
The trainer says of his boxer, "The thing is, your offense and defense have got to complement each other. You can't be one or the other. Be one or the other and you're lacking something in the middle. So I like for Quadtrine to be offensively-minded but at the same time, I pay attention to the way he throws his punches and the way he positions himself when he is punching. Because that's part of your defense and if you don't pay attention to those things, which in his case can be detrimental because of the simple fact he's not a boxer, per se, he's learning. He's a work in progress."
And according to Brown, progress is being made.
"Yeah, definitely,” Brown said. “The thing I like about Quadtrine is he wants to get better. He wants to be a good fighter and of course, when he first came in, he came in telling me about all the things he did before, which is all happy and good, but I told him, 'That's all good but that was then. This is what you're going to do now.' And there's a little give and take, here and there, because he was a professional athlete at one time. But what he did before is totally alien to what he does now. He has to understand that. I think somewhere in his mind, a lot of it still applies to what he's doing now and it really doesn't. But he's gifted; he's unorthodox; he's very skilled; he's a natural athlete and the thing is, he's got some lessons he's gotta learn on the job."
Turning a tailback (which “Q” always considered himself) into a heavyweight is a long process. But Hill says he and his trainer have gotten in tune with one another. "We've definitely gotten in sync with each other. He's had more times to learn what my strengths are, different things I like to do, tendencies that I have. Different strengths I like to utilize more naturally than others. We've been working with the other parts of my ability and talent to get them to be more natural in the boxing ring. We've definitely merged and gotten a lot of my bad habits out, lot of the new-guy stuff I had from being a fresh boxer or fresh to the sport of boxing.
"He's knocked a lot of those things out. So it's been a good relationship."
Hill, who boxes as a southpaw, began his foray into the sport in Florida at “The Heavyweight Factory,” which featured a host of former football and basketball players. There was a time long ago that these big, strapping American athletes would've been in a boxing gym as youngsters. Nowadays, they only seem to gravitate toward the “Sweet science” if they don't latch onto the NFL or NBA.
Trainers often wonder what they could do with athletes like Hill from a much earlier stage of their life.
"Oh, hell yes. I wish I could've had him when he first decided he wanted to fight," Brown stated, "instead of taking him up after he developed a lot of bad habits. You got a guy who is athletic; that's a plus. It's a plus to have that- but you don't want to rely on that because when you rely on that, you forget about fundamentals. You don't have nothing to fall back on. And that's basically where he was at when I first got him."
Asked if we'll see an improved boxer, Hill answers without hesitation, "It's going to be night and day. The last time I think I was in the gym, I was doing like three rounds of sparring and I was feeling kinda gassed. I may have done four rounds once. But I was dead in the water by four and then it showed in the fight. This time last week, I did eight rounds of sparring and felt good. I've had a lot more time to train and be physically prepared for a fight than last time, which kinda crept up on me.
"Athletically and talent-wise, the last fight was a wash,” added Hill. “I beat that guy every time if I'm in good shape. This time I'm in great shape and I've improved my skill. I feel great about it."
Just days after his KO loss, Hill was back in the gym. Oftentimes when novices suffer such hardship in this sport, they are never seen again or discouraged to the point of no return. Not so with Hill.
"I was wondering if he was going to come back," admitted Brown, of the immediate aftermath of that disappointing evening. "I wondered if he was going to be gun-shy or just not show up. But he came back even stronger. He came back willing to work and I put him in some sparring sessions."
If it were up to Brown, there would've been more time in the gym in between these fights. Like a teacher who wants a bit more classroom time before the next test. "Just let things become more second nature to him," explained Brown. "But he came in with an open mind, willing to work and he's picked up quite a few things and I'm looking forward to see how much he can take to the ring with him."
Walking away was never considered by Hill.
"I just know I'm so much better of a fighter than that," he said. "To go through a fight and completely dominate an opponent the whole way through and have a guy I could have taken out earlier in the fight but I didn't. I was hitting him at will; he couldn't hit me if he wanted to. It was one of those things; he caught me with a lucky punch when I was being lazy or tired. I just know what I have in front of me. I have a great future in front of me in boxing in the heavyweight division and have too much talent and ability to quit because I lost a fight.
"I'm not a quitter. Not an ounce of quit in my blood."
I was told by manager Ricky Mota that Giovanni Segura will defend both his junior flyweight belts on November 27th in Mexico and again on April 23rd of next year, when he’ll engage in a return bout with Ivan Calderon, who he stopped this past summer...I'm really looking forward to seeing Fidel Maldonado and Trevor McCumby at the “Fight Night Club” on Thursday night at the Club Nokia. I've seen some of Maldonado's early fights; I really like him. McCumby is making his pro debut...I'll say this about Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones; good thing he's got that side gig as a boxing promoter...Right now, Manny Pacquiao has more victories in Cowboy Stadium in 2010 than the Cowboys themselves...Quadtrine agrees with me that the toughest thing about being a college football fan on the west coast is the 7 AM start time for ESPN's College GameDay...Is it just me or does the NBA season start earlier and earlier?....