When matchmakers first discussed adding Peter Quillin-Tarvis Simms to the Amir Khan-Zab Judah card, the junior welterweight showdown on July 23 probably boasted the best the non-pay-per-view undercard of the year.
Junior welterweight contender Lamont Peterson was to face talented prospect Victor Cayo in a 12-round title elimination bout in the co-featured bout to Khan-Judah, which takes place at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. An excellent welterweight bout between Joel Julio and Antwone Smith was also on the undercard that was being arranged by Khan’s promoter, Golden Boy Promotions.
However, by the time the 10-round super middleweight bout between Quillin and Simms was finalized, the Peterson-Cayo bout had moved to a new date (a Friday Night Fights main event on July 29) as the result of a dispute over an option agreement between Golden Boy Promotions and Cayo’s promoter, Warriors Boxing. The Julio-Smith bout also fell out when Julio withdrew to be with his mother and sister, who had suffered injuries in a car accident in his native Colombia.
And just when it appeared that Quillin-Simms was the best bout left on the struggling undercard, Simms (27-1-1, 11 knockouts) pulled out of the fight on Tuesday, citing a rib injury that he suffered during sparring.
“Some things in boxing, as in life, are beyond our control,” Quillin (24-0, 18 KOs) told RingTV.com during Khan’s media workout Tuesday at the Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood, Calif.
The 28-year-old fringe contender, who also trains at Wild Card under the watchful eye of trainer Eric Brown, was upbeat during Khan’s open training session.
That’s because Quillin will remain on the July 23 card against late-sub Jason LeHoullier (21-5-1, 8 KOs), a junior middleweight journeyman who doesn’t figure to give the physical specimen many rounds.
That’s OK as long as Quillin can get back in the ring as soon as possible. The athletic boxer-puncher, who is coming off an impressive third-round TKO of tough veteran Jesse Brinkley in April, is eager to fight as often and in front of as many fans as possible.
“I’m always ready to fight,” Quillin said. “Simms was a southpaw who liked to switch back and forth to orthodox while he boxes. I was prepared for him. I have no idea how his replacement fights but it doesn’t matter because I stay in the gym. Boxing is my full time job. Training hard — whether it’s here at the Wild Card, or at the Anatomy Gym in Santa Monica where I do my conditioning work, or on a track in North Hollywood — that’s all I do.
“I train hard every day and that’s why I’m prepared to face anyone, any level, regardless of his style.”
Quillin, who has fought at super middleweight since 2010, says he can still make 160 pounds and hopes to figure into the middleweight title picture by next year.
Although the Khan Judah undercard no longer features two even-money contender-making bouts, the fight, which will be televised live on HBO, is still supported by a number of bouts involving notable fighters worth keeping an eye on.
Gary Russell Jr., an ultra-fast southpaw and arguably America’s best featherweight prospect, is scheduled to open the HBO broadcast against Paul Truscott. Russell (16-0, 10 KOs), a 23-year-old 2008 Olympian from Capitol Heights, Md., is in the first scheduled 10-round bout of his career against Truscott (17-2, 2 KOs), a 25-year-old Englishman who’s four inches taller than Russell but at a serious disadvantage in terms of punching power.
Former junior middleweight contender James Kirkland continues his comeback from his shocking first-round TKO loss to Nobuhiro Ashida in April with a scheduled eight-round bout against Alexis Hloros. Kirkland (28-1, 25 KOs), a 27-year-old Austin native, scored a first-round KO of Dennis Sharpe last month. Hloros (15-3-2, 11 KOs) is a 32-year-old club fighter from Michigan.
Two undefeated Golden Boy prospects, lightweight Jamie Kavanagh and featherweight Ronny Rios, are scheduled to face capable young journeymen.
Rios (14-0, 6 KOs), a 21-year-old boxer-brawler from Santa Ana, Calif., takes on Noe Lopez Jr. (7-8, 4 KOs) in a scheduled eight-round bout.
Kavanagh (7-0, 3 KOs), a 21-year-old amateur standout from Ireland now based in L.A., will fight Marcos Herrera (6-5-1, 2 KOs) in a scheduled six-round bout.