WBO middleweight beltholder Peter Quillin will make the fist defense of his title against Fernando Guerrero on Showtime at Barclays Center in Brooklyn on April 27. Quillin-Guerrero is the co-feature to RING 140-pound champ’s title defense against Zab Judah, an event that was postponed from Feb. 9 due to a rib injury suffered by Garcia.
“I’m praying for Danny to get better, as well as for Zab and Guerrero to stay focused,” said Quillin (28-0, 20 knockouts). “I’m praying for Guerrero to stay focused, too, because I’m coming for him on April 27.”
“This is what I do and things like this happen sometimes in boxing. You never expect it to but it does happen. I’m just rollin’ with the punches. I’m setting up my schedule for the next one and a half months before I go back to camp,” said Quillin.
“I’ll be teaching four classes a week at the Trinity Boxing Club [in Manhattan] for regular people [non-boxers.] They want to train with the champ. I want to keep my mind focused and stay sharp by being in the gym,”
Quillin, 29, is coming off October’s unanimous decision win that dethroned previously unbeaten Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam, whom Quillin dropped six times
Quillin will be the guest of honor as the 2012 Fighter of the Year at another rescheduled event, the 26th annual Ring 8 Awards Dinner, on February 10 at Russo’s On The Bay in Howard Beach, New York.
“Peter was ready and he had only one week left in camp. Peter lost 18 months due to unforeseen injuries, so he accepts and understands that injuries are part of the game. Danny was a true professional who tried to get through his injury,” said Quillin’s co-manager John Seip.
“But Garcia’s team made the right decision. Injuries play a big part in professional athletics and some, like this, are unavoidable. A professional athlete needs to take news like this on the chin, no pun intended, remain focused and move on. It’s the nature of the beast and must be accepted. Peter will be ready April 27, no doubt.”
GENNADY GOLOVKIN ADDRESSES MIDDLEWEIGHT DIVISION
Quillin is part of a middleweight division that includes WBA Gennady Golovkin (25-0, 22 KOs), who scored his 13th straight stoppage victory on Jan. 19 with his seventh-round knockout of rising Philadelphia junior middleweight standout Gabriel Rosado.
The division also includes RING and WBC champion Sergio Martinez, former beltholder Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., IBF counterparts Daniel Geale, the latter of whom is coming off consecutive split- and unanimous decisions over ex-titleholders Felix Sturm and Anthony Mundine.
Golovkin recently gave his assessment of the weight class and where he believes he belongs within it.
“I was impressed with Daniel Geale’s performance and wish to publicly congratulate him on his victory. I know this was personal for him as he had lost previously to Mundine and he certainly got his revenge,” said Golovkin of Geale, a winner of eight consecutive fights since falling to Mundine by split-decision in May of 2009.
“I also want to wish Felix Sturm the best of luck in his bout upcoming [Feb. 1] bout against [Sam] Soliman, I’m sure he was quite disappointed losing to Geale last September and is looking to shine this Saturday against Soliman. Felix avoided me as his mandatory for over two years when he was champion, but I will give him the opportunity to fight for his old title whenever he would like to.”
Golovkin expects to return to the ring on March 30 in Monte Carlo, likely opposite Japan’s Nobuhiro Ishida (24-8-2, 9 KOs).
“I want the biggest fights and the best challenges as I’ve said all along. With HBO broadcasting my fights, either Geale or Sturm would be a perfect fight this year,” said Golovkin. “Geale said after the fight that he wanted to fight in the United States this year. Look no further. We can make a title unification bout this summer.”
Golovkin also has his sights set on Quillin.
In the meantime, Chavez’s lawyers have requested that the fighter be suspended for no more than six months and fined no more than $10,000 by the Nevada State Athletic Commission as punishment for Chavez’s positive post-fight drug test for marijuana metabolites after his unanimous-decision loss to Martinez in Las Vegas last September.
Chavez is to have a hearing regarding his future in late February, according to NSAC executive director Keith Kizer,
“The year 2013 is going to be a big year for my career, and I’m going to get it started right in an exciting fashion against Kell Brook,” said Alexander. “I worked extremely hard to win my title and I’m not giving it away to anyone. This will be a statement-making fight for me.”
Alexander, who is 25, is coming off last month’s unanimous decision over hard-punching Randall Bailey, while Brook, who is 26, is coming off last month’s third-round stoppage of Hector Saldivia.
“This is the biggest night of my life. When I turned up at the Wincobank Gym in Sheffield as a nine year old, this was what I dreamed about — boxing for a world title and on February 23. I’ll turn that dream into a reality,” said Brook.
“I’m in the best physical shape of my life and the best ever Kell Brook will be in the ring in Detroit and there’s no way that I am coming home without that world title. This is my destiny, it’s just meant to be and there’s nothing Devon Alexander can do to stop me.”
“I thank my Lord, God and Savior Jesus Christ for blessing me to be able to defend my title right here in Detroit, in front of all of my family and friends. It’s an honor to be able to bring world championship boxing back to the city of Detroit,” said Bundrage, who turns 40 in April.
“I always train hard and am prepared for what my opponent might show me in the ring. No man can close doors that God has opened. Nothing will be different this time and it will be a special night of boxing for everyone. I will be victorious February 23 in Jesus’ name.”
Smith ha won three straight, two of them by knockout, since falling by unanimous decision to Guerrero, whom he floored in the eighth round of their clash in July of 2010.
“I want to thank Floyd Mayweather and Mayweather Promotions for believing in me and my boxing talents and helping make this dream to fight K9 [Bundrage] for his title a reality,” said Smith.
“I know he’ll have the hometown advantage, but I’m not worried about that. I’m preparing for the fight of my life and I feel confident that I’ll beat him and become the new champion.”
“It feels great to be able to fight in Detroit, my hometown and the place where I learned how to fight. I’m excited to show everyone that I’m on the road to a championship,” said Love.
“Nothing will stop me from achieving my lifelong dream. Training and working with Floyd Mayweather and Mayweather Promotions in Las Vegas has given me another level of appreciation for hard work and determination.”
McKart had won three straight prior to losing by seventh-round stoppage to Mundine in July.
“I am grateful for the opportunity to fight in Detroit one more time. I’ve had a long and great career, and still feel comfortable fighting for pride and glory. J’Leon Love is a young and exciting fighter from this area too,” said McKart.
“But I feel that my experience will be too much for him to handle and that I’ll be victorious on February 23. I hope everyone in and around Detroit will come out and support this great night of boxing.”
LAMONT PETERSON’S MANAGER, BARRY HUNTER, DISCUSSES UNION WITH GOLDEN BOY
Barry Hunter, manager and trainer of IBF junior welterweight beltholder Lamont Peterson (30-1-1, 15 KOs), spoke to RingTV.com on Monday evening, hours after his Washington, D.C., fighter shocked the boxing world by signing with Golden Boy Promotions in advance of his scheduled IBF title defense against ex-beltholder Kendall Holt on Feb. 22 at The D.C. Armory.
Peterson dethroned Amir Khan as IBF and WBA 140-pound beltholder in December of 2011, a triumph that sparked rancor-filled controversy between the fighters’ camps as well as Khan’s promoter, Golden Boy, and Team Peterson.
Hunter said he was initially approached by Golden Boy matchmaker Eric Gomez concerning the union, which has quashed the acrimony of their mutual pasts.
“Those guys reached out to me a while back, so this has been going on for a while, either since the end of December or the end of January. They reached out, and they expressed their interest in Lamont,” said Hunter.
“So we went back and forth for a while. I talked to Lamont about it. When the deal was put together, Lamont was put in a pretty good place, financially, so that definitely was helpful as far as us making the final decision.”
Peterson is 3-0-1 with two knockouts since falling by unanimous decision to current WBO welterweight beltholder Tim Bradley (29-0, 12 KOs) as a 140-pounder in December of 2009, and had been considered for a return bout with Bradley which never came to fruition.
“After the Bradley fight, that didn’t seem like it was going anywhere,” said Hunter. “So we had to do something that was logical, and that wound up being the decision to sign with Golden Boy, considering all of the fighters they have.”
Peterson will be ending what will have been a 14-month ring absence when he faces Holt, and, in victory, could earn a potential rematch with Khan, a unification bout with Garcia, or, perhaps, even a showdown with RING No. 1-rated junior welterweight Lucas Matthysse (33-2, 31 KOs) — all of whom are handled by Golden Boy.
“The money wasn’t the be-all and end-all, but it was the position that it puts us in to fight the top guys in the world. When you look at the 140 and 147 weight classes are so pack with talent,” said Hunger.
“Golden Boy has most of the fighters in those weight classes when you look at the names like Garcia, Matthysse, and, of course, Kendall Holt is still there. You have Amir Khan. You have all of these names who are the hot fighters within the division.”
KEVIN BIZIER TO FACE NATE CAMPBELL
Canadian welterweight Kevin Bizier (19-0-0, 13 KOs) will face former beltholder Nate Campbell (36-9-1, 26 KOs) on Feb. 8 at Bell Centre in Montreal. Bizier was originally scheduled to fight John O’Donnell (27-2-0, 11KO), who suffered a broken left hand in training last weekend.
“Kevin wanted an opponent of notoriety and reputation with a strong will like Campbell. Only a small percentage of boxers become world champions, and a few exceptional boxers become unified world champions like Campbell,” fight promoter Yvon Michel.
“The table is set in Quebec on February 8 and he was offered the chance to prove he belongs among the elite of the talented welterweight division.”
Also on the card is a clash of unbeaten junior lightweights featuring southpaw Tyler Asselstine (12-0-0, 7 KOs), of Ottawa, against Joel Diaz (11 -0, 10 KOs), of California.
Former junior middleweight titleholder Joachim Alcine (33-3-1, 19 KOs) will also make an appearance on the card, which will include a bout between heavyweights Didier Bence (6-0-0, 2 KOs) and Joey “Polish Thunder” Dawejko (7-1-2, 3 KOs), and junior lightweight Kevin Lavallee (11-0-1, 9 KOs) opposite Krzysztof Rogowski (5-0-0, 2 KOs).
Photos by Naoki Fukuda
Photo by Hogan Photos, Golden Boy Promotions
Photo by Naoki Fukuda
Lem Satterfield can be reached at email@example.com