Lem Satterfield

Q&A: Quillin discusses Golovkin, Stevens, his fans

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WBO middleweight titleholder Peter “Kid Chocolate” Quillin, a Chicago-born Brooklyn resident, has scored a combined 10 knockdowns over the course of his past two victories at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

Promoted by Golden Boy, Quillin (29-0, 21 knockouts) dropped his man six times on his way to a unanimous decision over previously unbeaten Hassan N’Dam for the WBO belt last October, and he scored four more

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knockdowns during a seventh-round stoppage of Fernando Guerrero in his first defense of that title in April.

During a run that includes six knockouts over the course of his past eight fights, Quillin has also stopped Jesse Brinkley and Craig McEwen in the third and sixth rounds, respectively, and he scored a fifth-round knockdown during a decision victory over former 154-pound titleholder Ronald “Winky” Wright last June.

Given his recent track record and popularity, Quillin has every reason to be boastful. But during a recent interview with RingTV.com, the only thing Quillin exhibited more than confidence was humility.

“I’m always out there to put on a solid performance for the fans. It’s all for my fans, especially. My fans are what are most important to me. They’re the ones who drive me to be where I’m at right now,” said Quillin, who married his sweetheart, Alison, on June 15, seven days prior to his 30th birthday.

“I think that I’m a product of most of those people who come and watch me and who support my fights. I guess when they see somebody fight as hard as I do, and an opponent that gets up for me as many times as they have been knocked down, people can relate to that. Everybody, at some point in their lives, may have been knocked on their ass and had to get back up, if you know what I’m saying.”

Quillin’s name has surfaced recently as a desired opponent for division rivals such as Kazakhstan-born WBA beltholder Gennady Golovkin (27-0, 24 KOs), owner of 14 straight knockout wins, and  the hard-punching Curtis “Showtime” Stevens (25-3, 18 KOs), of Brownsville, Brooklyn, owner of 10 first-round stoppage victories.

Gennady’s run includes stoppages of Grzegorz Proksa and Gabriel Rosado in the fifth- and seventh-rounds respectively last September and in January at the Turning Stone in Verona, N.Y. and at New York’s Madison Square Garden.

Golovkin called out Quillin not long after the Rosado fight, saying, Quillin had “talked about fighting me in the past, and I’m certainly interested if he’s serious.”

New York has hosted two of Stevens’ comeback wins during a run of four straight triumphs, three of which were first-round knockouts. The other division titleholders are RING and WBC champion Sergio Martinez and IBF beltlholder Daniel Geale.

During this Q&A, Quillin addressed his success at Barclays, as well as the potential for bouts against Stevens or Golovkin at Barclays, among other things.

RingTV.com: What are your thoughts on a fight between you and Stevens at Barclays Center, given your success there and his recent emergence?
 
Peter Quillin: Let’s just say that I’m a friendly guy, and I’m good peoples with Curtis. We’ve always had good vibes every time that I’ve seen him.
 
I respect that his goal is to be the middleweight champion, just like mine was, so I don’t take anything away from him. If there is any opportunity where he’s able to fight for a title, then he should want any opportunity.

As for me, I’m nobody without decent skirmishes out there, so I don’t handle any of my business. My people do. [Golden Boy President] Oscar De La Hoya, and [advisor] Al Haymon, and my management.

I’m always ready and I’m always training, and I’m always focused. I never took bumps in the road. I took bumps in the road as far as promotional problems and injuries, but I haven’t taken bumps in the road as far as not going out there and delivering a solid performance. I’m always out there to put on a solid performance for the fans.

It’s for my fans, especially. My fans are what are most important to me. They’re the ones who drive me to be where I’m at right now.

RingTV.com: What has it about your opponents that seem to bring out the best in them, and, in turn, entertaining action on your part?

PQ: I think that I’m a product of most of those people who come and watch me and who support my fights. I guess when they see somebody fight as hard as I do, and an opponent that gets up for me as many times as they have been knocked down, people can relate to that.

Everybody, at some point in their lives, may have been knocked on their ass and had to get back up, if you know

what I’m saying. Or some of us have had to fight extra hard

to pull out certain things or accomplishments that they’ve wanted in their lives.

I think that’s what that’s why the majority of people watching can connect to me so well is that it’s for that reason. I feel like if your not a fan of mine, period, then I’m not sure why. I don’t talk bad about other fighters, or bash other people of fighters. I don’t want to see people go unhappy. I feel like if you’re not a fan of mine, then  you’re just hating.
 
RingTV.com: Do you feel that you’ve developed a niche at Barclays, given your last two electrifying performances there?

PQ: Let’s just go back to what people say about me as far as why I’m in Brooklyn. I’m not even from Brooklyn. I’ve lived in Brooklyn for many years, and I’ve made this place my home.

So I represent this place. I represent everybody that is struggling. I represent those kinds of people who struggle with things in their lives, and there are a lot of people in Brooklyn who can relate to me.

I want to show them every ounce of decency and let them know that they can make it and become everything that they want to in life. I’ve ready certain things about me being on undercards and things like that.

Listen, we’re still selling out the arena, and I’m pretty sure that a lot of those fans who are coming to support those fights are my fans as well. I’ve been through every part of the city.

I’ve fought at [Madison Square Garden] and I’ve fought at the Roseland Ballroom. I’ve put in my work and I’ve put in my time. So for me to be able to be one of the first people to win a title at Barclays, it gives me a thrill in my heart.

I was in that same city, and poor and struggling, and down and out in the same place where I had my greatest success. It gave me a tremendous sense of accomplishment.

That elevated me to a completely different plateau to where I’m at right now as far as confidence, and as far as my message to my fans and as far as my fighting style.

RingTV.com: What is your timetable for wanting to be the main event?

PQ: Well, I’m happy and I’m making money and I’m feeling good about my paydays, so I’m not going to complain about anything. I’m content to train the way that I’m feeling happy.

I have the best that money can buy. I think that as far as when it’s my time to do so, to be the main event, then it’s going to happen, and at that time, I’ll have tons of people supporting me.

I look at God has got in place for me, and I think that he’s going to make everything come at the time that it’s supposed to for me. I’m not going to rush anything, and I’m not going to make demands of certain things.

I just know that I’m happy, and I’m making money, and I’m fighting good. I haven’t taken a lot of punishment in my career throughout my 29 fights.

RingTV.com: How big do you imagine that a fight with Stevens would be at Barclays?

PQ: Let’s just say this: Me and Curtis have sparred. Me and Curtis have fought on the same cards. Me and Curtis have conversations. I know that Curtis believes in himself and has confidence in himself.

He believes in himself, and that’s what he’s supposed to feel. That’s the same thing for me. But I’m able to set aside relationships, all of those things, to be able to make a good fight if that is what it takes for that to happen.

I think that, behind the scenes, as far as business, I don’t know how a lot of things are run. I don’t know which one is going to be the right kind of money fight. I just know that when it’s time for me to fight somebody, then I’m always ready.

I also always find a way to win and I look to be the winner every time that I step into the ring. So regardless of anybody’s strengths, I’ll always capitalize on those things. I look forward to finding a way to win.

So as far as a fight with Curtis being here in Brooklyn, of course, that would be a phenomenal fight. I know that he has a lot of people that relate to him here in Brooklyn, but I also have people that relate to me here in Brooklyn.

I have people that relate to me in the Bronx, and I have people who relate to me in Queens, I have certain people that are in Manhattan and tons of people in New Jersey. I got tons of people all around the world that are supporting me.

So whoever I fight, off of the strength from the people that are supporting me, I want to be the winner and get the victory.

RingTV.com: How big do you think a fight with Golovkin would be at  Barclays?
 
PQ: Of course, you’ve got to build these fights up. Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao, at the time when they were talking about that being the biggest matchup in boxing, now we’ve guys like me and Golovkin and me and Curtis Stevens.

There are other fights out there in the division that could be big, big fights for boxing and big draws for the fans and the sport of boxing. I just like for the fighter to be able to take care of his family and to do this as a job and to get paid for it.

You have basketball players who are in one of the most watched sport, and people are so drawn away from boxing. But I’m telling you that boxing is the only sport that I know of that people really relate to you in life.

We fight through things and we struggle through things and we have to keep getting up. So with many of these matchups that are out there, I’m just very thankful that there are so many potential matchups out there for me now.

I’m thankful that there are matchups for other fighters to be able to gain some much needed revenue for their families and for whatever their dreams are and for whatever they want to accomplish.

RingTV.com: When are you expecting to be back in the ring in general, and, at Barclays, in particular?

PQ: You know, I haven’t heard anything yet, but I know that I’m ready right now. I also know that if I am able to, I would like to fight two more times before the end of the year. Whoever Golden Boy wants to bring in there against me, I’m going to be ready.

I’m always training, and I’m always keeping the fans in my heart. Boxing is part of my mentality, so I never stray too far away from it. Especially as a world champion. I’m always looking to take my work ethic to the next level, and I’m very excited to start my next camp.

I’m actually going to go to Las Vegas coming up soon, just to be out there and to just get the work in and to just feel good about myself. Other than that, let’s just hope that I’m able to fight at least two more times this year. I already told them that I’m ready to dedicate myself for two more fights this year.

People don’t understand, man, it’s not the fight that’s easy, it’s the training, the preparation, the timing. Living in New York, you pay at lot of taxes. A lot of people act like that have all of this money and all of this bread.

But I’m living in New York City, man, where there are some of the highest taxes. I’ve trained in California, which is another place with high taxes, you know what I’m saying? So I might be having to fight my accountant pretty soon.

 

 

Photo by Naoki Fukuda

Photo by Al Bello, Getty Images

Lem Satterfield can be reached at lemuel.satterfield@gmail.com

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