Quillin recently made a second successful defense of his WBO Title under the tutelage of trainer Eric Hunter (Photo by Esther Lin, Showtime).
Written by John Archibald, Resolution Sports
Peter “Kid Chocolate” Quillin (30-0, 22 KOs) now reigns as a king in the middleweight division, but it has not been an easy road to boxing royalty for the hard-hitting WBO Champion. In his most recent fight, Quillin earned a 10th round stoppage over the always game Gabriel Rosado (21-7, 13 KOs) in late October, opening an ugly cut over the left eye of the Philadelphia native that caused the doctors to step in and call a halt to the bout.
“It was a good fight, and there’s a lot to take from it and learn from it,” Quillin reflected. “I know I’m getting bashed by a lot of Rosado fans because they know how determined he was to come in there and win, but the fight was stopped on a cut. Regardless of what people say or what he says about the fight, it was stopped by the doctor. None of us are doctors. We are boxers. I just did my job, and I’m glad to still be the WBO Middleweight Champion of the World.”
The journey to the top of the middleweight rankings was one with many stops for Quillin, beginning in Chicago but soon relocating to the unforgiving streets of Grand Rapids, Michigan. It was not until he was 15-years-old that Quillin turned to the sport of boxing, but he had long been making use of his fists in the streets. The Michigan native experience extreme culture shock at the age of 18, packing up his bags and moving to New York City, where he was sleeping on the floor of a friend’s house on a mattress he found in the dumpster. While he was still boxing at the time, the sweet science was not bringing him enough money to pay the bills, and he took a job at the local IHOP as a server before adding training to his work load. An opportunity to train with the renowned Freddie Roach in 2010 is what Quillin credits as turning the tide for him in the sport, although injuries and a forced 17-month layoff have created setbacks during his time as a professional prizefighter.
“It’s a humbling experience to have your hard work pay off,” Quillin stated. “I know I’ve been through so much, but it actually made me better on this level and with holding this platform. It’s great to be able to go out there humble with every experience and to learn, and to be gracious in what I’m what I’m doing. I never would’ve thought that I’d ever be doing something as positive as boxing and changing people’s lives at the same time.
“I’m a humble champion, and I love where I’m at. I’m just going to do everything I can to keep winning and trying my hardest. As long as you have the effort, you shouldn’t have to worry about anything else.”
When in need of personal inspiration, Quillin says that he often draws on those hardships and experiences that he has faced in his life, no time more often than in the ring.
“I never gave up in life. In a fight, I’m never going to feel like I’m going to give up,” he confirmed. “I translate that with my life all the time. I think anybody can do that. As a man, if you’ve been through something and overcame it, then it’s the same as being a fighter and overcoming what happens out there. I look at everything in life and everything in boxing as being the same thing, especially with my past, my background and where I come from. Leaving Grand Rapids and making it out of Grand Rapids is like being a champion in its own right. Like I said, I’m glad I was able to go through as much as I went through and not be changed for the worse. I changed for the better.”
Less than a year ago, Quillin dropped then undefeated Frenchman Hassan N'Dam N'Jikam six times en route to claiming the WBO Middleweight Strap via unanimous decision at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. He followed up that dominant victory with a seventh round stoppage of the once-beaten Fernando Guerrero and then finished off 2013 with the defeat of Rosado. The highly successful year is a culmination of everything that the battle-tested 30-year-old has endured in his life, and he feels that 2014 will be a continuation of that recent track of happiness and reward.
“In 2014, expect me to still put on the exciting fights that I do,” he predicted. “You can expect me to get my new Corvette. You can expect me to get my wife pregnant again. You can expect me to just be the funny guy who everybody loves to see.
“I’m going to stay busy, stay active and stay ready for whatever they want for me. I know, right now, after the last performance, a lot of people think I can beat or that there’s a strategy or blueprint on how to beat me. Everybody who thinks that always winds up coming in there and losing. I’m going to stay ready and stay dedicated to the sport. It’s my job to be ready. That’s what I’m going to show people. I’m going to show people that I’m a dedicated fighter living a true fighter’s lifestyle. I’m inspired by the likes of Muhammad Ali, Sugar Ray Robinson, Sugar Ray Leonard, the original Kid Chocolate. All of those types of guys. I want to bring it back to me being a modern day boxer. Everybody wants to live a rockstar’s life. I want everyone to look at a boxer’s lifestyle and want to live that life. It is truly special to be able to touch people in different areas, in a good way where they feel inspired to reach their dreams and accomplish their goals, know what I’m saying? I hope through everything, people can learn from me in a positive way to be able to say I don’t have to be scared of anything. All I have to do is work hard for what I want.”
To keep up with all of the recent news and developments regarding Peter Quillin, make sure to follow him on Twitter @KIDCHOCOLATE.