Exclusive Interview With Hot Prospect Peter Quillin - "I Can Do It All!"

quillen04.02.08 - by James Slater: New York middleweight prospect Peter Quillin has a nickname that was once shared by an all-time great. Quillin goes by the nickname of Kid Chocolate, the name the great Cuban featherweight of the 1920's and '30's (real name Eligio Sardinas-Montalbo) was known around the world as. Given the prestigious moniker because he is said to resemble the hall of famer, both facially as well as in the ring, the 24-year-old has begun to turn heads due to his genuine boxing skill and talent. Currently 16-0(13) the six foot one inch Quillin, who was brought up in Grand Rapids, Michigan, says he is confident he is THE best prospect in world boxing today.

Speaking to me over the phone recently, here is what Quillin had to say.

James Slater: What kind of amateur career did you have, Peter?

Peter Quillin: I didn't really have a big career as an amateur. I had around 15 fights, I was twice a Golden Gloves runner-up. I first put the gloves on when I was around 7-years-old..

J.S: Box-Rec have you listed as a super-middleweight, yet in your last fight - a 2nd round TKO over the experienced Troy Lowry on December 13th - you weighed-in at 163 pounds. Are you really a middleweight?

P.Q: I'm a middleweight, and a fully-fledged one at that. What I mean is, sometimes I take fights offered against super-middleweights, and I take them to get the work. But the highest I've ever fought at is 167 pounds. I'm a natural middleweight right now, but I could move up to 168 if I had to. I can box at either weight, really.

J.S: How did you get your "Kid Chocolate" nickname?

P.Q: I'm half Cuban. My dad is from Cuba. I really want to keep the name of Kid Chocolate alive. Along with fighting like he did, I also look quite a bit like him. I've been told I have similar facial features.

J.S: So are you a fan of the original, and who else do you admire from your sport?

P.Q: Oh, yeah, Kid Chocolate was a true great. I also like guys like both Sugar Rays [Robinson and Leonard] Roberto Duran, Tommy Hearns, Marvin Hagler and Willy Pep. From today, I like Floyd [Mayweather] and James Toney - they're both originally from Grand rapids, like me. We in Grand Rapids, we're the best. Even if Toney doesn't say he's from there, he really is.

J.S: For those that have yet to see you box, how would you describe your fighting style?

P.Q: I can do it all. I'm an athlete. I'm good on my feet, good on defence, good at coming forward and good at punching. Like I say to people, there's a tornado in my right hand and a hurricane in my left - so you better not get caught in the storm!

J.S: You are clearly massively confident, do you ever feel the pressure to make it to the top?

P.Q: Well, man, it's only pressure if too much is put on you. I know I'm the best [prospect] in the world - and I mean anywhere, the U.K the U.S, anywhere. So there's no pressure I cannot handle, there's no pressure at all actually. How can there be when I know I'm the best? You know, I'm only 24, but I'm an old 24, in that I've got a very wise head. I listen to all the people around me, like my trainer Colin Morgan. I am grateful for my teams' support, my sparring partners and my promoter Cedric Cushner, along with all my fans - I know I couldn't do it without them. I also watch tapes of boxing greats and learn from them. I do my homework all the time and I know how to handle everything . You shouldn't even be doing this [boxing] if you don't feel you're the best at it anyway.

J.S: You have definitely been extremely active since your June 2005 pro-debut - In 2007 alone you had eight fights. You clearly enjoy fighting as often as you can then?

P.Q: I am actually the busiest prospect in the whole of New York, in all of its boroughs, that's a fact. That's the way I am, I just cant wait for the call for my next fight. I want to keep up the same spectacular show [ of boxing regularly and in such eye-catching style] in 2008, too. This year will be the year of "The Chocolate bar! That's what I tell everyone. My last fight (December 13th) ended 2007 for me in great and spectacular style, now it's on to my next fight.

J.S: Do you feel you've been in a tough fight yet, 16 bouts into your pro career?

P.Q: Not so much skill wise, but I did learn something from my fight with Tomas Padron (Quillin's fourth fight, from April 2006). That was the first time I went the distance and that was a good fight for me to learn from. I thank Padron for taking me up to that level of having to go the distance. I did have a little bit of a set back in my first pro year, in that I needed surgery on my left knuckle, but the hand is perfect right now and I feel I've made great progress with my career.

J.S: Without a doubt you envision the day when you will fight to become world champion. But when that day comes, which middleweight champ would you like to face, assuming they're still on top then?

P.Q: Well, it's like this. I would fight anybody. If I had to, I would fight my mother. That's not said to be disrespectful to my mom, but that's my mindset, I will fight anyone I have to - my dad, my best friend , whoever. I want to be the best, so to do that I must beat the best, that's the way I look at it. So whoever's in my way come the time, that's who I'll fight. It's hard right now to say who the world's best middleweight is. I would never want to be disrespectful to Kelly Pavlik, or any fighter, but Kelly has flaws and he has to do a lot more to be considered a great.

J.S: Have you had much T.V exposure so far?

P.Q: I've been on ESPN a few times, but so far no-one has signed me up yet. But I'm sure some station will want to pick me up soon for a contract.

J.S: It's been great speaking with you, Peter. Can you finish off by telling the fans that don't know, what you like to do in the ring after you've won?

P.Q: Sure, I give the fans what they want in the ring when I fight, and then after I win I give them something else they want - Candy. I throw chocolate bars out to the audience. And they better get used to it, because this year is going to be the year of "The Chocolate Bar!

Article posted on 05.02.2008

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