Photo © Paul “Paparazzi” Jones – Washington, DC —In April,WBO Middleweight Champion Peter “Kid Chocolate” Quillin (31-0, 22 KOs) dominated Lukáš Konečný (50-5, 23 KOs) over 12 rounds at the DC Armory. When the final results were read, Kid Chocolate led on all three scorecards (119-109 [twice], 120-108) in a virtual shutout. After the fight, Quillin wasted little time in calling out the Miguel Cotto(38-4, 31 KOs)/Sergio Martínez(51-2-2, 28 KOs) winner and fellow New Yorker, Daniel Jacobs(27-1, 24 KOs).
Before his victory, Quillin sat down with Eastsideboxing’s Paul “Paparazzi” Jones for an exclusive interview. Kid Chocolate discussed his upbringing, potential opponents, his connection to International Boxing Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach, and more.
Eastsideboxing.com: Can you talk a little bit about growing up in Grand Rapids, Michigan and discuss some of the hardships that you’ve faced along the way?
Peter Quillin (PQ):“Well, I was homeless in New York City. That’s away from family. While I was with family, it still was a struggle. My mom was raising four boys alone. My dad went to prison at an early age; me and my brother had to learn a lot of life lessons in the streets.”
Eastsideboxing.com: Some of our readers don’t know how the nickname “Kid Chocolate” came about. Can you give us the backstory regarding your well-known moniker?
PQ: “The very, very best fighter that every came out of Cuba was “Kid Chocolate” [that is, International Boxing Hall of Famer Eligio Sardiñas Montalvo1]. People said I look like him, a Cuban and a Puerto Rican. I thought it was the second coming of him, which is me right now. So, I only do it to let people know, I’m not only a Cuban American, but I am the bridge of what opportunity really is for Americans here in this country.”
“My dad came here for opportunity. Now he gets to see his son live out his dream as a Middleweight Champion. And not only that, [but] be connected to the original Kid Chocolate, which a lot of Cubans would consider as the best of all time. So it’s a very special thing, and I’m just very motivated to be able to be the second coming of the original.”
Eastsideboxing.com: Can you tell us about your connection to Freddie Roach?
PQ:“Freddie was just a part of the process and the journey. I learned a lot from Freddie going [to the Wild Card Boxing Club]. I learned that he was really busy [and] a lot of people demand his time. I just basically took on his assistant Eric (Brown) because he had just a little more time for me at the stage where I was at. And now we’ve built up a healthy relationship with each other and I’m just very fortunate to be in my shoes right now because I just know that I came from a long, long agonizing background. I enjoy some of the moments that I get to show that it pays off.”
“To meet so many good people and just different point of views of boxing, man, you just learn so much. And I learned how you can value yourself as a person. It’s a lot of people out there that don’t know how to value themselves and they don’t give themselves enough credit. You know, my expectations are high amongst a lot of people [and] the only way for me to stay above that is to set my expectations higher than those people.”
Eastsideboxing.com: I did an interview with Curtis “Showtime” Stevens not too long ago and I know you and him are friendly with each other. He mentioned that boxing needs the best to fight the best and that he’d be interested in fighting you if the opportunity presented itself. Would you say anything to Curtis about getting in the ring with him in the future?
PQ:“Yeah. This is what we can say. We definitely are friendly. [But] that doesn’t mean we’re friends. This is a business, and at the end of the day, if my people can come up with a nice hefty payday and they think it’s a nice fight for me, I don’t say no. Why would I say no to that [fight] after I done told people, before I was a World Champion, that I’d be willing to fight my own mom? But people think I’m lying. My mom know I’m not playing. But she said, ‘Boy, I brung you in this world, I’ll take you out’.”
“I’m a champion. My job is to stay ready, stay focused, stay hungry and learn as much as I can while I’m a champion. I don’t worry too much about the guys that’s calling me out. I got seven other guys calling me out. If I was just worried about [Stevens], I’d have to be worried about Matthew Macklin (30-5, 20 KOs),I gotta worry about “Danny” Jacobs, I gotta be worried about bitch ass J’Leon Love (18-0, 1 NC, 10 KOs). So, I’ve got to worry about too many [expletive]. They better sit back and enjoy the show and watch how a champ do this!”
“Like I said, I’m not worried about none of these guys. They should be worried about me, because I’m an animal and I’ve got all the improvements to learn. I got 15 amateur fights. I’m still learning on the job, chumps. They comparing me to Sergio Martínez and Gennady Golovkin (29-0, 26 KOs). No matter how much they think that these people can beat me, I’m still top five in the world. You know how hard that is to come around? Guess what? I don’t have a college education [and] I just received my G.E.D. as a champion. So for more improvements in and out of the ring, the only way that’s going to come is for me not to worry about the [expletive] that’s in back of me.”
“…I can inspire people and show them what the champ life is all about. It’s not about the champagne life. It’s not about the women. I’m married [and] I’m about to have a kid. I’m about to show them how a champion husband can be to his wife and how he can be to his kids. I’m going to set these examples to help people become better people.”
Eastsideboxing.com: Speaking of Golovkin, he’s been getting a lot of attention. Do you have any perspective on him and what he brings to the table?
PQ:“He’s something new. He’s something raw. But, let me tell you, eventually what happens is they’re going to put all their money into a guy that’s not really connecting to people. He’s not really connecting to fans. What is he doing? Knocking people out? How’s that connecting to anybody?”
“They forget that I’m American. That man’s from Kazakhstan [and] he’s got a big Kazakhstan following. I’m American and I don’t even got American supporters. That’s crazy. But you know what? Like I said, I do it for the people that need the inspiration, white, black, blue, purple, green, whoever needs it. And that’s the most important thing. I want to do it for my reasons and my reasons only.”
“HBO [is] putting a lot of money behind [Golovkin]. He should get the exposure, he’s good. I’ve been in the ring with him, I sparred him. So he should be getting that. But, everybody gets their time to do something and my time is still coming.”
Eastsideboxing.com: Some people have spoken of a potential fight between you and Floyd Mayweather Jr. (46-0, 26 KOs). Would that be something that you’d be interested in given that “Money” Mayweather is running out of noteworthy opponents to fight?
PQ: “I heard that Floyd wants to be a Middleweight Champion, so that would be an easy fight to make. We work with some of the same people. Like I said, I take opportunities. I don’t just say, ‘I want to fight this guy’ and [hand]picking these guys. I just stay ready for anybody.”
“If I said, ‘I would knock my own momma out,’ and not to say that I actually would, but I’m just putting it out there that I’m willing to take opportunities as they come along. So if that’s an opportunity, when it presents itself, I’d like to see myself make the best decision for myself.”
Eastsideboxing.com: You also spoke of your connection with Al Haymon. He’s a figure that many people don’t know a lot about, but he’s doing a lot of good for boxers in general. Can you talk a about your association with him to enlighten some of our readers?
PQ: “I can say that he’s definitely changed my life for the better, with some of the money that I’ve been making. I can’t say anything bad about him. He’s a business man and [boxing] is a raw cut business. And me choosing to be a boxer, I have to make sure that I’m working with the best in the sport. And he’s one of the best along with Richard Schaefer and Golden Boy [Promotions], Oscar De La Hoya and their business. My same manager is intact.”
“I’m just very blessed [that] Showtime is covering my fights. Right now they have all the stars on that network. What I mean by that is you see me everywhere. I’m at the Floyd [Mayweather Jr.]fight. I’m at NBC modeling suits for Club Monaco. I’m everywhere. [But] I can’t just label myself a star because I’m everywhere. I still have more to prove and I’m going to do that very soon. And if [fans] stay tuned, ready, and focused, they’re gonna see a lot from me, man.”
[Quillin briefly breaks away from the interview to introduce himself to an aspiring young fighter and tells him to “work hard” before returning to the session.]
PQ: “You want me to tell you what I do after fights for little kids sometimes? I’ve sponsored [photo] shoots and I buy them equipment. A lot of things behind the scenes that God says: ‘Do not brag and boast about how you help people, but do it in private.’ I do a lot of good behind the scenes. That keeps me very hungry and motivated to keep striving to be the best.”
Eastsideboxing.com: In closing, is there anything that you’d like to say to your fans and the people out there who are supporting you?
PQ: “I’m just very blessed to be able to inspire kids of all walks of life and I’m very hungry and determined. And I hope what people will get out of my story is that they can be better people regardless of who you are.”
“I’m very humble and I want to thank God for giving me the opportunity.
And I’m lifting everything back in the Glory of Him.”
Eastsideboxing.com: Thanks for your time!
PQ: “Thank you.”
Contact “Paparazzi” Jones: firstname.lastname@example.org
—More from “Paparazzi” Jones:
1 Kid Chocolate’s (1/6/1910 – 8/8/1988) professional record was 135-10-6 (51 KOs), which was achieved over an 11-year career (1927-1938). According to The Ring magazine’s 2003 Boxing Almanac, the Cuban boxer ranked 47th among The 80 Greatest Fighters of the Last 80 Years.