Undefeated World Boxing Organization (WBO) middleweight champion Peter “Kid Chocolate” Quillin (28-0, 20 KOs) goes from the hunter to the hunted February 9 when he makes his first title defense against No. 10-rated challenger Fernando Guerrero(25-1, 19 KOs) at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
Quillin-Guerrero is the 12-round co-feature on Showtime Championship Boxing, which is headlined by the World Boxing Association Super (WBA)/World Boxing Council (WBC) light welterweight championship match between Danny Garcia and Zab Judah.
Fighting at home in Brooklyn for his second straight fight, Quillin is coming off a sensational world title-winning performance against previously undefeated WBO title-holder Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam, who Quillin dropped six times en route to victory by way of a 12-round decision (115-107, 115-107, 115-107).
“I train to destroy anybody in the ring with me,” Quillin commented. “I steadily moved up the ladder and won the WBO title in one of the Fights of the Year. Two undefeated guys were fighting for the world title and that’s why boxing is so special. You can always look back at fights and find things you can do better: throw more punches, especially jabs, apply added pressure, and move my head more. The key is learning more and knowledge is power. I went to Las Vegas and worked a little with The Grandmaster, Floyd Mayweather Sr., to work on my defense. I thank him for the help and my trainer, Eric Brown, for letting me do that. Eric says I’m ahead of schedule, work ethic-wise, and I could fight this Saturday. And I think, as world champion, I’m even more confident in myself.”
Capturing a world title hasn’t dramatically changed the popular Cuban-American boxer, inside or outside the ring, and he honestly believes his journey has just started. “I’m working even harder now to get to the next level – superstar,” Quillin said. “The belt has put a big, red X on my back, but I believe the only person who can defeat me is me. So, I’m preparing the right way and will be ready. I’ve hired another strength-and-conditioning coach, Robert Garcia. I’m working with Robert and Brad Bose (his other S & C coach) to make sure that I’m on point, A1. I have a great team to work with to become a superstar. There’s more I’m working on to accomplish what I want.
“You never know what’s going to happen in life, so I’m cherishing these moments. After I won the world title, it did take a little while for it to really sink in. I’ve never been star struck. More eyes are on me in boxing and I know my name will go down in boxing history as a world champion. There are special privileges as world champion and more people do recognize me now, but I’m still a very hungry fighter because there are a lot of guys trying to take my belt.”
Quillin’s co-manager, John Seip, vouches for Peter’s awe-inspiring drive. “I believe there are two tiers in boxing,” Seip noted. “Climbing the ladder and winning a world championship is the first tier; the second is defending your world title, which is much more difficult because every fighter wants what you possess. Training and fighting as a champion requires raising the bar through conditioning and, more importantly, being mentally tough is a necessity. That’s what separates mediocrity from being a world champion, when the true essence of a fighter comes out. Peter hasn’t made it, yet, to where he can go. He’s only at the beginning and Peter knows that. I’ve been to every one of his training camps since he was 20 and this is, by far, his best. He’s always in great physical shape but his mental toughness is even better as world champion. He is in beast-mode, going to hell and back, for this fight. I’ve never seen him push himself like this. Peter has a solid team behind him and he keeps doing more so he can to get better, like hiring Robert Garcia, and he’s willing to do whatever it takes be successful. I’m so proud of him.”
Quillin, one of the most social networking conscience boxers in the world, is using his newfound notoriety to his advantage, talking about his well documented life story, in which he overcame tremendous odds to become world champion. “Kid Chocolate” was born in Chicago, grew-up practically fatherless (dad imprisoned for 6 ½ years) in Grand Rapids (MI), dangerously running its mean streets until he finally packed-up and moved to New York City with only a few bucks in his pockets and a dream. Quillin slept on the floor of his friend’s apartment, working three menial jobs at one point to make ends meet, and a few years later he headed west to Los Angeles in order to train at the famed Wild Card Gym.
It’s all paid off, ten-fold, for the still humble Quillin who has built his team from its foundation. “I’m a professional boxer and treat my life as a business,” he explained. “I have a promoter (Golden Boy Promotions), managers (Seip and Jim McDevitt), advisor (Al Haymon), two strength coaches, a boxing trainer, personal publicist, webmaster, and two assistants.
“I want to touch people in a special way to show them that, if they work hard in life, they can do almost anything. I’m a dreamer who has set goals and has applied them in life to overcome adversity and be successful. I’m pleased to spread the word to people all over, especially kids, and continue to strive to be a better overall person.”
It’s “Kid Chocolate” time!