Andy Lee (34-2, 24 KO’s) will defend his WBO Middleweight Championship against Peter “Kid Chocolate” Quillin (31-0 22 KO’s) on April 11th as the co-feature on the second edition of PBC on NBC. The much-anticipated middleweight matchup will be for the title that Quillin vacated in 2014, declining to fight Matt Korobov. Quillin, who turned down 1.4 million from Jay Z’s Roc Nation Sports for the Korobov fight, will be looking to take back the title, a title he never lost in the ring. Quillin looks to prove that he made the right decision in siding with Al Haymon in boxing’s ever evolving “cold war”.
Fernando Pimentel of The Boxing Voice caught up with Quillin during a break in training to get some of his thoughts on what to expect in the match-up. When asked about how he would avoid the dangerous, fight-ending right hook that Lee unleashed to win the title from Korobov, Quillin didn’t sound too concerned. “Move my head. Look and see that it’s coming, watch out for it.
Now that I know it’s a thing to watch out for, I’m going to watch for it.” Unfortunately for Kid Chocolate, he might not find the task that simple as Lee has knocked out four of his last five opponents. Quillin, however, will be one of the best competitors that Lee has been in the ring with as he enters the fight without a blemish on his resume. He also showed the respect he had for Lee, mentioning that the two were nearing a fight on HBO in the past, but it couldn’t come together for business reasons.
“He’s the champion, and I give him all of that respect.”
The two will meet in primetime on NBC, co-featuring with Danny Garcia and Lamont Peterson. Quillin drew the ire of many hardcore boxing fans last year for vacating his title and the biggest purse of his career. It was another in a long line of disappointments fans endured in 2014, many of which could be attributed to Al Haymon. Unbeknownst to those fans at the time, Haymon was working to secure time buy television deals with networks such as NBC, CBS, ESPN, and Spike TV. Should Quillin win back the title from Lee, he’s in a position to be a centerpiece of Haymon’s roster and brand going forward.
“I’m expecting huge things…it’s going to be a big stage to perform on, and I’m just trying to be ready and be focused on that.” Quillin said, showing that he understands the magnitude of the moment and opportunity he’s been given. He knows that winning a middleweight title fight on national television in primetime could be a star-making moment. “Winning is just as important as being on TV because without winning I wouldn’t be on national TV on primetime. I’m just glad to be part of such history being made right now.” However, he’s not getting so caught up in the moment that he’s lost sight of the main goal.
“Sugar Ray Leonard said, if you think pay per view can do something for you, wait until you fight on free TV,” Quillin said when asked about fighting in primetime on network television. The opportunity to showcase his skills in front of a wider, network television audience is one of the benefits that Quillin has received from aligning himself with Al Haymon and turning down Jay Z’s generous offer. A win would push him closer to superstardom, and make him a household name among even casual boxing fans. Kid Chocolate is promising firecrackers, bombs, and sledgehammers. He’ll need to bring all three on April 11th to take his title back from Andy Lee, the man who capitalized on his own opportunity when Quillin gave it up.