Going into his fight with Daniel Jacobs, Peter Quillin was a slight betting favorite to win with many predicting a “Kid Chocolate” victory based on the fact he had faced stronger opposition than Jacobs. However, as the betting line indicated, it was expected to be a close, long fight. As we all know, Danny Jacobs retained his WBA middleweight title with a shocking first round TKO.
Quillin is looking forward to turning the page on the Jacobs fight, but not before reflecting on what transpired in the ring last month. “When I fought Danny Jacobs, it was hard. You don’t know what you’re doing when you’re in a situation. When I took my first loss (in that fight), it was hard to take. You can make a bad decision in the moment,” said Quillin, lamenting his failure to tie up Jacobs.
Quillin pointed out that some people who were with him before he lost to Jacobs are no longer around. “In boxing, when you lose it’s difficult. You find out who your friends are. This is what happens in the game of boxing. You come up short. Danny had a great story (recovering from cancer). I’m the same person I was before the fight. I was able to handle this by staying humble. This has made me a better man.”
Quillin trainer, Eric Brown, feels differently about the stoppage.
“We weren’t happy,” said Brown. “We felt the referee overreacted. Considering Peter never went down, all the ref had to do was allow it to continue. We would’ve shown what Peter can do. It was a potential ‘Fighter of the Year’ fight.”
Growing up in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Qullin had it rough. “I had a lot of bad memories. One instance that came out was my Mom was going to cook before Thanksgiving. She wasn’t cooking and saying she would give us Thanksgiving next week. It kept being put off. We never had Thanksgiving.” Quillin continued: “I’m humble from how I grew up. The majority of my life we ate spaghetti sandwiches. We would wrap (the noodles) up with bread.”
Not only did Quillin not know where his next meal was coming from, he also had to survive some rough neighborhoods. That led to his introduction to boxing. “I had difficult moments. I was surrounded by drug dealers and I knew I didn’t want to wind up like them. The streets don’t love you back. My older brother played a big role in getting me out of there.”
Quillin knew he wanted to make a better life for himself. “We fought other kids in the neighborhoods and after that, my brother helped get me started in the gym. I was 15 or 16. I made my way through the storm. I looked up to Floyd Mayweather. If he made it out of Grand Rapids, I thought I could do the same. This was God’s plan.”
Quillin’s proudest moment as a pro was his title winning effort against Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam. “When I fought for the title, I had a purpose. I was going to win that fight. He was a tough guy and they gave me no shot at all, but I wasn’t going to lose.”
Quillin talked about what is next for him in boxing. Instead of calling out any potential opponent, he chose a different approach. “I’m looking for the right fights in 2016. ‘Kid Chocolate’ works hard every time he is out there. I’m a boxer-puncher and I’m an explosive puncher with either hand. We’re going to come up with a plan after taking a rest. Then, I’ll be ready.”
For his overall development as a boxer, Quillin gives a lot of credit to Brown who assumed training duties after Freddie Roach became too busy to work with Quillin. “He gave me what I needed,” said Quillin. “That’s my guy. I needed to rely on somebody and we can trust each other. It was meant for me to train with Eric. He has taught me to work from different angles. He deserves credit for what he does and he’s always been there for me.”
Brown, who also worked with former world champion James “Lights Out” Toney, has been a close ally of Quillin’s both in and out of the ring. “I’ve been with him since 2010 and I have seen his maturity from a cocky kid to a pro. Peter is a good guy with a great personality. He wants to help people. He wants to inspire handicapped people and the downtrodden,” said Brown.
The Jacobs loss has forced Quillin to look ahead and start preparing for the inevitability that he won’t be fighting forever. Being someone that people, including the less fortunate, can look up to is important to him. And providing for his wife and son is something which also drives Peter Quillin onward.
“I want to make an impact and I want to be an inspiration for others coming into the sport who need someone to look up to. Moving forward, I know I will make the right decisions. When you’re 32 and have a kid, you’re passionate about him. I want to set-up a future for my son.”
On the heels of the Jacobs defeat, Quillin now plans for his post-boxing life, which includes visiting his father in Cuba. “When I’m not fighting, I plan on doing other things. I want to do a lot of stuff outside of the ring. I’m buying real estate properties and I plan on taking over a boxing gym in Grand Rapids. Ray Leonard is well off. After the sport, I want to be a smart businessman too.”
Peter Quillin would like to be known simply for who he was and not for his accomplishments in the ring. “I don’t want to be remembered for nothing great I’ve done (in the ring). Everyone’s great within themselves. I try and promote greatness within myself. I just want to be remembered as a good person.” — Thad Moore