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WBO Champ Quillin Is Flying High

Peter Quillin works out
Peter Quillin works out

By Mike Franzak - Undefeated WBO Middleweight champion Peter “Kid Chocolate” Quillin will be looking for his 30th win this Saturday in Atlantic City, New Jersey when he takes on the battle tested “King” Gabriel Rosado. The fight will be featured on the undercard of the Bernard Hopkins / Karo Murat main event to be broadcast live on Showtime.


Quillin’s recent rise to fame has come from his energetic persona and fan friendly, action packed title fights where he has accumulated 10 knock downs in the past two bouts. His confidence is evident inside and out of the ring as he continues his ascension to the top of the sport.


The middleweight division is stacked right now. Sergio Martinez has been dominating the weight class for a few years and now Quillin and Gennady Golovkin are turning heads with their power punching styles. It’s only a matter of time before these guys run into each other in the squared circle in what many would consider as the most intriguing match ups that can be made in the sport right now. However, Kid Chocolate must first get past the man trying erase those plans, as he takes on the experienced Gabriel Rosado.


This reporter caught up with the champ and fellow Grand Rapids native last weekend.


Peter, you’re 29-0, looking to stay a perfect 30 and 0. WBO Champion. Going up against Gabriel Rosado next weekend in Atlantic City, how has training camp been?

Training Camp has been going A-1. I always learn more about myself during camp. I’ve picked up some valuable lessons this time around. I’ve been working with Eric Brown, he’s a protégé of Freddy Roach. Freddy was too busy at the time and me and Eric made a good connection. We work really well together. I know what I got to do to go out there and win.


So you live in New York now, but you train out in Los Angeles. Do you spend a lot of time in the air?

Yeah, but that’s what makes me a stronger champion. My lifestyle is on the road and I live a straight boxer’s lifestyle. I’m just happy to touch so many different soils and be around so many different people and learn about life. I’ve got so many frequent flyer miles that I don’t know what to do with.


We see you on twitter a lot using #animalstatus. Can you explain where that came from?

Animal status is just doing something that is natural. It’s adding on to things that I already have, which is my will and my strengths, it’s like a natural ability for me to just go out there and fight hard and do what I do. So when I think of animal status, it’s like whatever you want to do in life, whether it’s a writer or reporter or a lawyer, a boxer or a doctor, you got to be an animal at it. Animal status is putting your mind up to that point of understanding at that moment you have to just prevail because that’s what animals do. Like a lion chasing a gazelle or a zebra. If he doesn’t get to catch him, he eventually dies. So he has to do what’s natural to be able to go out there and get the job done.


You’ve done some modeling. Shown some acting interests with short clips on twitter. We’ve seen your work on Showtime for some commentary. Will the Kid Chocolate brand be venturing out into other parts of entertainment any time soon?

Yeah, my platform is boxing but I don’t say no to other opportunities if they come about. Boxing is like the tree roots that other things can grow from. I try not to lose sense of that. The other things like acting and modeling and doing all these things to get my name out there and be able to have fun and stay working is great. I just try to make sure that I inspire people from all walks of life, whether it’s boxing or doing outreach to the community. My purpose in life is to find out who I am and what I can accomplish. I’m very humble for all that I have and for the blessings in my life.


21 KO’s in 30 fights for an impressive 72% KO rate. You have power in both hands. What do you attribute that to or is it something you’re just born with?

Well I think I was born with the power. On top of that I think it’s the belief in myself and the hard preparation I put in for a fight. And my lifestyle. Never being away from the ring. The ring is my life and being in there is my office. I just love to get work done. So that mentality, it only helps my power.


This is the second defense of your WBO title. There are some interesting matchups possible with the four major belt holders, but also some other good competition in the top 10 of the division. When do you expect a unification bout?

Nothing is even possible without beating Gabriel Rosado and looking good doing it so I’m keeping my eyes on him right now and he is my number one focus. I can’t overlook him. He is a tough challenger that is trying to become champion so I have to give him that respect. I got to do me and make sure I’m not overlooking him.



Big boxing weekend for Grand Rapids.  You’re fighting for the WBO title in Atlantic City.  Also, in town "Slugtoberfest" is going down at the Delta Plex.  Jordan Shimmel (11-0), Johnny Garcia (17-1) and Purnell "Knock You Out" Gates (25-2) all fighting for USBO Championships.  I’ve heard you sparred with Jordan when you were younger, he’s a big boy.

I’ve sparred with Jordan and Purnell many times.  Purnell and I were armatures together.  I’ve been sparring with Jordan since he was just a big young kid. He’s always been big.  Im very happy to see him progress and doing what he’s doing.  It’s great to see the way he’s doing it with the family and everyone that’s around him.


With all of the past greats, home of five world champions; the current hot boxing scene in Grand Rapids; with the Van Andel holding over 13,000 for a fight; Floyd Mayweather building his brand in Grand Rapids, fighting at the Van Andel four times, three of them title fights; Miguel Cotto just fought in Orlando at the Amway Center, owner Dick Devos is a major player in Grand Rapids and continues to put on boxing events.  Do you see a fight in Grand Rapids at the Van Andel Arena in your future?

Yeah, that’s my dream, to come back home and touch the people that can totally relate to me.  The people I went to school with, the teachers that taught me and all the police officers…that arrested me.  I’m looking forward to be able to come back home and just put my stamp there and show my appreciation.  Coming from the streets of Grand Rapids, it’s no easy task, I’m just glad to be able to see where I am at and if I’m able to, I would love to come back and put on a great fight. 


Why are there so many champions from Grand Rapids (Stanley Ketchel, Roger Mayweather, Toney Tucker, Floyd Mayweather Jr, Peter Quillin)?  We’ve heard Roger Mayweather say that the best fighters in the world come out of the Midwest.  What do you think it is?  The style?  The good armature programs?

I think it’s the art of the struggle in the Midwest.  You’ve got a lot of poor cities in the area and that will to get out creates a fighter.  A lot of boxers find themselves in the gym as a way of therapy.  I’ve found out a lot about myself through boxing and I’m still learning stuff about myself through boxing.  I think that’s the case.  You know, you got all the fighters from Indiana to Ohio to Michigan to Chicago.  You got a lot of deprived areas that create these fighters from the struggle.


You’ve been at middleweight for a while now.  We’ve seen you at super middleweight before.  There are a lot of good matchups in both divisions right now.  Are you still comfortable at 160 or will we see you back up at 168 any time soon?

It’s all about my body.  Only time can tell that.  Time heals everything.  Time tells everything.   I’ve been there, I’ve had a little trouble with my weight in the past but I think it’s all about timing and about my age and getting with the right people to make sure that’s under control.  I got a good system in place right now to be able to come in and make weight and not a have a problem with it.  I’m not weak, I feel strong.  In the past I had different guys involved in the diet that I wasn’t always happy with, but now I’ve found a system that works for me.  It’s all about timing and being dedicated to my diet.  So October 26 we just got to go out there and do our jobs and the future will hold everything that’s really eventful. 


Gabriel Rosado, though he doesn’t have the greatest record, still poses a threat.  He’s been in there with some good competition.  GGG, Alfredo Angulo, Fernando Guerrero.  He’s got quality KOs against Jesus Soto Karas and Sechew Powell.  What are we going to see on Saturday?

Just see Peter do Peter.  You’re going to see Kid Chocolate be the lively fighter he’s always been.  See me work hard for the win and that’s why people come out and support me.  He hasn’t fought a fighter like me before, I can guarantee you that.  Regardless of the names he’s been in there with, yeah – it’s been good experience for him, but I don’t think he’s the type of person to use those experiences to make himself better.  Maybe I’m wrong, maybe it took him six losses to get what he was looking for, but he’s put all the pressure on himself where now it’s make or break time.  Where does he go if he doesn’t win?  He’s put a lot of pressure on himself and he has to be fighting with himself a lot, maybe that’s why he talks about Philly and being home.  You know, I’m away from my family.  I don’t have my family here, but I do have my friends.  But I took them away from their families so all together, you know, I think that’s the biggest sacrifice that I make but I’m doing it knowing that it’s for a greater purpose.  And it’s not just about me, it’s about the team.  Everyone finds themselves in these camps.  We’re going to take care of business on Saturday night. 


October 23, 2013

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