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.