A Very American Coup By Michael – Louis Ingram, Editor-in-Chief...
‘Kid Chocolate’ to make first WBO title defense at Barclays Center
Boxing returns to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY on Saturday, April 27, when Danny ‘Swift’ Garcia defends his unified WBC/WBA junior welterweight championship against Zab Judah in his hometown.
In addition to Garcia-Judah, the co-featured attraction will match newly crowned WBO middleweight titlist ‘Kid Chocolate’ Peter Quillin (28-0, 20 KOs) in his first title defense in his native Brooklyn, against Dominican Fernando Guerrero (25-1, 19 KOs).
The night Quillin won the WBO 160-pound title marked boxing’s return to Brooklyn during the inaugural fight card at the Barclays Center. Following a dismal 12-round IBF welterweight title fight between Devon Alexander and Randall Bailey, Quillin saved the show with by producing exciting multiple-knockdowns en route to winning his first world title.
“He became the WBO Middleweight World Champion by defeating World Champion Hassan N’Dam in a really, really exciting fight at the opening night for boxing at Barclays Center on October 20th of last year,” said Golden Boy COO David Itskowitch. “He scored six knockdowns in the fight, really got the crowd going. It was really electrifying.”
“I’m just very blessed and make sure that y’all stay tuned to be able to watch Never Guerrero, because he’s never going to be the champ like me,” Quillin said. “You know just the thrill of victory, the thrill of me having the will to want to be able to be better. Roberto Duran said it best, ‘Once you stop trying to learn and be better, then you’re no longer good enough anymore.’”
Perhaps Quillin’s biggest victory was against former unified WBC/WBA and IBF junior middleweight champion, Winky Wright. At one point, Wright was one of the most solid boxers in the sport. Wright, who twice defeated Sugar Shane Mosley and Felix Trinidad, was overmatched when he fought Quillin, who has lots of experience against southpaws.
“Fighting Guerrero, he’s a southpaw and I got super lots of experience with a lot of camps fighting southpaws,” Quillin said. “I just feel comfortable in the ring and like I said, everything you got to use to be a practice to wherever you want to be.”
Quillin credits Guerrero for having a good amateur background on a National level, but it isn’t going to be enough to take the title away from him.
“All I can say Fernando having a large sense of amateur background,” Quillin said. “I can probably just imagine that everybody in his corner will always tell him he was going to be a champion all his life, so being able to go out there and have the amateur record that he had and be able to go out there and perform as a professional the way he did, fighting at home, main event in his home town of Salisbury and just having just the crowd behind him in the push, only can make a person better, if not, make him weaker.”
Quillin went on to say that he was ‘never told I was going to be anything.’ Every time he entered the ring, Quillin had to prove himself repeatedly. Quillin desperately believes that he belongs amongst the very best in boxing.
“I don’t have any pressure, as far as knowing that I’m able to go out there and perform,” Quillin said. “I fought Hassan, who some would consider the fight of the year, whereas he was dropped six times. He got back up and he fought his heart out and then now I know with the experience that I’ve got 12 rounds of hard fighting underneath my belt, so I’m only as good as my last fight. I’m looking here to capture new moments. And I’m very happy to be able to do that on Showtime and do it at the Barclays and just have all the people that’s been supporting me support me for all the right reasons. Like I said, come April 27th, I’m only looking to create more great moments in boxing.”
Guerrero is going to have his hands full against Quillin. Some question whether Guerrero is ready to fight for a world title. The level of Guerrero’s opposition is limited and doesn’t even compare to Quillin’s.
Quillin added: “Well, basically every fight that I step in is a big step up and now this is going be my first fight of the year, and it’s gonna be the biggest step up for this year.. Fighting in a large crowd doesn’t faze me because I’ve been doing it for the longest. Just like he said, I was always told that I was going to be a champion. I never expected anything less. People never expected anything less, but once when you get out in the real world, it’s not that easy. You’re not going to be a champion just because people tell you that you’re going to be a champion.”
“Kid Chocolate” Peter Quillin’s WBO middleweight world title defense against Fernando Guerrero in can be seen live on SHOWTIME beginning at 9 PM/ET.Tickets, priced at $200, $100, $50 and $25, are on sale atwww.barclayscenter.com, www.ticketmaster.com, or by calling 800-745-3000.