By Anthony McClean, Editor In Chief Emeritus NEW HAVEN (BASN) —...
Unbeaten ‘Kid Chocolate” looking to reclaim WBO title from Andy Lee
‘Kid Chocolate’ Peter Quillin was the undefeated WBO middleweight champion and was hot in pursuit of a major fight at 160 pounds. However, Quillin, following the birth of his child last year, swayed away from a career-high purse of $1.4 million and vacated his WBO title instead of fighting Matt Korobov in what would have been an easy fight.
Instead, hard-punching Irishman Andy Lee pummeled Korobov last December to win his first world title after fighting professionally for 10 years. As a result, Quillin (31-0, 22 KOs), now fighting as an undefeated former world middleweight champion, will attempt to become a two-time WBO champion when he battles Lee (34-2, 24 KOs).
Quillin-Lee will be the co-featured attraction to WBC/WBA junior welterweight champion Danny Garcia’s non-title bout against IBF champion Lamont Peterson on Saturday, April 11, at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY.
Quillin is coming into this fight with Lee with a heavy heart, as his uncle passed away recently while he was in prison. He died of cancer.
“He was the most important person to me in my whole life and it’s the first time I’ve ever lost anybody that close to me. When I saw him fighting on his deathbed with cancer, I saw him fight through that until he had nothing left in the tank to fight with.”
Quillin saw his uncle the week before he started training for the Lee fight, but didn’t go to the funeral because he didn’t want to break his training camp.
“I couldn’t attend his funeral because I was here in camp. When I saw him it was the week before I started camp and the week after he died.”
When fighters lose a close relative, they either become better fighters or they simply fall flat on their face. When Buster Douglas, a 40-1 underdog, fought Mike Tyson in February 1990 for the Undisputed World Heavyweight Championship, he lost his mother during training camp. Douglas was so motivated during training, he rose from the canvas to knock Tyson out in perhaps the biggest upset in boxing history to win the WBC/WBA and IBF titles only to lose it in his first defense against Evander Holyfield (KO by 3) in October 1990.
As motivated Quillin is, beating Lee for the WBO title won’t be an easy task. Lee, a former protégé of the late Emmanuel Steward, spent his entire career chasing the world middleweight championship. Lee, unexpectedly was awarded another chance to win a world title and took full advantage of the opportunity when he dispelled Korobov.
In his previous chance to become a world champion in June 2012, Lee buckled under the relentless pressure of Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr., who was then WBC middleweight champion
Since the loss to Chavez, Lee has been on a career resurgence; winner of his last six fights, four by knockout (6-0, 4 KOs).
Lee will be looking for the knockout in the manner than Steward has taught him. Lee-Quillin is an explosive fight with ‘Fight of the Year’ potential.
“Peter is a very good boxer,” Lee said. “He’s undefeated. He is a good athlete; he’s a good all-around fighter. I won’t say anything about his weaknesses. Hopefully I will expose those in the fight. I think you have two big middleweights and two genuine punchers. We match very well.”
Quillin will look to exploit Lee’s weaknesses and will make Lee collapse under the pressure of fighting as the champion.
“His only weaknesses are those two only losses that he has,” said Quillin. “Everyone who has taken a defeat has learned something positive about it. As you can see in his previous fight, Andy has reinvented himself and I think those losses helped him to be a champion now.”
Both fighters are entering the primes of their careers, as Quillin is 31. Lee is 30. They are both hard punchers and are coming off a successive string of performances.
While Lee has won his last six fights, Quillin fought in four world title fights since 2012. The night Quillin won the WBO 160-pound title during boxing’s return to Brooklyn at the Barclays Center in October 2012, Quillin scored five-knockdowns against Hassan N’Dam, en route to a lopsided unanimous decision. Quillin also was spectacular in his explosive knockout of Fernando Guerrero at the Barclays Center in April 2013, followed by title defenses against Gabriel Rosado and Lukas Konecy.
Hassan N’DamTickets for the live event, which is promoted by DiBella Entertainment, are priced at $300, $200, $100, and $50, not including applicable service charges and taxes, and are on sale now. Tickets are available at www.barclayscenter.com, www.ticketmaster.com and at the American Express Box Office at Barclays Center. To charge by phone, call Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000.