On Saturday, April 19, 2014 at the D.C. Armory in the Nation’s Capital, Peter “Kid Chocolate” Quillin takes on former Olympian and Eastern European tough guy, Lukas Konecny.
Round By Round Boxing’s Gabriel Polanco got to catch up with Kid while he had time off from a tough six-week camp to talk about training in New York, Curtis Stevens calling him out, Gennady Golovkin and more!
Round By Round Boxing: Hey Kid, how is life treating you?
Peter Quillin: It’s pretty good, right now I’m doing camp in New York, so I’m all New York right now. When I do camp in Cali, I’m with the L.A. lifestyle, but right now I’m in New York. I can get to the gym by whatever, I mean, I drive, I take the train, I walk, it’s just a blessing to be building my career right here and get to have good moments here.
RBRBoxing: How is camp coming along? In comparison with your camp being in L.A, where you usually train at Wild Card West, is it better to have it at home?
PQ: You know, I bring camp with me wherever I go. It feels good to be able to bring camp home and be here with my family and I always try to bring out the best of any situation I’m in whether I’m there at Wild Card or here in New York. I’ve been splitting up my camp while I’m here 50/50 at Trinity Boxing Club and Gleason’s.
RBRBoxing: That’s great, I know you and your wife are expecting too. Congratulations!
PQ: Yeah, thanks. My last fight, my wife miscarried our baby, so it was really important to do this camp closer to her and make sure I give her that security if something goes wrong, I’m here. I want to make sure everything is okay and will be okay through anything because the last camp I could not come back here when that all happened and it was really rough.
RBRBoxing: Working with Eric Brown, I know he will always get you ready training wise for a fight. But do you yourself feel hyped at all for this fight? No disrespect at all to your opponent. Lukas Konecny, who is a former Olympian Czech fighter who is 50-4, 23 KOs, is being seen as a stay busy fight. Although he does have over 50 fights worth of experience, he isn’t seen by many as a legitimate threat for your belt. What are your thoughts on that and the criticism you are getting?
PQ: It’s kind of a crazy to say that about a guy who may have not got some of the recognition of some other guys that I’ve fought, but I look at it like when we’re fighting for a title, your fighting to bring the best out of a guy, you’re fighting hard and competing a high level to try and beat the other guy. I’m fighting a guy that has over 50 fights in experience, you don’t see that kind of record now in days. You got to take every fight as every other defense; I mean he even has more amateur experience than I have. I only had 15 amateur fights, he has probably over 250. But as a world champion, I’ve had to learn on the job and I think that’s what makes me different, it makes me hungrier and it makes me who I am.
On what people say, I can’t really say much about people, you know what they say about guys I fight. My job isn’t to worry about that. My job is to stay ready, stay hungry, stay safe and to make sure when I go out there I have my reasons to why I step up there and do my job. You know, I heard Curtis Stevens call me out the other day, you know, he wants to fight me and all these guys want to be where I’m at. So why do I have to worry about where they’re at and who’s behind me? I only care about who’s in front of me.
There are guys like Gennady Golovkin, Sergio Martinez and Miguel Cotto now going up to Middleweight, there are all these high profile fights. Those are the fights I really want to be in and I shouldn’t be worrying about these guys calling me out like Matthew Macklin and Curtis Stevens, but I’m just focused on what’s at hand April 19 and that’s Konecny who has over 50 fights under him.
RBRBoxing: You touched on the fact that you did have a short amateur career and you are essentially learning on the job as a Middleweight champion. Do you think that has benefited you at all style-wise? As in you aren’t stuck in an amateur style, but in a style that is more appealing to fans with your high KO percentage. The fact that you didn’t have the advantages as an amateur to showcase yourself and go the Olympic route like most top-tier professionals today?
PQ: I think it’s special and I feel like I’m chosen. You know I come from a disheveled past man and I get to perform in front of the world every time I step out there. It makes me feel special in a way that I can express myself by doing what I love. I feel my style is great for fans because without them I wouldn’t be here, but I’m always learning.
You can’t take that for granted and I’m learning everyday what it takes to be a world champion, everyday I’m training to get better. But it’s great being a world champion, everybody wants to shake my hand, people want to take pictures with me. People really don’t understand what I went through when I was growing up and what I go through now, so to me, this is something I always dreamed about and the only thing I can really say is me being able to experience all this is special.
RBRBoxing: You are a world champion in your own right, worked your way up and won your Middleweight belt in exciting fashion and have been defending it since. What can you say was your toughest fight so far in your career?
PQ: You know there are a few that I can think of, but Dionisio Miranda because I went into that fight not really knowing who he was. I didn’t know that he was that good when I was still coming up, but I learned a lot of who I was in that fight and I came out and won it. Also another tough guy was Gabe Rosado, he was a tough challenger. They’re all pretty much tough when you get to the level I’m at now, everybody is fighting for your title and for them it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity to take it. So I’m always in a tough fight, but I try my best to make it look easy.
RBRBoxing: Let’s do some pick em’ fights. Hopkins-Shumenov?
PQ: Toss up
RBRBoxing: Now I know you can never overlook any opponent in boxing, but what is your ideal matchup today? Canelo moving up to challenge you? Martinez, Cotto, or someone else?
PQ: See, what I don’t understand is people just expect me to leave Showtime, who has covered me my whole career, just like that. I would love to fight GGG or Sergio Martinez, but those guys are on HBO.
As a boxer, you aren’t afraid of no man and I am afraid of no one. Just like I’m sure Gennady isn’t afraid of me or Sergio isn’t either. But there is a business to this and they aren’t knocking down the door and saying they’ll leave HBO. As of right now, there is a good business partnership with Showtime that gives me T.V. dates and have given me some of the best money I could get at Middleweight.
I think Canelo moving up would be a good opponent for me only because I don’t have many big-name opponents. I don’t want to fight Danny Jacobs, I don’t want to fight Curtis Stevens and it’s not because I think I’ll lose to them because I know in my heart I could beat any man on God’s green earth. I want to fight guy’s that got that name and that I could make that good dollar with, that’s who I want to fight.
RBRBoxing: By the end of your career, what is one word you want fans and people in general to describe you as?
PQ: People’s Champ.
RBRBoxing: That’s great, thank you for your time and good luck during your fight!
PQ: Thank you again! Have a blessed day.
All photos by Esther Lin/Showtime