New York boxing has suffered a significant talent drain in the last couple of years, with some of the best and brightest talent busting out of town for more hospitable climes. Peter "Kid Chocolate" Quillin is one of the talented hitters who jetted from NYC in order to give himself the best chance at making that desired leap in his career.
He moved to L.A. on June 2, 2010, and while he does bounce back and forth between LA and NY -- he has an apartment on both coasts -- Quillin (25-0 with 19 KOs) tells NYFightBlog that he's quite content with how the move has worked out for him. The middleweight gloves up on Nov. 5, against Craig McEwan in Mexico. It will be Quillin's HBO debut, and if he wins, he gets real close to having his name mentioned for marquee fights, against beltholders. But if and when those marquee fights come, and Quillin performs how he believes he can perform, don't expect him to amass his riches and then come back to NYC and hand 'em over to a Corcoran agent. Let him explain.
"I'll be going to Florida, probably," says Quillin, who mainly lived in Brooklyn and the Bronx during his NYC tenure. "There, you can make enough money to buy a good place. In New York, millionaires are just regular people. You make 100 G's and you're week-to-week."
Quillin moved to NYC from Michigan when he finished high school, and looked around him while Chin Checkers, Curtis Stevens, Jaidon Codrington, Sechew Powell, Joe Greene, Andre Berto, John Duddy and Paulie Malignaggi enjoyed more buzz than he. But he kept plugging, and now he's training at the Wild Card in Hollywood, with Freddie Roach and Eric Brown. He sounds stoked to be fighting on HBO, underneath the Alfredo Angulo-James Kirkland headliner.
"Some people get in those lights, and fold," he says. "It won't happen with me. I know where I'm headed. This is a big test. I know what's at stake. I'm 25-0 and I'm moving on to a lot of great things."
A win over world-class Tarvis Simms in July would've sped up the advancement process but Simms pulled out of the bout with an injury. Quillin has called out Sergio Martinez, Paul Williams and Kelly Pavlik in the past, but sounds resigned to the fact that he'll have to move up more incrementally, that one of the boldface names at 160 won't take a chance on losing to a quick-handed guy with some pop who's still building his rep and a wider fanbase.
Quillin likens himself to a subway performer, who's skilled as anything, but is playing to three riders and getting chump change tips ... until a talent scout sees the performer's skills and scoops him up. "I've been through the struggles. No one knew who I was when I first hit the scene. They said, 'Who is this guy?' "
More know now. But Quillin's signature win is over Jessie Brinkley, the "Contender" alum who is a gamer, but was never seen as a stud. McEwan, a 19-1 Scotsman who gave Andy Lee some trouble in a March TKO-10 loss, is a step up from Brinkley. A 6-1 lefty, Quillin's hand speed should be too much for McEwan, who used to train with Roach, but is now back in Scotland.
I expect Quillin's sharp right hand, used as a lead against the lefty, could stop the Scot inside the distance.