Peter Quillin has become a must-see guy. He simply puts people on their butt, and he has, I think, improved so much in the past couple years, and is now on such a higher plane because of a confidence boost that comes with holding a title belt, that I think his ceiling is higher than most of us thought possible.
I'm eager to see him test the ceiling.
I chatted with Quillin on Thursday, at the final presser before the Saturday Barclays Center show, and it seems he's eager, too.
"I'm ready," the 29-year-old said about gloving up again. Showtime boxing boss Stephen Espinoza told me he thinks a date for Quillin might have to wait until October or November, however. The fighter said that bummed him out, that he wanted to fight three times this year.
I pestered him for a name, for a hint of who he'd like to fight next. He rolled over Fernando Guerrero on April 27 (TKO7 win, knocked him down four times) and, I think, did it in a too-effective fashion. By rubbing him out, he made it possible for naysayers to opine that Guerrero wasn't ready for his closeup. (Which, in fact, may have been true.) For that reason, I think Quillin (29-0 with 21 KOs) needs to secure a name foe, so he can prove to his detractors that he is the real deal. He offered me a wish list of targets.
First, he'd like a crack at IBF champ Daniel Geale. The Aussie puts his belt on the line against Brit Travis Barker on Aug. 17, so we have to wait and see how that plays out. Next, Quillin wants a crack at WBC champ Sergio Martinez. "And after I beat him, I want Gennady Golovkin," he said. "That's a superstar fight, a big pay-per-view. We'd build to that."
From his mouth to the dealmakers' ears.
One impediment: HBO has deals with both Martinez and Golovkin, and it looks like people want Geale to meet Golovkin. So Quillin might be the most obvious victim of the HBO-Golden Boy war, which has entities taking sides, and has meant that Showtime mostly buys Golden Boy bouts, while HBO mostly buys Top Rank product.
On the bright side, there will come a time when fan demand will break the icy patch. Who knows, maybe the call for a Quillin bout with an HBO fighter might force a kiss-and-make-up scenario.