Last Saturday night’s show-stealing, world title- winning performance on Showtime Championship Boxing was only the beginning for new World Boxing Organization (WBO) middleweight champion Peter “Kid Chocolate” Quillin (28-0, 20 KOs).
Quillin dropped defending champion and previously undefeated Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam (27-1, 17 KOs) six times en route to a spectacular 12-round triumph, receiving scores of 115-107 from all three judges.
Born in Chicago and raised in Grand Rapids, Michigan, the charismatic Cuban-American returned to Brooklyn, where he once lived for four years, and became the first American-born fighter to be world middleweight champion since Kelly Pavlik lost to Sergio Martinez in 2010.
“It was great putting on a performance like that for the fans at Barclay Center,” said Quillin, who now lives in Manhattan but trains at the Wild Card Gym in Los Angeles.
“All my hard work paid off. It was a great show. People saying I stole the show, well, that’s a blessing. I proved that I can perform like that, given the chance, in a championship fight. I beat a world champion who had an undefeated, identical record as mine.”
Five of the six punches he decked N’Dam with were left hooks and Quillin finished strong by flooring his opponent twice in the final round. “I’ve always had a good left hook,” Quillin noted. “People may not have noticed it before, but it’s another tool in my tool box.
“I always have confidence in my skills and working with (strength-and-conditioning coach) Brad Bose and my nutritionist, Robert Garcia, conditioning was never my concern. I went 12 hard rounds and felt strong right to the end.”
Quillin is a throwback fighter in the sense that he’ll take on anybody put in the ring with him, provided Team Chocolate (Golden Boy Promotions, adviser Al Haymon, co-managers John Seip and Jim McDevitt and trainer Eric Brown) signs off. His next opponent could be a fellow world champion, former world title-holder, hot prospect, or top 10-ranked contender.
“It’s important to be surrounded by a group of people, like Team Chocolate, that believes in me and is always there to help,” added Quillin, who admits winning the world title hasn’t completely sunk in yet.
“I trust my team to come-up with my best option. My job is to be ready for whatever happens and keep coming out victoriously. We’ll see how things play out. I’ll defend my title and come out of my next fight as a winner, just like I always have been. I’m not going to get big headed about this. I’m going to pick-up my work ethic even more and stay hungry.
“I have an X on my back now. Life has already started to change a little, but that comes with the territory as world champion. Now that I am world champion, I guess I need to re-evaluate my goals; I want to win more titles and become a household name.”