By: Andrew Johnson
Minneapolis will play host to Saturday night’s PBC card, which will be televised on FS1 and FOX Deportes. In the main event, Caleb “Golden” Truax (30-4-2, 19 KOs) will face Peter “Kid Chocolate” Quillin (34-1-1, 23 KOs) in an IBF Super Middle Weight title eliminator match. The bout has the potential to be a compelling fight because both Truax and Quillin are former world champions and both desperately need a win to stay relevant at 168 lbs.
A convincing win would likely launch the victor into a lucrative title fight against current IBF Super Middleweight Champion Caleb Plant (18-0-0, 10 KOs), while the loser will have to field questions about retirement. At Thursday’s press conference, Quillin shrugged off any suggestions that a loss might put an end to his boxing career, but Truax addressed the ramifications of the fight head on.
“The stakes are high for this fight. Whoever wins hopefully gets a crack at the title. It’s going to be tough for the loser to bounce back. If I want to keep fighting I have to leave Saturday with my hand raised.” said Truax.
Truax wants to keep fighting, especially on the national stage he earned after defeating James DeGale (25-3-1, 15 KOs) for the IBF World Super Middleweight title just over a year ago. Truax was spectacular in his shocking upset of DeGale as a 40-1 underdog, but he was underwhelming in the rematch and lost the title. If the Truax who shocked DeGale shows up on Saturday night, he has the chance to dictate the pace and wear down Quillin over twelve rounds.
He will be fighting in front of a sold-out crowd at The Armory in his hometown, Minneapolis. Truax told the media, “It’s a thrill to be in this fight and have it here at The Armory in front of my hometown fans. I saw the support that (fellow Minnesota-native) Jamal James got for his last fight, and I’m expecting more of that on Saturday. It’s going to be special and I’m going to take advantage.”
Peter Quillin also understands what is at stake on Saturday. It has been over three years since he lost to Danny Jacobs (35-2-0, 29 KOs) in a surprising first round TKO. Though Quillin never hit the canvas, the defeat derailed what had been a swift rise to the top of the Middleweight division. Now fighting as a Super Middleweight, Quillin hopes that a decisive victory against Truax would remind fans, and his promoters, of the Kid Chocolate who won thirty fights in a row. Quillin says that he is a better man, and better boxer, because of the loss and realizes he faces a tough challenge fighting Truax in Minneapolis.
“I have a very determined opponent and I’m fighting in his backyard.” said Quillin. “It’s a tough fight for both of us. I have to put my authority down on this fight and control it. It’s going to be hard with all his fans in there, but what I’ve always done is take negative circumstances, and turn them into positives.”
Vegas (if they are taking bets on this one) may have Kid Chocolate as a slight favorite, but it feels like an even fight. Saturday night’s fight is billed as a “title eliminator”, but for Truax and Quillian, much more is on the line, because the loser’s career may be over.
PBC extends the “title eliminator” theme of the card with Sergiy Derevyanchenko (12-1, 10 KOs) facing Jack Culcay (25-3, 13 KOs) in the co-main event. Derevyanchenko fought over 400 times as an amateur. He looked confident and in great shape at the weigh-in. Culcay is ranked as the number-two contender by the IBF and hopes that his jab can frustrate the Ukrainian and open up opportunities to land power shots late in the fight.
Nineteen-year-old Joey Spencer (6-0-0, 6 KOs) will participate in a televised fight as the PBC looks to put their Super Welterweight prospect in front of a national audience. He fought at The Armory a year ago and scored a first-round TKO by knocking down Ousmane Sylla (1-4-1, 1KO) three times…on three punches. Look for another early KO by Spencer on Saturday.
Money Powell IV (9-0-0, 5 KOs) will fight deep in the untelevised portion of Saturday night’s card. The 2016 Amateur World Champion has looked good since turning professional and may be someone to keep your eye on at Super Middleweight.