by Sean Crose
There’s an old saying that nice guys finish last. Tell that to the four men who gathered Thursday to promote the second Premeire Boxing Champions’ fight card to be aired live on NBC’s flagship channel.
Yeah, Lamont Peterson, Danny Garcia and Peter Quillin have all been open to legitimate criticism over the years; and yeah, Andy Lee might owe his entire career trajectory to his right hook, but these guys are nice. Legitimately nice. Believe it. They’re also top level pugs. Believe that, too.
“I have a lot of motivation to win this fight” says Quillin who has recently become a dad and has witnessed the long suffering death of a beloved uncle. “That,” the Brooklyn native says of his uncle’s battle, “was a real fight.” Still, he claims to be ready for his April 11th throwdown with the hard hitting Irishman, Lee.
“He’s able to be a champion and put on a show,” Quillin says of his opponent. “For you to see how I’m going to fight, you’ve got to tune in on April 11th.”
Lee, too, makes it clear that he’s ready for action.
“I’m training extremely hard (in the south of France),” he says. “Since January 12th I’ve been over here.”
Lee also wants everyone to know that he’s more than a right hook artist, even though his power shots drove him to victory in his last two fights. “At no time did I ever think I was going to lose to either fighter,” he states in retrospect. “I’ve always considered myself a technical boxer.”
As for Danny Garcia and Lamont Peterson, neither man is taking their bout – which will be the main event on April 11th – for granted, either.
“I’m not really worried about what’s going to happen next,” Garcia states. “Right now, I’m focused on April 11th.”
I asked both men if they felt they needed to redeem themselves after past bumps in the road. Garcia, after all, had a horrendous mismatch with Rod Salka last summer after barely beating (if he beat him at all) Mauricio Herrerra a few months earlier. As for Peterson, his reputation is still damaged from a failed drug test result after his bout with Amir Khan years ago.
Still, neither man feels inclined to earn the public’s forgiveness, even after being leveled by the media.
“I don’t see this as redemption,” Garcia tells me, “it’s just a great matchup.” Hard words to argue with, true, but the man felt inclined to continue. “The media is tough,” Garcia adds, “but hey, you always see me at my best.”
Peterson echoes his opponent’s sentiments.
“No redemption for me either,” the DC native quips, “what’s in the past is in the past.”
Fair enough. Reporters, however, are curious about what the future holds for each man. Will they move up to welterweight? Will they angle to fight Floyd?
“I’ve been at 140 since I was an amateur,” says Garcia. “I’m not saying I can’t make 140 again.” Still, it’s pretty clear that it may be time for the man to on. Peterson is even more on point when asked if he wants to move up to 147.
“Yes I do,” he states matter of factly.
“I’m not worried about fighting Floyd at all,” states Peterson.
“Yeah, I’m not worried about the fight either,” says Garcia.
Again, each of these men seems to be void of hostility. Lee and Quillin praise each other. Garcia and Peterson second each other’s opinions. There’s simply no bad blood.
Not that that’s a bad thing. There’s little doubt all four men will enter the ring on April 11th ready for combat.