by Chris Cella
Saturday night undefeated middleweight prospect Peter “Kid Chocolate” Quillin will have the opportunity to put on a show for hometown fans as he squares off against fellow unbeaten boxer and WBO world middleweight champion Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam as part of Showtime’s Championship Boxing, live from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
Quillin lived in Brooklyn for four years, and despite fighting on some of the grandest stages New York City has to offer, this is his first time going to battle in the BK.
“I’m excited to be fighting at home,” said Quillin.
“I know what I need to do to secure a victory. I know how far I’ve come, from sleeping on floors to fighting for the world title on the biggest stage, Showtime, at Barclays Arena. I’ve learned that, if you really want something in life, you can’t get discouraged. No excuses Saturday night.”
The 29-year-old number one WBO contender is coming off an impressive unanimous decision victory over former undisputed world light middleweight champion Winky Wright, sending the champion into retirement. Through each of their first 27 trips to the ring, both Quillin and N’Jikam have faced relatively similar levels of competition, although two things that separate the fighter are Quillin has more victories by way of knockout and has never been knocked down, whereas N’Jikam tasted the canvas last year against Giovanni Lorenzo.
“We’ve fought the same level of opponents but checkout my record and see how few rounds I’ve ever lost,” Quillin commented about the similarities between his and Quillin’s record.
“He does have the belt. When I step in the ring, though, I’ll remember what I’ve been fighting for all these years. I’ll be superbly prepared. He is world champion and for that he has my respect, but he’s coming from France to fight me in my hometown.”
Quillin’s road to this point of his career reads like a movie, where he had to literally and figuratively fight his way through varied trials and tribulations, while overcoming a handful of life’s obstacles in pursuit of his dream to fight for a world title.
“I don’t really know why I didn’t give-up but I think it was because of God,” Quillin reflected on his life. “I try not to question why but I wouldn’t give up and worked through all the BS to get where I am today. I moved to Brooklyn because it reminded me more of home than Manhattan. I slept on the floor of my friend Steven Rivera’s home. He believed in me.
“I thank God for the special people in my life that I’m indebted to like my manager, John Seip (who co-manages Quillin with Jim McDevitt). They’ve encouraged me. God got me into boxing for a reason. I’m just getting to the point now where I always wanted to be. It’s all been worth it.”
In addition to Quillin’s battle with N’Jikam, the following championship bouts are taking place:
Danny Garcia vs. Erik Morales for the WBA Super World light welterweight title and WBC light welterweight title
Devon Alexander vs. Randall Bailey for the IBF welterweight title
Paul Malignaggi vs. Pablo Cesar Cano for the WBA World welterweight title