By Phil D. Jay
Undefeated Frenchman Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam has told WBN that contrary to reports - a deal has not been finalized to fight Peter Quillin on October 20th at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
A former WBO interim-middleweight champion, N’Dam was given the full version of the belt earlier this week as former titleholder Dmitry Pirog was stripped of the chamionship. While N'Jikam is strongly linked to Quillin, a first defense in the United States is still only a possibility at this stage.
“I'm glad to announce that I have been designated as [the] WBO world champion, which I find fair and logical and I thank the WBO for taking that responsibility,” N’Dam told World Boxing News.
“Regarding my next first defense, my promoter Sebastien Acaries is negotiating with Golden Boy for me to fight against Peter Quillin and I hope that common ground will be found so that bout can be finallized.
“Whether it be him or another for me - it does not matter as I just want have my next opponent named. I plan to keep this title and fulfil my ambition to add the other four belts to it.”
The 28-year-old also hit back at some of the ongoing criticism for his recent inactivity, as his victory over Ukrainian Max Bursak in May was his first bout since April 2011.
“Contrary to what many may think, I never stopped training even if I have fought just once in fifteen months.
"I put together more than five hundred rounds of sparring with many champions like Khoren Gevor, Ajetovic Gear, Sebastien Demers, Komensky, Bilic and Airapetian, to name a few and even with a year out of the ring I still took full advantage of Bursak to dominate the fight.”
On a potential fight against Quillin, who is also, like N’Dam, undefeated in 27 contests, the WBO champion has no problem stepping into the ring with the 29 year-old on his home turf should the fight be concluded.
“My dream has always been to fight in the USA against real champions and even if Quillin is not Mayweather I think this fight interesting,” said N’Dam.
“I learned he was nicknamed ‘Kid Chocolate,’ well I am ‘El Fenomeno’ and I love chocolate!
“People do seem to have put the cart before the horse on announcing the fight is done and I will begin to appreciate this fight when the contracts are signed.
“Not to say that they will be concluded as that day is not yet done, but If I come to the USA it will be to show my beautiful boxing to the American fans and I will hope to conquer their hearts.”
Phil D. Jay covers boxing for worldboxingnews.net