NEW YORK CITY - Held prisoner because of the boxing network war, undefeated World Boxing Organization (WBO) middleweight champion Peter "Kid Chocolate" Quillin (30-0, 22 KOs) is still searching for his career defining fight.
The 30-year-old Quillin, fighting out of Brooklyn, is the only top-rated 160-pounder aligned with Showtime. The marquee-name middleweights, Sergio Martinez (WBC/Ring Magazine champion) and Gennady Golovkin (WBA), fight exclusively on rival HBO.
Quillin relishes the opportunity to fight any of the top rated middleweights, but he also understands the politics of boxing and the situation it has presently placed him in. "It's not up to me who I fight," Quillin said. "If the money is right, I'm up for fighting any of the top names, especially Martinez and Golovkin, but everybody's aware of what's going on behind the scenes (Showtime vs. HBO). My job is to work hard and be ready. I have the most powerful team in boxing (Golden Boy Promotions, adviser Al Haymon, co-managers John Seip and Jim McDevitt) and they get me the best available deals. I'm not worried about who I'm fighting. They come to me with my fights."
Here's how Quillin breaks down the top middleweights in the world, not listed in any particular order:
Sergio Martinez: "He is the one everybody has as No. 1 in the middleweight division. Martinez has fought some very exciting fights. He's a showman in the ring."
Gennady Golovkin: "A power puncher. Golovkin brings power into the ring and gets a lot of knockouts."
Darren Barker (IBF champion): "He always puts his best foot forward and always tries as hard as possible. Barker and I would bring a lot of fireworks into the ring."
Daniel Geale: "Another exciting fighter who bangs with the best. It worked for a while against Barker."
Felix Sturm: "I haven't seen too much of him. I hope Sturm pursues more fights to make the middleweight division even tougher than it is right now."
Martin Murray: "He is determined and exciting. I can't take anything away from Murray."
Peter Quillin: "A very exciting guy always looking for new ways to win. He has power, showmanship and a lot of smarts in the ring."
Quillin recently overcame personal heartache in his second title defense victory, by 10th round technical knockout over a game Gabriel Rosado, who suffered a serious cut over his eye that resulted in the fight being halted on the advice of the ring doctor. While he was in the middle of training camp in Los Angeles, Quillin's wife, Allison, suffered a miscarriage five months into her pregnancy. She was home in New York City.
"I struggled with it," Quillin admitted. "I was obligated to camp, 3000 miles away, and she had to go through it without me being there to comfort her. We're praying together and I'm working on being more compassionate."
Quillin is already back in the gym, going through light workouts and yoga. "I took a week off and bought my dream car (red Corvette Stingray)," he added. "I get depressed when I'm not working out. My wife goes to work and I'm all alone. I need to be active to be productive, so I went right back into the gym. My dad taught me how to clear my head. I'm staying ready and in shape, just in case the opportunity for my career defining fight comes along."