By Ryan Maquiñana
WBO middleweight titleholder Peter “Kid Chocolate” Quillin fired back at Abel Sanchez, trainer of fellow 160-pound kingpin Gennady Golovkin, regarding his controversial comments regarding the state of the division.
“I had to laugh at those remarks from Abel,” Quillin told BoxingScene.com Thursday afternoon.
In a recent interview, Sanchez responded to the news that Golden Boy Promotions matchmaker Eric Gomez was targeting an October return for Quillin, who could possibly make the second defense of his belt against Daniel Jacobs (25-1, 22 KOs).
“That's a smart move,” Sanchez told Robert Morales . “That's a smart move for Golden Boy (Quillin's promoter) and for Al Haymon (Quillin's manager) because I believe Quillin is not ready for this level yet and a Danny Jacobs fight would go a long ways to prepare him for that. I think he's got a couple of more fights to go and, don't get me wrong, he's a very good fighter. But I think at this level there's a big difference. There's [Sergio] Martinez, [Julio Cesar] Chavez [Jr.], Golovkin. They're on a different level.”
Quillin (29-0, 21 KOs), who was in the middle of a meet-and-greet with young fans in Grand Rapids, Mich., took offense to his rival’s trainer downgrading his status.
“Who have all these guys fought except Martinez, who didn’t look too good in his last fight which was on the same day as my fight [against Fernando Guerrero]?” Quillin asked. “Our card with Danny Garcia and Zab Judah did better [TV] numbers, and obviously, I’m not saying it was all me. It was because of the whole card. But Martinez is a superstar fighter in my weight class, and he didn’t get any views, so what level is he really on?”
Quillin then focused his attention on Golovkin (26-0, 23 KOs), who he respects but questioned the quality of his opposition to date.
“As far as Gennady Golovkin, he’s still building his name,” Quillin said. “He’s a power puncher, but we haven’t seen him have to use his other skills in a top-level fight. We haven’t seen him get hit. This is his first top-level fight, in my opinion, with Matthew Macklin, who’s a guy that’s a natural 160-pounder and has some real professional fights under his belt.
“Golovkin’s fought [Gabriel] Rosado, who’s really a 154-pounder, and he gave him a really tough, tough fight. I want to see him in with a pure boxer. The only thing close to that he faced was against Kassim Ouma. He was coming up from 154, too, and even though he was the smaller guy, he still took him to the 10th round. I fought a very good boxer in Hassan N’Dam, who was a real 160-pounder, and I put him down several times. Why won’t they put Golovkin in with a guy like that?”
Golovkin defends his title against Macklin (29-4, 20 KOs) on HBO this Saturday, and Quillin has shared a ring with both fighters in the past in various sparring sessions.
“I went to Golovkin’s camp two years ago and got a lot of good rounds in,” Quillin said. “He didn’t hurt me. I think I showed him I was a world-class fighter then. I’ve sparred a lot of top guys, from Carl Froch to even Macklin himself. Go ask those guys what they thought about me and what level they think I’m on.”
When pressed to pick a winner for Saturday, Quillin would not make a definitive prediction, but offered his two cents.
“It’s going to be a tough fight, back and forth,” Quillin said. “I ran into Macklin in camp in [New York], and he’s ready for this fight. For Golovkin’s part, he’s got the momentum on his side. With the way they fight and their styles, it’s a toss-up.”
Ultimately, Quillin welcomed a showdown with whoever emerges victorious.
“Give me the winner. I’ve been saying it, and I’ll keep saying it. All these dudes look like food to me, and I’m going to keep knocking them out,” Quillin said.
Ryan Maquiñana was the boxing producer for NBCOlympics.com during London 2012 and writes a weekly column for CSNBayArea.com. He is a full member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and the Ratings Panel for Ring Magazine. E-mail him at [email protected] , check out his blog at Norcalboxing.net, or follow him on Twitter: @RMaq28.