By Keith Idec
NEW YORK – Peter Quillin scoffed Thursday at the idea that he’s afraid of fighting Gennady Golovkin.
When Quillin was asked about Abel Sanchez, Golovkin’s trainer, saying recently Quillin is the middleweight who’d give Golovkin the toughest fight, the former WBO champion adamantly stated that he wants to fight Golovkin, assuming the money would make the difficult fight worthwhile.
“Even Gennady Golovkin, they mention all these guys, man, and I get so frustrated hearing guys tell me I’m scared,” Quillin said following a press conference in Manhattan for his fight Saturday night against Daniel Jacobs. “I’m like, ‘Bro, have you ever had a gun pointed at you? That’s something to be real scared of.’ I had that happen to me millions of times, where I felt like my life was on the line. So what would fighting another man and getting another check scare me for? You know what I’m saying? They wanna conform your thoughts. They wanna conform the way you think. They wanna conform even what you say. So for me, if it happens, it happens. I’m thankful for it and I’m gonna train like it’s my last fight and I have no other opportunities. And that’s the way I train for fights.”
If the 32-year-old Quillin (32-0-1, 23 KOs), a slight favorite, can defeat the 28-year-old Jacobs (30-1, 27 KOs) in their 12-round fight for Jacobs’ WBA “regular” middleweight championship at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center (Showtime, 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT), interest in a Golovkin-Quillin fight would intensify. There are obvious obstacles, most notably Quillin’s association with polarizing, powerful adviser Al Haymon. HBO, the premium-cable channel that has an exclusive contract with Golovkin, and Haymon don’t currently do business together.
Even if the rocky relationship between HBO and Haymon is repaired, Quillin said, “The fight has gotta be worth so much money,” for him to consider it.
“When it’s time to fight him, just pay me what I want,” Quillin said, before discussing his three-round sparring session with Golovkin a couple years ago at Freddie Roach’s Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood, California.
“When I look back at my past, I’ve gotta laugh at these people that say all these things, including Abel,” Quillin said. “He was paying me a compliment [and] in the same sentence saying, ‘Have ‘Kid Chocolate’ ever got paid over $500,000? I heard it. I seen it. Somebody sent it to me. Then he said I’m the true challenge for Gennady Golovkin, which I am. We sparred. And I can say one thing about Gennady Golovkin. Is he sh*tty? No, he’s a good fighter. But these type of fights come with a cost and come with a price. And when it happens, it happens. I’m not running scared from him.”
As far as their sparring session, Quillin said, “Before they said he ran me out the gym. They put up the sparring with him and Chavez sparring. But they never leaked the footage of me and Gennady Golovkin sparring. I’m not gonna sit here and bash that man, or say what he’s saying, and elaborate on his ideas and his opinion about me or whatever the case may be. Gennady Golovkin is a good, good fighter. I’m very thankful I got to spar him in the ring. Because coming from where I’m coming from, you don’t have many opportunities like that. So I’m thankful for that. And if a fight ever happens with me and him, you know ‘Kid Chocolate’ is gonna go animal status. That’s what I practice.”
Keith Idec covers boxing for The Record and Herald News, of Woodland Park, N.J., and BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.