LOS ANGELES - Undefeated middleweight contender Peter "Kid Chocolate" Quillin (25-0, 19 KOs) breaks his Los Angeles training camp Wednesday to depart for Cancun, not for a vacation but to fight live on HBO for the first time, Saturday night against Scottish southpaw Craig McEwan (19-1, 10 KOs) in Cancun, Mexico.
Quillin-McEwan is the co-feature on a Golden Boy Promotions card headlined by Alfredo Angulo vs. James Kirkland.
"I took off about a week after my last fight and have been training ever since, even after working with Team USA at the Olympic Team training camp in Colorado Springs, during the short time I was back in New York City," Quillin said. "It's been a great camp. My old buddy from Brooklyn, Sechew Powell, has been here with me in Los Angeles. We didn't spar but, almost equally important; we talked a lot of boxing. He told me nothing else matters, to just focus on the biggest fight of my life. He's been very supportive and it was fantastic having a friend like him around during camp. He kept me up in this atmosphere.
"My mother cooked for me and my manager, John Seip, came out to visit me. Freddie Roach had a lot of input into my training and game plan for this fight. He won't be in my corner, though, because he's with Manny Pacquiao getting ready for his fight a week after mine. I'll be in good hands once again with trainer Eric Brown. I'm only fighting one night without Freddie, just one night, but Freddie, Eric and Brad work as a team for the 'Chocolate Factory.' We trust and believe in each other in order to get the maximum out of each workout."
Quillin's average week during his six-week training camp included sparring at Roach's famed Wild Card Gym in Hollywood on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, as well as strength-and-conditioning work Tuesday and Thursday with coach Brad Bose at Anatomi in Santa Monica, along with daily runs (no less than 4 miles), including one (5-8 miles) strictly dedicated to hill work.
The 28-year-old Quillin, presently rated No. 7 by the World Boxing Association, sparred with Vanes Mirtirosyan, Ronson Frank, Michael Medina and Malic Basille. "I only sparred with Vanes a little because he was getting ready for his fight this past weekend," Quillin remarked. "Ronson gave me some good rounds and Basille's a good lefty. I was doing 12 rounds with 3-4 different guys rotating in and out. In addition to sparring at Wild Card, I also did a lot of pads, heavy bag, and other work there on my technique and strategy for this fight. I've been working on a machine that's like a stair climber but you use your legs and arms. One hundred steps a minute is great for my wind. The Vortex is a torture machine Brad has for punch resistance, 100 punches in 30 seconds, and then 100 punches going side to side. Basically, it's 90 minutes of straight pain."
McEwan used to be trained by Roach at Wild Card Gym and that knowledge of his opponent is invaluable to "Kid Chocolate" and his team. "I know McEwan is going to put up a hard, tough fight," Quillin continued. "I'm mentally prepared to take it up another notch. I know I've put in a lot of hard work for this fight and an impressive win against McEwan on HBO will get me closer to my ultimate goal of fighting for a world title fight.
"Freddie knows Craig. They were together for a few years and we have a solid game plan based on what Freddie knows. We sparred a few times. McEwan knows about me and my work ethic, but we know a lot more about him. He's coming off of his only loss (stopped in 10th round by Andy Lee), so he's fighting me with something to prove. I've always been able to adjust during a fight. I am prepared and will adjust against McEwan, doing whatever it takes to win and do it impressively."