by David P. Greisman

Peter Quillin once held one of the middleweight belts before dropping it. Once vacated, Andy Lee knocked out Matt Korobov to get that title. Lee will face Quillin on the undercard of “Premier Boxing Champions” this Saturday on NBC. The fight is a non-title encounter after Quillin failed to make weight on Friday.

“Andy is a newly crowned champion. I would be disrespectful if I would say something disrespectful of somebody who’s made himself a champion. I have no bad things about him. I think one of his greatest strengths is that he lost twice, came back and made himself look very good and win the championship of the world," said Quillin, who dethroned Hassan N’Dam back in October 2012 and made three successful title defenses.

Lee’s two losses were a stoppage against Brian Vera in 2008, later avenged, and a technical knockout loss to Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. in 2012. Lee’s won six in a row since then. And Quillin doesn’t want to take too much from those defeats.

“I’m no Chavez. Chavez is Chavez. Bryan Vera is Bryan Vera,” he said. “I can try to go in there and fight like a Chavez — and I’d be fighting like somebody that’s not myself.”

Quillin was also apologetic after failing to make weight. He issued a statement to his fans.

"What can I say? I didn’t make weight. I want to apologize to Andy Lee and to all my supporters and fans. I made every effort to make weight but it just wasn’t meant to be and I have no one else to blame but myself. I may not win a title tomorrow but I still have a fight to win and I still plan to put on a good performance. I promise to use this as a learning experience for the future. God bless."

Pick up a copy of David’s book, “Fighting Words: The Heart and Heartbreak of Boxing,” at http://bit.ly/fightingwordsamazon or internationally at http://bit.ly/fightingwordsworldwide. Send questions/comments via email at fightingwords1@gmail.com