by David P. Greisman
It can be hard enough for a fighter to lose. Peter Quillin’s first loss had to be a tough one. He didn’t even make it half a round against Daniel Jacobs and was wobbled badly enough that referee Harvey Dock halted the bout.
It would be understandable, then, for a fighter to respond with disappointment, frustration and pride. Quillin, however, was at peace with what happened — and didn’t protest the stoppage.
“This moment played out,” Quillin said at the post-fight press conference, reasoning that it must have been God’s plan for him. “You always told you gonna be undefeated, you gonna knock out, you gonna do this, and the next thing you know it don’t happen that way. I took it with an open and humble heart. This guy’s [Jacobs] got a cancer story. He’s fighting tremendously with a story that when you fighting with that kind of reason, the only way you can accept it if it go the way that it did is to have it with an open and humble heart.
“I can’t change God’s plan. This is the way God wanted,” he added later. “The only thing I can do is go back to the gym, reassess myself with my team and we work together and try our best in our next go-around. Outside of making me a better fighter, it made me a better man. You got to be willing to accept the things you don’t want to accept about yourself. You got a bad thing happen to you, you got to accept that. Right when it happened, I accepted it right away.”
Quillin said the fighter in him would say he could’ve kept on going, but he also knows that referees are there to help protect the fighters. That’s a reality that has hit boxers of late as they saw Prichard Colon — who like Quillin and Jacobs is with adviser Al Haymon — lose a fight in mid-October and be taken to a Virginia hospital for emergency surgery due to the head injury he suffered during the bout.
“Harvey [Dock, the referee] was definitely doing his job,” Quillin said. “As y’all can see if you follow me on social media, I was always sending prayers for Prichard Colon. I can never imagine being in that moment. It’s best that people like that who got those types of jobs do the best they can do so they can avoid situations happening like that.”
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 [email protected]