Thursday, January 31, 2013
Quillin healthy, but put on shelf
By Dan Rafael
Anytime a fight is postponed because of an injury, it's a bummer -- for the fighter, his opponent, the fans and everyone involved in the event.
Training injuries are part of the hurt business of boxing. But it seems especially cruel when an entire card is postponed because of an injury to one of the main event fighters and the guys on the undercard are part of the collateral damage.
So when junior welterweight titlist Danny Garcia suffered a rib injury and his title defense against former titleholder Zab Judah -- the main event of a major Showtime card on Feb. 9 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. -- was postponed on Sunday until April 27, the fighters on the card who were perfectly healthy and deep into their training camps were also shelved.
One of those fighters was middleweight titlist "Kid Chocolate" Peter Quillin (28-0, 20 KOs), who had been scheduled to make his first defense, against Fernando Guerrero (25-1, 19 KOs), in the co-featured bout.
"I'm praying for Danny to get better, as well as for Zab and Guerrero to stay focused," said Quillin, who lives in New York but is in Los Angeles training at Wild Card Gym. "I'm praying for Guerrero to stay focused, too, because I'm coming for him on April 27."
Quillin has had injuries and layoffs, so he knows that what happened to Garcia could happen to any fighter. He took the postponement in stride.
"This is what I do, and things like this happen sometimes in boxing," Quillin said. "You never expect it to, but it does happen. I'm just rollin' with the punches. I'm setting up my schedule for the next 1½ months before I go back to camp. I'll be teaching four classes a week at the Trinity Boxing Club [in New York] for regular people [non-boxers]. They want to train with the champ. I want to keep my mind focused and stay sharp by being in the gym."
Said John Seip, Quillin's co-manager: "It's very disappointing considering the hard work and dedication that goes into preparing for a championship fight like this -- not only for my fighter, but for all parties involved. Peter was ready and he had only one week left in camp. Peter lost 18 months due to unforeseen injuries, so he accepts and understands that injuries are part of the game. Danny was a true professional who tried to get through his injury, but Garcia's team made the right decision.
"Injuries play a big part in professional athletics and some, like this, are unavoidable. A professional athlete needs to take news like this on the chin, no pun intended, remain focused and move on. It's the nature of the beast and must be accepted. Peter will be ready April 27, no doubt."