Peter Quillin found himself early in the week caught up in what has become a regular thing in boxing, a PED flap. His June 2 foe Winky Wright asked late in the game for testing, it seemed testing was done, then it was decided that testing wouldn't be done. Wright cried foul, Quillin returned fire ... but the ending is a happy one, in light of the fact that two recent high-profile scraps, Lamont Peterson-Amir Khan and Victor Ortiz-Andre Berto, were scrapped because of PED issues. This fight is on, and Quillin (age 28; 26-0 with 20 KOs; lives in N.Y., trains in L.A. with Freddie Roach) will take on the stiffest test of his seven-year pro career, in Wright (51-5-1), the 40-year-old future Hall of Famer.
Today, Quillin told me, he is centered and ready to rock, that the PED kerfuffle is over, in his mind. "I can't be pissed off because we're still fighting," Quillin said about the scrap which will run on Showtime. "I get paid still. I submitted my testing and blood and did everything that was required. We are past all that stuff now because the fight is Saturday."
Quillin tells me he is fully focused on Wright. But that doesn't mean in the recent past, he hasn't pondered what a win would mean to him, and what challenge he would next take on. If you scan the names on some of the top-10 lists of the various sanctioning bodies at middleweight, I suspect you will react as I did.
Some of the names on there are not even household names in their native lands. Avtandil Khurtsidze. Who? Billi Facundo Godoy. Who? Kerry Hope, Dominik Britsch. Who and who? These guys are top-fivers in the WBC, WBA and IBF.
"That's why we took the fight with Wright," Quillin said. "Those are names I can't pronounce. I never heard of those guys." He does know the name of the top dog at 160 according to the IBF, champion Daniel Geale. "If Geale wants to come to the US, we are willing to fight him," Quillin said, making sure to remind me that Wright is first on his to-do list.
My hunch is Quillin will be too much for Wright, and wouldn't it be nice to see Quillin challenging the 27-1 Aussie Geale, or another crownholder, at the Barclays Center in the fall?
He used to live in Fort Greene, and though he's moving into an Upper East side pad in a few weeks, Quillin has the personality that could and should draw Brooklyners. Now, Long Islanders might be another matter.
We were chatting about NYC and the boroughs. He said he loves the whole city and can even be persuaded to go to Long Island if the setup is right. "Long Island, I'll go for three girls," he said, chuckling, making clear he really has nothing against the Island. "Or one big chick! I'm just playin'. I go there to see friends, or to see boxing shows, too."
Quillin moved to NYC from Michigan when he was 18, and the city had him on the ropes for a bit. He needed to surf on sofas of friends when he couldn't get up enough green for rent for a spell. When his big break comes, you get the feeling he will soak it in and appreciate his good fortune.
"You go to New York, and stand outside, you see a million different faces. The next day you won't see the same faces. It makes you be aggressive. I consider New York my home town. It ain't where you from, it's where you at. I got a sublet in L.A., that's where I go to prepare to beat people up. But I'm a New Yorker."