This was a breakout year for Peter Quillin, aka "Kid Chocolate," as he graduated from charismatic prospect to champ when he battered WBO middleweight titlist Hassan N'Dam at Barclays Center on Oct 20.
I checked in with Quillin (28-0, 20 KOs) to ask about his next gloveup, and see what the holidays might hold for this 29 year-old NYC resident.
"I'm fighting February 9th. I don't know yet against who; I'm ready for whoever," he told NYFightblog.
Former middleweight champion Jermain Taylor has been rumored to be Quillin's next dance partner. That potential pairing has drawn chatter in the Twittersphere, with some fight fans making clear they believe that is a mismatch, that Quillin is too strong for the 34 year-old Taylor, who retired following a KO12 loss to Arthur Abraham in 2009, and then came back two years later for one last go. Taylor (31-4) has been KO'd three times in his four losses, and suffered back to back stoppages to Carl Froch and then Abraham.
So, what if Taylor gets the call?
"He's still dangerous," Quillin said. "Anybody who puts on boxing gloves is dangerous."
One element of Quillin's breakout year was the just-released short film on the boxer which is running on Grantland. He tells how boxing became integral in his life after his dad went away for dealing and Quillin dealt with being hungry in an atmosphere of poverty and instability.
I always appreciate hearing this sort of story, because it helps explains the allure of boxing to some of those young folks who need an outlet, a reason for being, and might fall in between the cracks in school or not be fit to excel in team sports.
And what of holiday plans for Quillin?
"For the holidays, it'll be training, more training, and training some more," Quillin said. "No eggnog, no presents. ... The only gifts I want to receive are gloves, headgear, mouthpiece. I can't do anything 'til after the fight."