By Jim Dower: Former WBO middleweight champion Peter “Kid Chocolate” Quillin (31-0-1, 22 KOs) will be fighting in the super middleweight division for his next fight on September 12th against 23-year-old Michael Zerafa (17-1, 9 KOs) in a scheduled 10 round bout on Premier Boxing Champions on NBC at the Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, Connecticut. Quillin, 32, will be fighting Zerafa at a catch-weight of 163 pounds, a weight that Quillin isn’t sure that he can make.
Quillin failed to make the 160lb limit in his last fight against WBO middleweight champion Andy Lee last April.
Quillin weighed in at 160.5lbs, and he wasn’t eligible to win the title. The fight ended up as a 12 round draw after Quillin ran out of gas in the 2nd half of the fight. Quillin started out strong in the first three rounds in knocking Lee down twice, but after the 3rd round, it was all downhill for Quillin. He was quite fortunate to get a draw out of the fight.
“I’m going to try my hardest and try to make that weight but I won’t kill myself,” said Quillin via Fightnews.com. “I’ve been the same weight since I was 18 years old. I’m 32 now and I’m getting older so the weight is not coming off the same like it did as a young man that I was once before. We still got a lot of time because the fight that I’m really worried about right now is Michael.”
Where Quillin may have hurt himself was taking a year off from boxing after his April 2014 fight against Lukas Konecny. Quillin vacated his WBO 160lb title after that fight rather than take on his then No.1 challenger Matt Korobov. After Quillin came back 12 months later, he failed to make weight for the Lee fight.
It’s understandable why Quillin may have problems making weight because he had been out of the ring for an entire year, and he was probably not exercising as hard as he had been while he was still fighting. Now his metabolism has possibly slowed down due to his inactivity and he’s now struggling to take weight off.
If Quillin does have to move up to the super middleweight division, he’s going to find it difficult to compete against guys like George Groves, Arthur Abraham, Andre Ward, James DeGale and Badou Jack. If Ward moves up in weight to the light heavyweight division, then Quillin will have a chance of moving in and grabbing one of the WBA titles. If Quillin’s stamina is better in the 168lb division than it was at 160, then he could reinvigorate his career at super middleweight, but that remains to be seen.
Provided Quillin wins his fight against Zerafa, he’ll next be fighting for a world title against WBA World middleweight champion Daniel Jacobs three months from now in December. However, with Quillin not a sure thing to make weight for his fights in the 160lb division, he may wind up just fighting Jacobs without the title being up for grabs. It would still be an interesting fight even with the WBA title not being on the line. Jacobs is seen as a paper champion anyway because the real champion is Gennady Golovkin, the WBA Super World middleweight champion.
“I’m trying to keep my mind focused just on Michael because I know everybody’s looking to make a name for themselves, including him,” stated Quillin.
Instead of Quillin fighting Jacobs, he should be looking to fight Golovkin, because he’s much more popular than Jacobs right now. If Quillin wanted a big payday, he should be looking to fight Golovkin. Granted, Quillin would likely be knocked out, but he’d still get a nice payday out of the fight and he could then move up to the super middleweight division after that. Quillin could blame his loss to Golovkin on his struggles to make the 160lb limit.
I think it’s much smarter move for Quillin to cash out with a Golovkin fight than it would be for him to take on a paper champion like Jacobs. Quillin is undercutting himself by aiming low rather than high for his December fight. But at this point it might not be easy for Quillin to get a fight against Golovkin, because the Kazakhstan star is looking to fight the winner of the Saul “Canelo” Alvarez vs. Miguel Cotto fight, and that would be a much bigger fight for Golovkin than it would be for him fight an ex-world champion who can no longer make the middleweight limit.