Former middleweight champion's move back to New York to be closer to his family, coupled with his increased religious faith has reinvigorated the Brooklyn native as he prepares for his PBC on FOX bout this Saturday night.
Peter Quillin had no control. The former middleweight champion from Brooklyn, N.Y. freely admits it. His mind and commitments were scattered in the breeze, his attention to his craft was floating away out there with everything else. “Kid Chocolate” also had no chance, too. The perception locked into people’s heads of a crying Quillin after beating Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam for the WBO middleweight title in October 2012 was fleeting reality.
The deeper, darker truth was ahead.
There was no way he was going to beat Danny Jacobs when the two met on December 5, 2015, at Barclays Center, in Brooklyn, N.Y. Quillin was already knocked out in his head and his heart even before “The Miracle Man” KO’d him in the very first round.
“Those were some really, really dark times that out of frustration I got so depressed I had suicidal thoughts about how I was going to kill myself; suicidal thoughts of what would be an easy way out, like jumping out a window, or going to the bridge and jumping off the bridge,” Quillin recalled. “I started seeing a therapist, and maybe it was the money I was making that was messing up my mind. I told him that’s what I was seeing. He said to me the battle is real, but so is the victory. That hit home for me.
“I lost that Jacobs fight before I even stepped in the ring that night. Everything was happening before that fight, and it started happening when I had that success. I’ve found God and I’m in the best place in my mind.”
That will hopefully carry over and surface when Quillin (33-1-1, 23 knockouts) takes on J’Leon Love (24-1-1, 13 KOs) in a 10-round super middleweight fight this Saturday night on a FOX-televised card (7:30 p.m. ET/4:30 p.m. PT) from the Nassau Coliseum, in Uniondale, New York.
Quillin is 35 now and feels he had to start from the bottom to begin working his way back up. Kid Chocolate felt there was some betrayal within his own family, with the team of people that formerly surrounded him. Quillin has a new trainer, Aureliano Sosa, who works with Chris “Lil B-Hop” Colbert, and he has thrown himself into a more positive side.
The Jacobs’ loss set him so far back that he contemplated retirement.
“I felt decisions had to be made right there [after the Jacobs’ loss], and I remember coming home thinking maybe retirement was the only option, that’s how badly I felt,” Quillin recalled. “But I didn’t want go out that way. It would have made me look real bad to retire after losing like that. It would have been real whack.
“I needed to have closure in my career. Working with Sosa has given me a new, and different set of motivations. Before I was a father, I thought for myself. I wanted to become a champion, and when I had kids, I began thinking of bigger things. The worst thing that happened to me was letting people tell me what sacrifices I had to make to provide for my family.
“I go now to God for everything. I turned down a lot of money to do different things. I had the best training camp of my career with Danny Jacobs, and I still lost. I did find out what the word loyalty means to me, because there were a lot of people who were loyal to me weren’t. I had no business fighting Danny Jacobs at the weight I was fighting him. I came down from 195 pounds to 159 to fight Danny Jacobs.
“ I lost that Jacobs fight before I even stepped in the ring that night. Everything was happening before that fight, and it started happening when I had that success. I’ve found God and I’m in the best place in my mind. ” Former Middleweight Champ Peter Quillin
“I had people in my ear giving me some bad advice. I trained to get in shape, not to be boxing-ready. Look how sick I looked before the Jacobs’ fight.”
Quillin said a great presence in getting him right was Virgil Hunter. The veteran trainer instilled some of Quillin’s old discipline. He got Kid Chocolate to start believing in himself again. Quillin made the move away from Hunter for this fight more so because of geography than what Hunter brings. Quillin’s found stable support at home in Brooklyn with his children around, rather than what he felt would be the hardship spending time away from them in California, where Hunter is based.
Quillin refers to Hunter “like a father to me. Virgil was like a dad I didn’t have, because my dad was more like my friend growing up. My dad at a young age let us do stuff like smoke cigars in the house. That’s how I grew up. Virgil brought that discipline I needed back into my life. He brought God into my life.”
What Quillin could use right now is a victory into his boxing life.
Quillin’s eight-round decision win over Dashon Johnson in September 2017 marked his first fight back in two years since the Jacobs loss. He’s more comfortable at 168 pounds and he vows the Kid Chocolate of before will definitely make an appearance against Love.
“Pressure bursts pipes, and I have God in my circle; I bowl with God,” Quillin said. “That means what is right is right, and what’s wrong is wrong. I carry my Bible with me and read it every day. Nothing I do now will cause me to go into anything sinful in my life. I don’t think sinfully.
“I’m telling you the old Peter Quillin will be back against Love. There is nothing more special than a comeback story. Losing Danny Jacobs was only part of my comeback trial. I’m in animal status. I’ve been destructive in my training and everyone will see fireworks in early-August.”
For a closer look at Peter Quillin, check out his fighter page.