It’s the boxing equivalent of a buzzer-beater, a Hail Mary pass, a walk-off home run, all compressed into Andy Lee’s right fist.
It’s a thief, stealing victories from defeat.
In Lee’s last two fights, against John Jackson and Matt Korobov, Lee was behind on the cards, in danger of being outclassed, when he knocked both of them out with a right cross that crumbled the two as if they had just been whacked in the jaw with a tire iron instead of a man’s hand.
When Lee lands the punch in question, more often than not, it’s game over, time for spectators to start digging car keys out of pockets and head home.
Peter “Kid Chocolate” Quillin sees things differently, however.
When Quillin challenges Lee on Saturday night at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, in a fight that will be broadcast on NBC beginning at 8:30 p.m. ET/5:30 p.m. PT, he insists that he won’t make the same mistake that he believes both Jackson and Korobov did.
Basically, he won’t stop looking for the signature punch that Lee will be attempting to find him with.
“A lot of guys fight him and they become overconfident, because they think they’ve beaten him,” Quillin says. “They forget that the glory of boxing is that anybody can come back with one punch. It’s about being smart and being on your toes at all times.”
What’s more, the undefeated Quillin sees himself as a different caliber of fighter than Lee’s last two opponents, neither of whom who has taken on the level of competition that Quillin has.
“I think the chemistry of those other fighters is different from mine because I don’t have anything to prove to anybody,” he says.
In addition to Lee’s dangerous right hand, though, Quillin also has to contend with the longest layoff of his career up to this point.
It’s been nearly a full year since he last fought.
For Quillin, who both became a new father and dealt with the loss of a beloved uncle during that time, the break offered less of a physical respite from the rigors of the ring than a bit of mental rejuvenation.
“I think all-around that little time that I took off gave me a clearer sense of who I am,” he says. “It actually relieved a lot of the tensions that I had and let me free up all the negative stuff that I had surrounding me and make them positive. That’s why I am able to be who I am right now.”
Elsewhere, Quillin says it will business as usual—and by “business,” he means blasting dudes in the face.
“I’m not going to do anything different than what I’ve done in my previous fights, which is go out there and be the best at what I can do,” Quillin says. “It’s the Kid Chocolate show right now.”