Peter Quillin packs a big punch that will soon be coming to the big screen. Grab some popcorn—and perhaps an enswell.
Last November, Quillin wrapped up two weeks of shooting for Bleed For This, a biopic based on the life of former 135- and 154-pound champ Vinny Pazienza.
In the movie, Quillin plays Roger Mayweather, who defeated Pazienza in a 140-pound title fight in 1988.
Quillin landed the role after reading for the part for director Ben Younger, best known for writing and directing crime drama Boiler Room.
To prepare himself for his acting debut, Quillin immersed himself in Mayweather’s career.
“I watched a lot of his fights,” he says. “He was a poised, focused fighter. Even when he gave interviews, he focused on everybody in the room and was strong with what he was trying to say.”
Still, Quillin wasn’t out to ape Mayweather or mimic his moves.
He says that he brought his own style to his portrayal of the former 140- and 147-pound champ.
“Only Roger Mayweather knows how to fight like Roger Mayweather,” Quillin says. “If I tried to imitate him too much, then I probably would have lost what it is they wanted in the part.”
Quillin has connections to Mayweather other than Bleed For This: They both hail from Grand Rapids, Michigan, and Mayweather’s older brother, Floyd Mayweather Sr., is a longtime family friend of Quillin’s who has helped him train in the past.
While no release date has yet been set for the film, which also features Whiplash star Miles Teller in the role of Pazienza alongside Katey Sagal, Aaron Eckhart and others. It’s expected to be in theaters sometime this year.
In the meantime, Quillin continues to train for his April 11 fight with 160-pound champ Andy Lee at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. The bout will be broadcast on NBC beginning at 8:30 p.m. ET/5:30 p.m. PT.
In their day, guys like Mayweather and Pazienza routinely fought on network television.
It’s fitting then, that Quillin is a part of its return.
“Now look where we’re at, we’re back at that point,” Quillin says of boxing’s re-emergence on TV. “It’s funny how everything comes full circle.”