This Friday night on Solo Boxeo Tecate, Peter Quillin looks to get back into the race with a fight in Reno against hometown favorite Jesse Brinkley. Training at Big Bear for the first time, Quillin is happy with the results.
"I came up here in good shape. Working at an elevated level is different. Great fighters have trained here like Oscar De La Hoya (his promoter). Shane Mosley and ‘Chop Chop' Corley came by to say hello. That meant a lot to me. I'm very fortunate to be in this situation," he said.
"I trained before in the Poconos (Mountains in Northeast Pennsylvania) but that's nothing like up here. The Poconos are maybe 2500-3000 (feel above sea level) but it is 7000 here. I was always training there for four or six round fights but this is a 10-rounder."
Quillin is also very happy with his team, though he's been missing normal lead trainer Freddie Roach, who has been busy training Manny Pacquiao for his May 7 fight with Shane Mosley, and was also recently tied up with Amir Khan, who fought on April 16. Eric Brown, Roach's chief assistant, has been handling Quillin's training day-to-day.
"I've trained for a lot of my fights like they were title fights. It was that way for my fights against (Antwun) Echols, (Dionisio) Miranda and (Sam) Hill," said Quillin. "Now, I have this great team that's more capable of taking me where I'm going. I've elevated my skills working with all of these guys.
"They've put together a great game plan for this fight. I'm not going to tell the world what it is but everybody will see Friday night what I'm capable of doing in the ring."
Brown is very confident in Quillin's chances against the veteran Brinkley. The trainer is also pleased with his charge's improvements during camp.
"I've been most impressed by his patience and ability. His overall game has really improved. When he first came to Wild Card, he was in decent shape but when he started working with his strength-and-conditioning coach it was evident right away. He's had world-class sparring at Wild Card," said Brown.
"His first fight (back), in Canada, was okay but it was hard to tell how much he'd improved because he knocked out his opponent in the first round," Brown said of Quillin's December 2010 knockout of Martin Desjardins. "His second fight (in February against Dennis Sharpe) was testimony to his conditioning. He was on another level. He's worked hard in the gym and I've seen a vast improvement, especially in his strength."
As for Brinkley, Brown says, "Jesse has been around for a while since 'The Contender.' He came to the Wild Card for sparring. He's a tough kid with a big heart - a fighter! He does nothing in particular very well but he's good with everything. He's not at Peter's level, though, mentally, physically or skill wise. Everybody will see that Friday."
Bad Left Hook will have live coverage on Friday night of the Quillin-Brinkley fight.