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Hopkins vs Shumenov: Peter Quillin credits Hopkins as a teacher, ready to face Konecny

Peter Quillin is getting ready for his April 19 title defense against Lukas Konecny, and says that he's learned a lot about fighting and managing his business from Bernard Hopkins.

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Peter Quillin will be the big favorite on April 19, when he faces Czech veteran Lukas Konecny in Washington, DC, in a WBO middleweight title fight on the Hopkins-Shumenov bill. But Quillin says he's just going about business as usual, preparing for his title defense, and not taking his opponent lightly.

"I can look at any fight and say that they're dangerous, because, like for instance, I don't really know anything about Lukas. I just know that I've seen some videos of him and he seems very determined and he brings a lot of pressure," Quillin said on a conference call this week. "I just think I have to really focus on what he's going to bring, because anybody is very dangerous, especially when they're fighting for a world title.

"I'm an American star. This guy is a European star, and he's pretty big in the Czech Republic and everybody seems to know him. Being a world champion doesn't mean that I just fight guys in America or guys that American fans are familiar with. I think a world title-holder fights everybody across the world to be able to bring the best out."

Konecny (50-4, 23 KO) said he believes that Quillin (30-0, 22 KO) has a weak defense and some vulnerabilities that he can expose with his pro and amateur experience, but Quillin isn't worried about any of that.

"Everybody can judge me off of whatever performance they've seen from me, but, like he said, he has 250 amateur fights and 50 professional fights. I only have 15 amateur fights and I have 30 professional fights, and I think that's special within itself," Quillin said. "Being one of the first guys to ever put Winky Wright on the canvas; I think I have a lot to show for my work and dedication to boxing. I think it was very special that a lot of guys see the flaws in me, but once they actually step in there with me I fight totally different than they expect. That goes for Hassan N'Dam, Gabriel Rosado, Fernando Guerrero, all these guys that have all the experience to be able to go in a fight and say they can beat me."

The 30-year-old Brooklynite is also excited to be fighting on a Bernard Hopkins card again, and credits Hopkins with helping teach him the business outside of the ring, and how to stay on top of everything.

"For me, just looking at it as a business, that part is great promotion for me, to be able to get for somebody that held the same belt and is creating legendary status every time he steps out there," said Quillin. "A lot of guys criticize me for not having a main event, but, like I said, fighting on a Bernard Hopkins undercard like this, I learn valuable things outside the ring with Bernard, I catch moments with Bernard all the time, and I'm very thankful to be able to be part of this card. My first being in D.C., I almost thought about changing my name to the 'Capital Kid', because going up in there to fight on Bernard Hopkins' undercard is a privilege to me, and I'm just very thankful."

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