Peter Quillin rose up the ranks in the early part of this decade, winning the WBO middleweight title from Hassan N’dam in 2012, putting N’dam on the canvas six times en route to a decision victory.
In 2015, he was matched with Daniel Jacobs in a Showtime main event from Brooklyn. It was a pretty highly-anticipated fight, seen as a good matchup for both of them.
But Jacobs trucked Quillin in 85 seconds that night, and then Peter Quillin all but vanished. He didn’t fight again for nearly two years, and didn’t take another serious fight until Aug. 2018, when he beat J’Leon Love.
On April 13, Quillin (34-1-1, 23 KO), now a super middleweight, returns against former 168-pound titleholder Caleb Truax (30-4-2, 19 KO) in a PBC on FS1 main event from Minneapolis, giving Truax home field advantage. There’s no getting around this as a fact: FS1 shows are for PBC’s second-tier main events. That doesn’t mean there aren’t good fights there — we saw one this past weekend between Sergey Lipinets and Lamont Peterson — but it’s a lesser stage.
And that illustrates where Quillin, 35, is at in his career. A few years back, he was a Showtime headliner. Now, he’s trying to fight his way back to that sort of stage. And Truax, also 35 and still a crafty fighter, is no easy out, no guaranteed win as a stepping stone back to the bigger cards. Quillin will have to be on his game.
Since it’s the last major memory he created for the majority of boxing fans, the loss to Jacobs still looms large when we think about Quillin. He sat down and spoke candidly about that experience in the video up top.
If you can’t watch it for whatever reason, here are some quotes from the interview:
“Every fighter, I believe, who’s undefeated, their whole fear is losing. But that wasn’t my actual fear. My fear actually was, like, me losing people that said they supported me for winning. I think that was my nightmare. And that’s exactly what happened.”
“My mind was definitely not there. It was, like, spaced off. It was my first big opportunity to be able to fight and showcase my talent on the highest level of my career in the Barclays as a main event.”
“There’s a lot of pressure I was dealing with. So many expectations to meet, so many requirements, and, like, in one moment, it was done.”
“It was early on hard to watch the fight, but now I can open up and watch that fight, because it was a very pivotal part of my career. It was one of the best life lessons that I ever learned. That’s something that nobody’s able to rob from me. A lot of trolls will even say, ‘You got knocked out, you got stopped.’ I hear it all the time. It’s not something that actually defeated me. In that one moment, I learned that you can lose on a worldly level, but you can actually win something. I won, definitely, a life lesson that it only takes a person that can lose on a platform like that to be able to learn. No regrets, no nothing.”
“What stuck out to me the most was how fast it ended. It was like a runaway train. I was on a collision course — whether it was gonna be on a personal level or a boxing level. I felt like my life at that point was spiraling out of control. I had a lot of problems, a lot of dilemmas, and everything came abruptly to a stop at that moment.”
“It shook me a little bit at times. I felt like, hey, maybe I should retire, but something in my mind was telling me, ‘You can’t retire after taking all of that. That’s a quitter. You don’t wanna do that.’ I don’t live with regrets. I don’t let regrets steer my life. I learned at a young age that dwelling in regret was something I didn’t ever want to do in my life.”
“I would have loved to have a rematch with Danny Jacobs, but I wouldn’t be able to do it at 160 pounds. The timing, the moment has to be right. It’s gotta be the right situation. It’s a lot of business that goes into it, the storylines gotta fit each other. And I also have to prove myself. Taking a loss like I did, I’m gonna have to have some top quality fights and go on and get a fight with Danny Jacobs. I think it’s more respectable for me to do it that way.”
“I’m actually more fearless (now), I’m definitely more dangerous. I already took a loss now, so it’s not a fear anymore, a fear of losing. I understand now, I’ve got a good perspective on that. So I think I’m a little bit more dangerous.”