We in the media quite often overplay the “crossroads” angle. However on Saturday night, we fight fans do indeed have a crossroads bout that’ll play out in front of our eyes, as two 35-year-olds who have tasted the extreme joys of high level wins battle each other.
Chances are decent that the winner gets a title crack because this is an IBF super middleweight eliminator for Peter Quillin and Caleb Truax. (Caleb Plant is the current titleholder.) And the loser…well, depending on the manner in which the unfortunate athlete loses, could take two steps back.
The New York resident Quillin appeared on the Everlast “Talkbox” podcast and gave us a sense on where his head is this fight week.
“I just had a new daughter; her name is Lucia Quillin,” Quillin (34-1-1, with 23 knockouts) told us. “And it’s a very scary moment to have another daughter. I’m just trying to learn to evaluate the situation and stay focused on the fight and stay motivated because the victory is already won.”
New Baby daughter Lucia Quillin 8:50pm 7 pounds 6 ounces @MissAliB babes your a Queen pic.twitter.com/0CgmjASy3v
— Peter Quillin (@KIDCHOCOLATE) April 4, 2019
If you aren’t familiar with Quillin, he’s a character. He will talk about God-stuff; he will speak about the trials and tribulations of being a husband, father and role model. He’s introspective and, more than many public figures, will traffic in that inner-pondering. So an interview with Quillin can take unexpected turns – but we did focus on basics, like what he thinks of Truax (30-4-2, with 19 KOs), who downed James DeGale in a career-best turn, then dropped the rematch to the Brit.
“He’s a good fighter but it’s not him I have to worry about. I’ve fought at the highest level; I took defeat at the highest level. It’s a lot of good things that have happened in my career. I know I’m a hundred percent motivated and ready to go in this fight to secure a victory.”
The former 160-pound titlist decisioned J’Leon Love in his most recent outing and, point blank, I asked him: Is this a must-win? “Nah, I’m not thinking like that. I’m going in thinking that I’m a winner already…I’ve already proven that I’m a strong fighter. I got a good message and I gotta keep doin’ what I’m doin’.”
Quillin did note that in a recent “PBC Face to Face” show, he saw that Truax didn’t look him in the eye. Maybe that means something, maybe not. Maybe he’s just shy, Quillin shared with listeners.
The boxer now works with trainer Aureliano Sosa and this is his second camp with the the tutor. “Him as a trainer keeps me motivated to keep winning,” he stated.
The fighter was asked how much longer he’s doing the punch-for-pay thing. He said he hasn’t taken much punishment and believes he’s got some chapters left to write.
Quillin speaks to youth groups often and isn’t afraid to speak about his faith in a higher power. When asked how much longer he will stay an active fighter, he said he goes fight by fight. “I got a little more time left in the tank. I’m gonna take it punch by punch, one fight at a time. I just know that I’m trying to listen to God’s voice clearly, so when He does tell me to retire, I know that it’s His voice and not my own and just do the right thing for my career because my kids are dependent upon me to be there with them.”
He shared more about how he views his relationship with his God and then turned the tables on the interrogator. What do I think about The Wall, the call from President Donald Trump to set up stiffer impediments to people seeking to enter the United States? You can hear more from the convo here.
My three cents: This fight feels like a toss-up. I spoke to Truax too and asked both if they see this mash-up as a coin-flip fight. When athletes are 35, there is more of a chance that, on fight night, their best selves aren’t present. They can have worked their tail off and had a good camp but come out flat on fight night. So that possibility exists more so than if two younger guns are clashing. Are the stakes a bit higher in this one because this one could conceivably be the last one? Yes indeed; see how it plays out on FS1, Saturday night, if you like.
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