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Articles of 2006

Classic Workout with Peter Quillin, aka Kid Chocolate



I set out for Brooklyn on the A train from 125th Street, only to find Gleason’s swathed in burgundy velvet curtains, heavy bags askew on the floor, and nary a trainer in sight. “TV shoot,” came the explanation. “Three days.”

I about-faced to Manhattan, emerged at Penn Station and walked to Crunch Gym on 38th Street. Luckily, I ran into trainer Colin Morgan just as he was arriving.

I met Colin over ten years ago when he joined forces with trainer Reggie Ford. Colin’s youthful face and trim body belie his age; the silver wisps that border his brow are the only physical hint that he is older than his fighters. He considers his charges as his “kids” with whom he shares his advice, philosophy, and merciless teasing.

Colin began his training career working with amateurs and over the years he imported and developed a number of Guyanese fighters, most notably cruiserweight Wayne Braithwaite. From a humble beginning, Morgan is now a known entity to the Don King organization and has run the boxing program at Crunch on 38th Street for two years.

He walked me past the check-in counter, and I headed for the third floor. The ring and heavy bags are surrounded by cardio equipment, and ceiling fans and techno music are always on. This is hardly a traditional boxing environment. But in spite of the purple, red and yellow décor, Morgan trains his fighters in “black and white.”

Along with amateurs and fitness buffs, Morgan works with pros including welterweight Chris “The Mechanic” Smith (20-2-1), and light-heavyweight Elvir Muriqi (30-3), known as “The Kosovo Kid” in the U.S., aka “The Kosova Kid” in his native Albania.

One of Morgan’s recent additions is middleweight Peter “Kid Chocolate” Quillin, (3-0, 3 KOs). Peter adopted his ring name from the late “Cuban Bon Bon” in reference to his father’s heritage. He is a long-limbed middleweight with enough meat on his thighs and upper torso to put some weight behind his punches. His legs can get him in and out of range quickly, but he is not a hit-and-run type boxer. And in spite of being high-waisted, Quillin is agile enough to dip and roll.

Several years ago, Quillin left home in Grand Rapids, Michigan, for New York. His plan was to make an impression in a few big tournaments and then turn pro. Peter made it to the quarter finals of the Golden Gloves but he fell out with his trainer, and then endured the “New York welcome” of seeking refuge on friends’ couches.

“I was trying to be a jack-of-all-trades: boxing, modeling, acting, business; but I was master of none.” Quillin attributed the turbulence in his life to a lack of focus. “As soon as I put boxing the center, everything came together. Now everything I do branches off of boxing.”

Currently, he teaches at an after-school boxing program and trains clients at Trinity Boxing Gym in lower Manhattan. Peter joined forces with Morgan about two years ago and turned pro last summer with his mom and family in the audience. He no longer has to wonder about the roof over his head and his brother has joined him in his Brooklyn digs.

All of Quillin’s fights have been on a televised series in Manhattan, where his fourth test is scheduled tomorrow. His skillfully executed KOs have impressed the tough New York audience, and fight-goers scramble to catch the eponymous treats Kid Chocolate tosses from the ring post-fight.

I stood ringside as Quillin worked with Chris Smith, and despite the difference in size and experience, both got in quality work under the Morgan’s watch. Smith spent the majority of the session fighting out of a crouch, and as his moniker suggests, was busy the entire time. Quillin circled and countered, while Morgan called for him to shift at the waist and mix up his targets.

Occasionally, Quillin’s eyes lit up and he threw a few hard shots, but he was quickly reigned in by his trainer. The fighters spent the entirety of one round working on the inside, where Smith was very much at home. Quillin heeded Morgan’s instructions to adjust his shoulder position, shift his head, spin his partner and follow up with punches.

“Those aren’t moves I want him to use in a four-rounder,” Morgan later explained. “But what I am teaching him now, he will put to use when we get to six, eight, ten-rounders. I’m not waiting until we get there to start teaching him.”

In contrast to this controlled laboratory session, two days later Quillin got in some intense rounds with middleweight Juan Cabrera, (4-0, 3 KOs), a Dominican also fighting on the same card.

Cabrera works with the trainer best known as “Diablo,” a short gentleman with salt & pepper hair and goatee. We met in the mid-90s at the late-110th Pct PAL boxing gym in Queens, where Diablo was a volunteer coach. He has a deep, throaty voice and enjoys a good laugh. When he worked our corners, Diablo hurled himself into the ring the moment the hammer hit the bell and immediately fired a water-mister straight up in the air as his fighter headed home. By the time the fighter was seated, gravity had pulled the cool refreshing cloud down on their head, and Diablo was already rubbing and reviving limbs.

Both Quillin and Cabrera were tightlipped as their trainers gloved and greased them in opposite corners while quietly delivering instructions. The session began with headhunting. Quillin used his speed and reflexes to fire four and five punch combinations when he saw openings, while Cabrera applied constant pressure coming forward with hard hooks. Cabrera’s style suited his solid musculature of round shoulders and biceps, and well-developed legs.

Quillin used Cabrera’s momentum to practice countering, and both fighters landed hard shots. While Cabrera favored hooks to the body and head, Quillin found success with his one-two. Occasionally, they intertwined in a clinch, but worked out cleanly.

Each man evoked the focus appropriate for a week from game day. There was no playing around, showboating or trash-talking. Whenever Cabrera was tagged, his eyes lit up, he grinned as if to show off his mouthpiece, and he proceeded forward again.

The fighters’ intensity grew with each round, and it transferred to their corners. Both trainers began the session audible to only their charges, but their voices grew louder and louder. By the fourth interval, Peter began spending more time against the ropes covering, rolling, and slipping. Perhaps he was waiting for Cabrera to punch himself out, but Morgan was not taken with this tactic. He yelled for his fighter to punch back and circle out. Once respectfully silent observers, Quillin’s teammates sensed the door had opened for their input. “Use the jab, Petey! Stop waiting! That’s it!  See?” they cried.

After the fifth or sixth, Diablo glanced across the ring and with a rhetorical half statement, half question asked “One more?” to which Morgan’s automatic and expected reply came, “One more.” These were respectful, matter-of-fact “one more”s, not taunting, sarcastic, or daring “One more??”s. Roughly translated, their exchange meant “We know our boys’ are almost pushed to their limit, but we can get one more decent round out of them before this sparring session becomes pointless.”

The fighters went at it knowing this was the last round. Both wanted to finish strong, but began to miss with wide swings. They maintained their focus and output, however, and as the session closed, the half dozen boxers ringside acknowledged the solid work they just witnessed. The gear came off, and Cabrera closed out by skipping. Quillin did a few rounds on the heavy bag before he cooled down and headed for the shower.

Post-workout, Quillin told me that greatest aspiration is to “minister to young people and people who may not feel they have anything going for them – to give them hope.” His trainer’s vision, however, is far more tangible. Morgan has his eye on getting Quillin to 10-0 this year, 18-0 by next year, then set for a title shot. He agrees that Quillin is talented, but adds “Petey’s strengths are his hunger and that he listens.”

Quillin won’t make any bold predictions about his performance tomorrow night, except that he “look[s] forward to putting on a great show and entertaining the New York crowd.” Morgan, more succinctly, says he wants Kid Chocolate to “get it over with as quickly as possible so we can get back in the gym and get ready for the next one.”

When Morgan and Quillin do head back to their uber-trendy training venue, the workout is guaranteed to be “classic.”

Articles of 2006

Peter/Toney Ii: Peter Has The Brutal Punch



Samuel Peter claims he has dynamites in my two hands?

Heavyweight contenders Samuel “The Nigerian Nightmare” Peter and James Lights Out? Toney get it on a second time this Saturday from the Seminole Hard Rock in Hollywood, Fla. (Showtime).

The hard-slugging Peter, unlike Toney, is one of those strong, silent types notorious for letting their fists to the talking one the opening bell sounds, but the Nigeria Nightmare is as confident as ever and determined to turn Lights Out’s lights out for good.

I have got dynamites in my two hands,? said Peter, according the Lagos, Nigeria Vanguard, and I will crush James Toney once and for all. The Toney camp made the mistake of their lives by protesting and seeking a rematch. I am ready to teach him a bitter lesson.?

Sam Peter walked away with the W for Peter/Toney I at the Staples Center in LA last September, but it was by disputed split decision a verdict so disputed, there was even a dispute about the dispute which forced the WBC’s hand into mandating Saturday’s rematch.

Samuel Peter is the biggest thing to hit African boxing since Ghanaian superstar Azumah Nelson rocked the feather and junior welterweight divisions. The President of the Nigeria Boxing Board of Control, Prince Olaide Adeboye, admitted, according to, We are rooting for Samuel Peter, of course. He is one boy we believe in to bring back the country’s lost glory in professional boxing. I am personally making arrangement to be at the ringside to see him fight Toney again. I was at the first fight in Los Angeles in September.

Peter has the brutal punch, and to me he was the clear winner of the first fight. But the WBC Board of Governors, of which I am a member, voted 21-10 for a rematch. There was nothing those of us Africans on the board could do in the circumstances. But I believe Peter will confirm he is better than Toney and will then go ahead to meet the champion and claim the belt for Nigeria and Africa.?

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Articles of 2006

Iceman Stops Tito Ortiz Win Streak



LAS VEGAS—UFC light heavyweight champion Chuck “Iceman” Liddell’s fists proved too much for Huntington Beach’s Tito Ortiz who was stopped in the third round before a sold out crowd at the MGM Garden Arena on Saturday.

The punching machine Liddell (20-3, 13 KOs) repeated his victory in UFC 66 over the much-improved grappler Ortiz who has improved his punching and blocking. Ortiz was trying to avenge his loss of April 2004.

Despite all the new weapons displayed by Ortiz it wasn’t enough as Liddell pummeled the former champion and retained his title with a technical knockout at 3:59 of the third round. Referee Mario Yamasaki stopped the bout.

“This was the most satisfying victory of my career,” said Liddell, 36, of Santa Barbara. “Tito came back real tough.”

Ortiz (15-5, 8 KOs), a former wrestler, worked on his boxing technique knowing he would need it against the former boxer Liddell. But Liddell’s experience allowed him to find the right moment to pounce on Ortiz.

“I had him hurt, I just kept throwing punches,” said Liddell who also knocked down Ortiz in the first round with a left hook.

Ortiz was gracious in defeat.

“Chuck is the best fighter Pound for Pound in the (mixed martial arts) world,” said Ortiz, 31, who suffered a gash on the side of his left eye from a punch. “I’m disgusted by myself. I let my fans down.”

Other bouts

Underdog Keith Jardine (12-3-1) knocked out Forrest Griffin (13-4) at 4:41 of the first round in their light heavyweight showdown. A right uppercut followed by a left hook wobbled Griffin who was sent to the floor by a barrage of punches. On the ground Jardine landed right after right until referee John McCarthy stopped the fight for a technical knockout.

“I couldn’t believe he was hurt,” said Jardine about Griffin who is known for his resiliency. “I was so nervous coming into this fight, but now I know I belong here.”

Canada’s Jason McDonald (18-7) choked out Chris Leben (15-3) in a middleweight bout that was up for grabs. Though Leben seemed to control the fight with stunning left hands, once the fight went to the ground McDonald managed a chokehold at 4:03 of the second round. Referee Steve Mazagatti saw Leben was unconscious and stopped the fight.

Former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski (12-5) caught Brazil’s Mario Cruz (2-2) with a sneak right hand while both were tangled on the ground. Then the Belarusian pummeled Cruz until referee Herb Dean stopped the fight at 3:15 of the first round.

Third season winner of the Ultimate Fighter television reality season Michael Bisping (12-0) of Great Britain won by technical knockout over Eric Shafer (9-2-2) at 4:29 of the first round. A knee knocked Shafer groggy then Bisping knocked him to the ground and pounded him. Referee Mario Yamasaki stopped the bludgeoning.

Thiago Alves (16-4) caught Peru’s Tony De Souza (15-5) with a knee as he attempted to dive for his legs in a welterweight contest. After that it was pretty much over as Alves pummeled De Souza at 1:10 of the second round forcing referee John McCarthy to halt the bout.

Gabriel Gonzago (7-1) proved too strong for Carmelo Marrero (6-1) in a heavyweight bout. At 3:22 of the first round Gonzago of Massachusetts manipulated his way into arm bar forcing Pennsylvania’s Marrero to tap out.

Japan’s Yushin Okami (19-3) pounded Georgia’s Rory Singer (11-6) into submission at 4:03 of the third round of a middleweight bout. Okami seemed the more-rounded fighter with effective kicks to the head and more accurate punching.

Christian Wellisch (8-2) jumped to a quick start with an accurate left hook that rattled Australia’s Anthony Perosh (5-3) in a heavyweight bout. During the first round it seemed the Sacramento fighter might end the fight but the Aussie hung tough. Wellisch won by unanimous decision.

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Articles of 2006

The Sweet Science P4P Rankings for Asia



There are claims that boxing is dying. Hogwash. The heavyweight division isn’t the only division in boxing and 2007 promises to be a banner year in boxing; especially for boxers hailing from Asia.

While Asia isn’t Vegas or Atlantic City, it is a region packed of diamonds in the rough; undiscovered gems and potential superstars who wait for their moment in the sun.

The Sweet Science P4P Rankings – Asia

1) Manny Pacquiao – There’s no way to dispute Pacquiao is the best fighter in Asia, if not all of boxing. He’s exciting, he wins with Je Ne Sais Quois and is definitely “the man” in boxing.

2) Pongsaklek Wonjongkam – Although his competition leaves much to be desired, his longevity and skills are undeniable. He is currently Thailand’s only world champion and is undefeated in ten years. Need I say more?

3) Chris John – A victory over Juan Manuel Marquez, however controversial, shows he belongs at the top of the heap. He easily outpointed Renan Acosta to close out 2006 and should have no trouble defending against Jose Rojas in February. A fight with Pacquiao would not be a good move on his part but a rematch with Marquez would not hurt – especially if he defeats the Mexican again.

4) Hozumi Hasegawa – Hidden away in Japan, Hasegawa is a sharp punching southpaw who put former champion Veeraphol Sahaprom to sleep. He recently bested Genaro Garcia and his herky-jerky style will give fits to any one who steps in the ring with him.

5) Masomori Tokuyama – Tokuyama has never shied away from a good fight and although he only fought once in 2006 (UD12 Jose Navarro), he ledger shows wins over Katsushige Kawashima (twice), Gerry Penalosa (twice) and In Jin Chi (twice). A fight with Hozumi Hasegawa is a distinct possibility in 2007.

6) Nobuo Nashiro – With only seven fights under his belt he took on WBA champion Martin Castillo – and defeated him. Although he’s only fought a total of nine fights, nearly all have been against quality opposition. A victory in a rematch with Castillo would cement his claim as the king of the 115-pound division.

7) Yukata Niida – This light-hitting minimumweight defended his title twice in 2006, winning a technical decision against unbeaten Eriberto Gejon (Tech Win 10) and the other on points over Ronald Barrera (W 12). Scheduled to meet Katsunari Takayama early next year – the best has yet to come for this WBA belt holder.

8) In Jin Chi – Won back the title he lost to Takashi Koshimoto in January from Rudolfo Lopez. While there’s little uncertainty to his skills, at thirty-three, 2007 may provide some insight as to just how much he has left.

9) Yodsanan Sor Nanthachai –Sor Nonthachai is an exciting, top-shelf fighter with an iron chin. Has no trouble making mincemeat of mid-level opposition and deserves a title shot in 2007. Time is running out.

10) Rey Bautista – He’s young, relatively inexperienced in big-time boxing, but will continue to shine in 2007. One of the better prospects in boxing, he should snag a title in 2007.

Asian Fighters Ranked in Ring Magazine

Pound for Pound:

Manny Pacquiao (Philippines): #2

Jr. Lightweight

Manny Pacquiao (Philippines): #1
Yodsanan Sor Nanthachai: #9


Chris John (Indonesia) #1
In Jin Chi (Korea) #3
Takashi Koshimoto (Japan) #5
Hioyuki Enoki (Japan) #7

Jr. Featherweight

Somsak Sithchatchawal (Thailand) #4


Hozumi Hasegawa (Japan) #2
Veeraphol Sahaprom (Japan) #3
Ratanachai Sor Vorapin (Thailand) #6
Poonsawat Kratingdaenggym (Thailand) #10

Jr. Bantamweight

Nobuo Nashiro (Japan) #1
Katsushige Kawashima (Japan) #7
Pramuansak Phosuwan (Thailand) #10


Pongsaklek Wonjongkam (Thailand) #1
Takefumi Sakata (Japan) #7
Daisuke Naito (Japan) #10

Jr. Flyweight

Koki Kameda (Japan) #1


Yukata Naiida (Japan) #2
Eagle Kyowa (Japan/Thai) #4
Katsunari Takayama (Japan) #5
Rodel Mayol (Philippines) #7

Boxing in Thailand

There’s no shortage of boxers in Thailand. With a huge pool of Muay Thai fighters to draw from and several talented amateur boxing prospects turning pro after the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Thailand seems destined to remain a boxing powerhouse in Asia.

The country is known for having tough, determined and disciplined fighters who give their all whenever the step in to the ring. However, consistently losing while fighting abroad and padding their records with no-hopers has done nothing to enhance their reputation.

Whether because of a lack of marketability, a lack of funds or their unwillingness to travel abroad, the vast majority of boxers from Thailand remain a mystery to fans in the west. If anything though, the boxing scene involving Thai fighters will be active. In fact, it’s one of the most active in the world; since 2000, the number of fights has nearly doubled in the country.

The Sweet Science P4P Rankings – Thailand – August 2006

1) Pongsaklek Wonjongkam
2) Poonsawat Kratingdaenggym
3) Somsak Sithchatchawal
4) Wandee Singwancha
5) Sirimongkol Singwancha
6) Yodsanan Sor Nanthachai
7) Veeraphol Sahaprom
8) Pramuansak Phosuwan
9) Terdsak Jandaeng
10) Oleydong Sithamerchai

Current Sweet Science P4P Rankings – Thailand

1) Pongsaklek Wonjongkam (Flyweight) – Definitely the top dog in Thailand

2) Yodsanan Sor Nanthachai (Super Lightweight) – He’s a seasoned fighter who has proven himself in the big-time. He’s one Thai who can fight outside of Asia. He has an abundance of skills and one-punch power. His overall ability and ease in dispatching anyone other than championship caliber get him the runners-up spot.

3) Poonsawat Kratingdaenggym (Super Bantamweight) – After losing to Vladimir Sidorenko he’s bounced back. He’s young, he can punch, but the former interim champion needs to prove himself against a name fighter.

4) Somsak Sithchatchawal (Super Bantamweight) – Was his win over Monshipour a fluke or was Celestino Caballero just that good? Did Sithchatchawal catch Monshipour at the right time and can he rebound from the devastating loss? The jury is still out.

5) Wandee Singwancha (Flyweight) – He doesn’t have much of a punch which will be his downfall in the end. He can box, as was evidenced in his recent victory over Juanito Rubillar, but this won’t be enough. He can no longer make the Jr. Flyweight limit and with no punch he’ll have a hard time competing against the “big boys.” Although he’s now rated second by the WBC, he doesn’t deserve to be.

5) Sirimongkol Singwancha (Super Lightweight) – Get this guy a fight. He’s better than Jose Armando Santa Cruz and would have beat up Inada had the fight taken place. He’ll fight anyone but his biggest obstacle is staying motivated fighting tomato cans in Thailand. Like many Thais, he needs a fight against a name opponent.
6) Wandee Singwancha (Flyweight) – He doesn’t have much of a punch which will be his downfall in the end. He can box, as was evidenced in his recent victory over Juanito Rubillar, but this won’t be enough. He can no longer make the Jr. Flyweight limit and with no punch he’ll have a hard time competing against the “big boys.” Although he’s now rated second by the WBC, he doesn’t deserve to be.

7) Pramuansak Phosuwan (Super Flyweight) – A genuine tough guy. Always calm and focused no matter how heated the battle. But at thirty-eight, he’ll be in trouble should he fight one of the division’s elite.
8) Veeraphol Sahaprom (Bantamweight) – Will be lucky to get another crack at the title. Although he has a puncher’s chance of winning a belt, that’s about all he has left at this point. A third shot at Hasegawa is unlikely.

9) Oleydong Sithamerchai (Minimumweight) – He’s fought better than the usual opponents faced by Thais at his level and he moves up one spot with the departure of Terdsak Jandaeng. He lacks the punch and is in the wrong division to become a superstar. He’ll need to defeat a name opponent to convince me.

10) Saenghiran Lookbanyai / Napapol Kittisakchokchai (Super Bantamweight) – These two square-off in early March, supposedly to see who deserves a shot at Israel Vasquez. Kittisakchokchai has the edge in experience but some feel Lookbanyai has the edge in heart and is the favorite.

Neither has defeated a top twenty fighter and yet are ranked number one and two respectively in the WBC’s world.

In Kittisakchokchoi’s lone shot at the big-time, he was TKO’d in 10 by Oscar Larios. His dreadful performance against Larios and lack of quality opposition leads me to believe Saenghiran might have more of a shot at beating him than some suspect. Regardless, neither of them lasts longer than six rounds with Israel Vasquez.

Honorable Mention: Wethya Sakmuangklang, Denkaosan Kaovichit, Devid Lookmahanak, Nethra Sasiprapa, Chonlatarn Piriyapinyo, Pornsawan Kratingdaenggym

Thai Fighters Ranked in Ring Magazine

Pongsaklek Wonjongkam: #1 Flyweight
Pramuansak Phosuwan: #10 Jr. Bantamweight
Veeraphol Sahaprom: #3 Bantamweight
Ratanachai Sor Vorapin: #6 Bantamweight
Poonsawat Kratingdaenggym: #10 Bantamweight
Somsak Sithchatchawal: #3 Jr. Featherweight
Yodsanan Sor Nanthachai: #9 Lightweight

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