Peter Quillin not concerned about making a statement against Michael Zerafa

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Fighters love to talk about “making a statement.” You can make the argument that how you win is almost as important as whether you win.

Peter Quillin and Michael Zerafa

Former 160-pound world champion Peter Quillin, left, says he's not looking past Michael Zerafa heading into their fight Saturday in Mashantucket, Connecticut. (Suzanne Teresa/Premier Boxing Champions)

You can make it, but Peter Quillin isn’t buying it.

When Keith Thurman made Luis Collazo quit on his stool after the sixth round in July, the chatter wasn’t so much about how Thurman racked up yet another stoppage win, but about how he didn’t get it done sooner. Or how Collazo, even though he was a veteran and former world champion, exploited Thurman with a solid body shot earlier in the fight.

Quillin just shrugs.

“Every fight is different. Every round is different,” he said. “You fight one round, you come back the next round and you can get hurt. A lot of people look at Thurman as being Superman, but only Superman was Superman: Didn't Superman have Kryptonite? Nobody in life is perfect.”

So when Quillin meets Michael Zerafa on Saturday night at Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, Connecticut (NBC, 4 p.m. ET/1 p.m. PT), he won’t be worried. The former 160-pound world champion is ready to take care of business against an opponent he admits he doesn’t know much about.

That’s not to say Quillin is taking Zerafa lightly, but he knows that the position he’s in as one of the top fighters in his division can add an extra layer of pressure to contenders looking to elevate their status.

“I know he’s Australian. I heard he was a stripper. I don’t have the right to talk bad about anybody, though. I’ve got to give him respect. I proved myself against everyone I stepped in there with and built a healthy following from that,” Quillin said. “The same thing can happen with this guy. That’s why I treat everyone as seriously as I do.

“I think the thing now is a guy being too much of a fan of mine. You get guys that come in there with too much respect. I don’t think that helps win fights. I don’t know how many times [Zerafa has] been out of Australia or to the U.S., but when guys come here they get shocked about being in the U.S. and they forget what they’re here for.”

At Friday’s weigh-in, Quillin came in at 160 even, while Zerafa was 162 for their 163-pound catchweight bout. Aside from a potential showdown with Daniel Jacobs later this year at 160, Quillin said that he could be moving up to 168 at some point in the not-too-distant future.

“You can only do what you’re body is able to do,” Quillin said. “There’s a lot more things I have to do to make the weight. I have to stay in shape all the time. I have to work out all the time. I had a baby, too, and you gain weight from having the baby. It’s like sitting around, eating his leftovers or whatever.

“For me, it’s about focusing on what’s at hand, and time is going to tell you in that moment. Me moving up, the time to do that, I'll know when it’s close to the moment to make a decision.”

For complete coverage of Quillin vs Zerafa, make sure to visit our fight page.

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