Peter Quillin vacates WBO title, pulls out of Matt Korobov fight
Undefeated middleweight Peter Quillin announced on social media that he is vacating his WBO title, effectively pulling himself out of his scheduled Nov. 1 bout against mandatory challenger Matt Korobov.
Quillin (31-0, 22 knockouts) would have made a career-high $1.4 million payday against Korobov, an unbeaten former Russian amateur standout, due to the $1.9 million purse bid won by Roc Nation Sports last month.
Quillin posted this statement on his Twitter and Instagram accounts on Thursday:
“I would like to thank the WBO for allowing me to grace the ring and live out my dream of being a world champion. For nearly two years, I have held that title and I will forever hold this period in my career in high regard. Effective today, I will be vacating my championship belt. I have a strong team surrounding me and I trust they have big plans for my future. I appreciate the support my fans have given me and I’m grateful to the WBO for my run as a world champion. I look forward to my future endeavors in the ring. Thank you.”
There is speculation that Quillin’s manager Al Haymon orchestrated the move to prevent his client from fighting under the banner of Roc Nation, which is owned by Shawn Carter, AKA Jay-Z. The Hip-Hop, entertainment and sports entrepreneur is married to music diva Beyonce, who was once promoted by Haymon and who has been in involved in legal battles with the concert impresario-turned-boxing power broker.
However, it may not be personal. Haymon might just be looking out for his own interests and for Quillin, who could lose to Korobov (24-0, 14 KOs), a rugged southpaw technician who is promoted by Top Rank. Haymon also manages the WBA’s newly crowned “regular” titleholder Daniel Jacobs, who has made no secret of his desire to defend his belt against fellow New Yorker Quillin. [Editor’s note: THE RING and RingTV.com only recognizes Gennady Golovkin as the WBA middleweight titleholder.]
Jacobs-Quillin is a natural main event for Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, where Quillin-Korobov was to have taken place. Whether Quillin can make anywhere near $1.4 million challenging Jacobs remains to be seen.
A press release from Golden Boy Promotions, which promotes Quillin and Jacobs, stated that the 31 year old abdicated “in order to pursue bigger opportunities at 160 pounds.” A possible major matchup for Quillin, who made three defenses of the WBO belt against modest opposition, is a showdown with former junior middleweight champ Canelo Alvarez, the Mexican star who is promoted by Golden Boy Promotions.
“Roc Nation Sports wishes Peter Quillin good luck,” Roc Nation president Michael R. Yormark told RingTV.com in an email statement. “I’m sure he has a bigger pay day to have given up his title and $1.4 million. We will move on to the next fight to promote.”
Lem Satterfiled contributed to this report