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A. Peterson wants Crawford, Figueroa, Abril, Vazquez

by David P. Greisman

It’s been a while since Anthony Peterson has been in title contention in the lightweight division — dating back to September 2010, when he fought Brandon Rios in a title eliminator and lost by disqualification for repeated low blows.

He’s still in the process of building back up, having been in just four bouts since. Two of those have come in 2014, though, and Peterson is now working with powerful adviser Al Haymon and says he’s without injuries. He’s looking to be back in the ring before the year is out, and hopes to soon be challenging any of the beltholders at 135.

“There’s a lot of good talent in the lightweight division. I really like Terence Crawford. That’s my favorite fighter in the lightweight division,” Peteson told reporters after his win Saturday night over Edgar Riovalle at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. “Face him, look at him, it don’t matter. Overall, I like him as just an individual and a fighter.”

He didn’t want to narrow his list down to one opponent, though.

“I don’t want to leave nobody out — Omar Figueroa, Richard Abril. Miguel Vazquez, he’s real awkward. A lot of people think that he can’t be beat, so I think that I’ll be the one that beat him.”

Crawford, he said, has “got original, old-school style. He can throw pure punches. And he got heart. I love anybody that got heart, even though he gonna face me one day, but I still like the way he do his thing. I think he the toughest challenger at 135. Figueroa’s tough, but not as tough as Crawford.”

Peterson was 137 pounds on Saturday night, while Riovalle was quite overweight at 144.4. The 29-year-old from Washington, D.C., says he’d prefer to stay at lightweight and not move up or down.

“I only walk around 144, 143,” he said. “A lot of people been telling me to go down to 130, but once I get down to 134, I’m depleted. There’s nothing left. I think at 135, I think I’ll be around until I’m 37 or 38 [years old].”

What will Peterson need to do to get that title shot?

“Just keep my fingers crossed, keep knocking on doors and putting up performances like this,” he said.

Pick up a copy of David’s book, “Fighting Words: The Heart and Heartbreak of Boxing,” at http://bit.ly/fightingwordsamazon or internationally at http://bit.ly/fightingwordsworldwide. Send questions/comments via email at [email protected]

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