by David P. Greisman
It wasn’t much of a return for Anthony Peterson after an extended layoff, but it was a return nonetheless, two rounds with Dominic Salcido that ended with an abrupt technical knockout win this past Saturday night on the Atlantic City undercard to his older brother Lamont’s fight with Lucas Matthysse.
The end came because Salcido suffered what was believed to be a broken nose, though he could be seen protesting the stoppage in his corner. The win brought the 28-year-old Peterson to 32-1 with 21 KOs (Salcido is now 18-5 with 9 KOs).
Peterson was coming off an extended time away from the ring. His last appearance had been in December 2011, and that bout itself had been his first since his September 2010 loss to Brandon Rios.
Peterson spoke to BoxingScene.com afterward from ringside at Boardwalk Hall:
BoxingScene.com: What are your thoughts on how the fight went?
Peterson: “I thought the fight went according to. We went in there, Barry [trainer Barry Hunter] had a game plan, and I executed it as best as I could. … I know I’m a legendary fighter in the making, so definitely I want some of the champions in the lightweight division: Ricky Burns, Miguel Acosta and guys like that.
BoxingScene.com: You hadn’t fought in quite some time coming in, so what did you hope to get out of tonight?
Peterson: “Of course, we wanted the knockout. Everybody knows, knocking the doors down, that we’re back in the business, and that was that. If the knockout came, it came, but I’d rather get the rounds in, too, because I’ve been out for so long. So the knockout was definitely in mind.”
BoxingScene.com: This fight with Salcido ended abruptly. What happened?
Peterson: “His nose was broken. It was a jab. Once I hit him with the jab, his nose started leaking real fast. He was a game guy. He tried to fight.”
BoxingScene.com: You’ve got a Band Aid on one of your lower knuckles on your right hand. What happened?
Peterson: “It just happened before the fight, like 15 minutes before the fight. I cut my hand pretty bad, trying to open up some watermelon can, and it sliced me. I guess God wanted to mess with my mind just a little bit to see where I’m at.”
BoxingScene.com: You had quite a layoff. Why were you on the sideline for so long?
Peterson: “I’ve been boxing since I was 9 years old. Sometimes you can get bored with the sport. I’m not the first, the last and only. You know, there’s a lot of talent that lies in me, but at the same time you’ve got to know what you want out of boxing. Is it money, is it fame, or is it just the attraction? What is it that you want? I thought that time was needed. I had a lot of nagging injuries. You know, fighting in the amateurs, tournament after tournament, fighting 14 times in one year in 2006 [note: he fought seven times in 2006, and 10 times in 2005], injuries came back to haunt me. I became an older man. I knew that the time was needed to break, and that’s what happened.”
BoxingScene.com: What were the lingering injuries?
Peterson: “Something was wrong with my left knee. I kept getting it repaired. I think it’s OK. I thought, ‘We’re going to take this whole year off — last year — let it fully recover, and [then] we got a good seven years left in boxing.’
BoxingScene.com: What were your other lingering injuries?
Peterson: “My shoulder, knee, there was like three little nagging things that bothered me. Because we work hard all the time. We’re in there with lions every day: Adrien Broner, Rau’Shee Warren, Robert Easter, Lamont Peterson. It’s lions in there every day. You in there with lions every day, you bound to get wounded. I think that’s what happened.”
BoxingScene.com: You also said you were bored with the sport. Are you bored with it now?
BoxingScene.com: What brought your passion back?
Peterson: “Watching my brother [Lamont] beat Amir Khan, Dec. 10, 2011. I knew right then, when I fought Daniel Attah [earlier that night], my knee was still giving me problems. I was off 15 months before that fight. My knee was still giving me problems. So I said, ‘You know what, there’s no way we get this done unless we take this break.’ Because if you keep prolonging and say, ‘I’m OK,’ by the time you get to 32 you’ll be done. So what I did was go back to the drawing board, take my time, got my rest, and now I’m fully recovered and ready to go.”
BoxingScene.com: You said you had to decide what you want out of the sport. What do you want out of it for the next seven years?
Peterson: “I want two things: to not be forgotten. Immortality. With that, money, fame and all the rest of the stuff that come with it. I know that I’ll be the modern-day Bernard Hopkins of the lightweight division, because I don’t plan to move to 140 no time soon.”
BoxingScene.com: When are we going to see you back?
Peterson: “Hopefully next week (laughs). Hopefully next week, or whenever Barry sets something up. I’m on the job.”
BoxingScene.com: What’s your promotional situation right now?
Peterson: “Right now I’m being promoted by [Hunter’s] Headbanger Promotions.”
BoxingScene.com: Is there anybody you’re calling out next?
Peterson: “Ricky Burns. I want him so bad.”
BoxingScene.com: And how many fights do you need until you are in a title fight?
Peterson: “I’m a fighter. I’m supposed to say, ‘No more fights, just go straight to him.’ But realistically, maybe one more this summer, a more live guy than we fought tonight, and maybe by Thanksgiving or Christmas, we’ll be ready.”
David P. Greisman is a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. Follow David on Twitter @fightingwords2 or send questions/comments via email at [email protected]