Recently-crowned WBA/IBF junior welterweight champion Lamont Peterson recently shared with me his thoughts on his incredible upset over Amir Khan earlier this month and what the future may hold for him.
Peterson was pleased that the IBF didn’t order an immediate rematch between him and Khan and instead he is going to sit back, enjoy the holidays, and reevaluate everything in the New Year. If a fight with Khan doesn’t come across, there is no shortage of viable challenges lurking between 140 and 147 pounds for him.
A fight with WBO junior welterweight titlist Timothy Bradley is an intriguing option for Peterson, as the Palm Springs, Calif.-fighter was the first and only man to hand Peterson a loss in the professional ranks.
On December 12th, 2009, Bradley seemed to overwhelm Peterson early during their bout in Rancho Mirage, California as he scored a third-round knockdown to set the tone of the fight. And while Peterson would dig down to make a fight out of things, Bradley was simply sharper on this night and seized the initiative as he pulled out a clear unanimous decision.
Earlier this week I spoke with Peterson’s trainer Barry Hunter, who revealed that his fighter had a serious weight issue heading into the Bradley fight. Hunter pointed out that Peterson had gained nearly fifteen extra pounds of muscle and that the process of cutting the weight had taken a toll on Lamont by the time the fight rolled around.
Giving his take on the whole experience, Peterson concedes that he wasn’t the same fighter while in camp.
“Actually it wasn’t a great training camp,” said Peterson. “I didn’t look good at all. My sparring partners were beating on me. I couldn’t really do anything. It started off good but by the end of training camp I just burned out. Like I said, it was a struggle to do anything. Just hitting the bag was a struggle. I didn’t want to pull out of the fight, so I went in there and I still thought I could win but it didn’t happen.”
To their credit, there were no sour grapes from Peterson or Hunter, and they both gave Bradley credit for his victory. And while a rematch with his conqueror is something Peterson can’t overlook, he is still basking in the aftermath of the Khan triumph and can't really focus on his next fight.
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It’s worth noting that Bradley signed with Top Rank in late September and certainly could be in the running for a fight with WBO welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao sometime near the summer.
Pacquiao had been hoping for a meeting with Floyd Mayweather Jr. but the undefeated superstar was recently sentenced to an impending 90-day jail sentence in relation to a domestic violence case from last year. Mayweather is set to hit lockup on January 6th and very well may not get out until early April, leaving his proposed May 5th return up in the air.
Asked if he could see Bradley giving Pacquiao a challenge, Peterson showed some belief.
“He definitely has the talent and everything,” said Peterson. “And the will to win. A lot of people don’t like the way he fights, but his style is effective and he’s undefeated and he’s difficult to fight. He would give anybody, at junior welterweight or welterweight, a hell of a challenge.”