By Lem Satterfield
Junior welterweight contender, Lamont Peterson, told BoxingScene.com on Monday that he will retire from the sport if he were to lose his April 29 clash with Victor Cayo of the Dominican Republic in a bout that is slated for the Cosmopolitan Resort in Las Vegas.
The 27-year-old Peterson (28-1-1, 14 knockouts) made his assertion while preparing for the 26-year-old Cayo (26-1-1, 18 KOs) under the watchful eye of trainer, Barry Hunter, at the Head Bangers' Gym in Southeast of his native Washington, D.C.
Peterson-Cayo is an IBF eliminator bout, meaning its winner will be considered the mandatory challenger for a shot at 33-year-old IBF king Zab Judah (41-6, 28 KOs).
"What this fight means is, well, you know how they say in the playoffs? The winner goes home? Well, if I was to lose this fight, I really don't see me going on in this sport," said Peterson.
"No disrespect to Victor Cayo or anyone else like that. I just think that I'm the best in the division," said Peterson. "I've had a few kinks and setbacks getting to this point, but I still believe that I'm the best in the division."
Peterson is coming off of a 10-round, HBO televised, majority draw opposite 24-year-old southpaw counter part Victor Ortiz (28-2-2, 22 KOs), of Oxnard, Calif., this, after having arisen from two third-round knockdowns at the Mandalay Bay Hotel in Las Vegas.
Peterson was awarded the victory, 95-93, on the card of one judge, while the other two scored the fight at 94-94 draw with Ortiz, who will challenge WBC welterweight king, Andre Berto (27-0, 21 KOs), on Saturday night.
Peterson entered the bout with Ortiz after having earned April's seventh-round stoppage of Damian Fuller (30-8-1, 14 KOs).
Prior to that, Peterson had suffered his lone career defeat by unanimous decision to then-WBO king, Tim Bradley (27-0, 11 KOs), of Palm Springs, Calif.
Peterson was, nevertheless, offered a title shot against England's 24-year-old WBA king Amir Khan (24-1, 17 KOs), which he turned down.
Peterson did so, he said, because he was not satisfied with the amount of money being offered by Khan's Golden Boy Promotions, which also handles Ortiz.
So now, Peterson faces Cayo, who has scored knockouts in the second and first rounds, respectively, since, himself, being stopped in the sixth round in March of 2010 by then-WBA interim titlist Marcos Rene Maidana (29-2, 27 KOs) of Argentina.
"I believe that I should beat him. I'm not willing to take another setback in this sport," said Peterson. "This sport is not easy. I have trained and I have sacrificed a lot, and that takes a lot out of you."
In December, Maidana rose from a first-round knockdown before nearly stopping Khan during a unanimous decision loss. On Saturday night, Maidana overcame 34-year-old, three-division titlist, Erik Morales (51-7, 35 KOs) of Mexico to regain the WBA's interim title belt.
Many thought that the aging Morales was in way over his head against Maidana, whose triumph ended Morales' three-fight winnign streak.
Peterson said that he won't be around as long as Morales.
"I'm not one of those guys who is just going to sit around in the game and just be here. I need to progress," said Peterson. "And if I don't see myself going to that level next level, then I should just stop. So for me, this fight is all or nothing."