By Rick Reeno
WBA/IBF junior welterweight champion Lamont Peterson (30-1-1, 15KOs) has some bright opportunities in his future. Peterson, who shook things up with a split decision win over Amir Khan on December 12th, has several possible fights in play.
There are several factors in the background which could affect Peterson's final decision. The WBA recently ordered an immediate rematch between Peterson and Khan. Besides the WBA, Khan filed an appeal with the IBF. A hearing is scheduled for January 18th.
If the IBF follows the WBA's lead and orders an immediate rematch, then Peterson will have to make a decision on whether he wants to fight Khan or pursue other opportunities. In pursuing those opportunities, Peterson will likely get stripped by both sanctioning bodies.
Peterson is also one of the four fighters being considered for Manny Pacquiao's tentative return on June 9th. The other three considerations include Miguel Cotto, Timothy Bradley and Juan Manuel Marquez. Floyd Mayweather Jr., according to Arum, is the leading option for Pacquiao's return, but very few people expect that fight to happen.
Top Rank's CEO, Bob Arum, advised BoxingScene.com that he would be willing to match Bradley or Marquez against Peterson - but everything depends on who Pacquiao will ultimately fight in the spring.
Marquez recently expressed an interest in fighting Peterson, and Bradley would make an interesting rematch. Bradley won a dominating twelve round decision over Peterson in 2009.
"Once we sort this out and we understand that Pacquiao is fighting Mayweather, or Pacquiao is fighting somebody else - that's my first priority. Then we'll look to offer [Peterson's manager] Barry [Hunter] a fight, either with Marquez if he's not in the mix with Pacquiao or with Bradley if he's not in the mix [with Pacquiao]. Obviously we would love to work with Barry and make him a big fight," Arum told BoxingScene.com.