By Lem Satterfield
BoxingScene.com found junior welterweight contender, Lamont Peterson, during a Monday workout at the Head Bangers' Gym in Southeast of his native Washington, D.C.
The 27-year-old Peterson (28-1-1, 14 knockouts) is preparing for an April 29, IBF title eliminator bout against 26-year-old Dominican Republican contender Victor Cayo (26-1-1, 18 KOs) that will take place at the Cosmopolitan Resort in Las Vegas.
The Peterson-Cayo winner could earn a shot against 33-year-old IBF king Zab Judah (41-6, 28 KOs).
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.
Peterson entered the bout with Ortiz after having earned April's seventh-round stoppage of Damian Fuller (30-8-1, 14 KOs), this, helping him to rebound from a December, 2009 unanimous decision loss to then-WBO king, Tim Bradley (27-0, 11 KOs), of Palm Springs, Calif.
Peterson is facing Cayo after having turned down a title shot against England's 24-year-old WBA king Amir Khan (24-1, 17 KOs) over a disagreement regarding Peterson's purse.
Cayo has scored knockouts in the second and first rounds, respectively, since, himself, being stopped in the sixth in March of 2010 by then-WBA interim titlist Marcos Rene Maidana (29-2, 27 KOs) of Argentina.
In this Q&A, Peterson shared his thoughts on Khan as well as his match up with Cayo, who has spent some time training alongside southpaw WBC middleweight king Sergio Martinez (47-2-2, 27 KOs).
BoxingScene.com: Can you revisit your reasoning behind turning down the Amir Khan fight?
Lamont Peterson: The reason that I turned down the Amir Khan fight, you know, it's like I tell everybody. I love boxing. Boxing is what I love to do, and I would do it for free.
But I understand that it is a business. And, there is money involved. And if I can't get the share of money that I believe that I deserve from a fight, then I would just as soon leave it alone.
If I have to take a fight, you know, that fight was worth a lot of money. You know, a lot of money was going to be made for several people.
It's no reason for me to take the short end of the stick. You know, I'm the one that's going in there and fighting when everybody else is walking away with nice paychecks.
I'm not so much worrying about what Amir Khan was getting, but the fact that it was going to be on a pay per view with England's Sky Television as well as HBO.
So I knew that there was going to be money coming in from all over in England, and that there was going to be a big stadium. There was going to be money made all over the place, and I shouldn't have to take the short end of the stick.
BoxingScene.com: I understand that you were offered $300,000?
LP: Yes, that was it, you know, it was $300,000. I know that that was going to be the most money that I've ever made and everything, and I probably would have taken the first offer. But then, they started talking about a rematch.
And even on the rematch, I was going to have to take the same thing? That's just crazy. I mean, at that point, I'm coming in as the champ, and all of this.
But you've already negotiated in the contract that I have to take the short end of the stick again? That's crazy.
BoxingScene.com: Is it true that, according to your attorney, Jeff Fried, it was the Amir Khan-Golden Boy Promotions side which first raised the notion of a rematch?
LP: I never brought up the rematch clause. Once we had kind of conceded that we were going to agree to the initial terms, then they threw that in about a rematch.
And then, after that happen, I was just like, 'Nah.' So, you know, it was just a crazy negotiations game, and at that level, you know, it gets hard.
It surprised me that they brought up the rematch. If it's a good fight, and, you know, a close fight, then you can worry about the rematch after the fight.
There's no need to put a rematch in before the fight. Let us just fight. But that just put added more pressure and more confusion to the negotiations.
That's how fights fall out sometimes. I mean, it was a situation where we had agreed to the terms, and then, at the last minute, when we don't have a lot of time left, they just threw something in at the last minute of negotiations.
BoxingScene.com: Why do you believe that the rematch clause came into play?
LP: Maybe Golden Boy thought that he was going to lose. Maybe that's the reason they came up with the terms. But I understand that it's a business, and if their fighter falls, they don't want to fall out of the game.
BoxingScene.com: You fought Victor Ortiz while you were not feeling at your best?
LP: I had to go back and watch the tape actually, because I didn't remember much of the fight, I was so focused. For some strange reason, a day or two before the fight, I got very, very sick and I had, like, a cold or the flu.
I was debating really strongly not to fight at all. But I said, 'You know, people are here to see me fight, and this is a big opportunity,' so I decided to go on with the fight.
But actually, from the second or third rounds, I don't remember much of the fight.
BoxingScene.com: What got you through the fight?
LP: It was just me having been around the game, and listening to my trainer, that's what got me through the fight. I was just out there fighting and I really didn't know at the bell if I had won at the time.
But after I did go back and watch the fight on tape, I thought that I had won the fight.
BoxingScene.com: In what ways did you feel that you should have been declared the winner against Victor Ortiz?
LP: I think that when Victor gets hurt, he has a tendancy to show it, and I think that that's what happened. When he hit me, he hurt me, and he put me down.
But as soon as I got up, you know, the second time, he sort of came at me, but I was able to catch him coming in with a punch that I saw and after that, he kind of backed up.
After that, I saw with him, instead of coming forward to take advantage of the fact that I was hurt, he would sort of back off when he got hurt.
That gave me time to recoup and I got it together and I started to get counter shots in throughout the fight. I felt like I won the majority of the rounds, so I thought that I won.
BoxingScene.com: Do you feel that you proved anything to yourself, if not others with that draw against Victor Ortiz?
LP: I can't say that I have or that I did. I just believe that I can beat anybody. I mean, I truly believe that. Like I said, any time that I've had a loss or a draw along the way, I don't want it.
I want to win. That's my big thing right now. And if I can't put a string of wins together, then I will just step aside and leave this game alone. It's not worth it.
I definitely do not see any signs of myself losing a step, like some people say that the feel that they do when they say that it's time to retire.
And I do feel that there is room for me to get better. But at the same time, I have a lot of belief in myself. I am, however, a person who keeps it real with myself.
So far, on the top level, I'm pretty much 0-1-1. I haven't got a big win yet, so, you know, I just want that win. I want to go on to win world titles.
I want to do what I set out to do, and that's to become one of the world's greatest fighters.
BoxingScene.com: Do you have any problem fighting Zab Judah for the title if you defeat Victor Cayo, being that you and Zab have a decent relationship?
LP: Me and Zab are really really close. I was one who came down to help him spar when he was getting ready to fight Floyd Mayweather and when he was getting ready to fight Miguel Cotto.
So, you know, throughout the years, I've become really good friends with Zab, his family, his brothers, and his father. I actually met his grandparents down in Florida.
So, you know, he's really cool. But at the end of the day, this is a sport. So if we were to get into the ring, there will not be no love lost or anything like that.
Win or lose for me, though, I would still look at Zab the same way. I have no problem when him or getging into the ring with him, because at the end of the day, you know, it's just a sport and there's nothing personal.
He's trying to put food on the table for his kids and I'm trying to put food on the table. When it comes down to that, I just look at this sport as a business and something I love to do. So, you know, I really wouldn't mind fighting him.
BoxingScene.com: How difficult of an opponent is Victor Cayo?
LP: There will probably be a lot of different things going on. As far as physical appearance, me and Victor Cayo are pretty much built kind of evenly.
We're about the same height, we're about the same size really. He probably throws a few more shots than me. But while he's throwing shots, a lot of times, he leaves himself open.
So, I'll probably be looking to counter and looking to lead at times too. So, I just see it playing out as a boxing match early.
But, you know, with me, at the end of the fight, it can wind up getting kind of gritty in there. So that's when I'd like to try to impose my will and see if he can take it.