By Chris Robinson
After a tumultuous 2012 that saw him sitting on the sidelines, IBF junior welterweight champion Lamont Peterson returned with an emphatic victory this past February, battering former titlist Kendall Holt over the course of eight rounds before seeing the fight waived off.
With momentum again on his side, Peterson (31-1-1, 16 KO’s) finds himself in a crucial match later tonight, as he will be locking horns with Argentina’s Lucas Matthysse (33-2, 31 KO’s) inside of the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City.
Regarded by some as the best fighter at 140 pounds, Matthysse is an iron-willed, heavy-handed puncher who has boxing skills and abilities that are often overlooked.
And while Matthysse's last impression left for boxing fans was a chilling one, as he iced Mike Dallas Jr. in under one round, Peterson feels that all the hoopla surrounding his vaunted power has been overplayed.
“I’m just counting the hours down and waiting for fight night,” Peterson would say when speaking to BehindTheGloves.com correspondent Michelle Phelps. “I’m not worried about punching power or anything like that. People are talking about punching power, but if that’s all they can say about him, then that’s all he’s got. Then he’s in trouble.”
It seems very likely that the Peterson-Matthysse winner could next be facing off with WBA/WBC champion Danny Garcia.
Garcia is coming off of a rousing unanimous decision victory over Zab Judah on April 27th. In a wild fight, Garcia punished Judah in certain spots over the first half of the fight, dropped him in the eighth round, and buckled down to survive a spirited late rally from his Brooklyn foe in the championship rounds.
Peterson was asked for his opinion of the fight as well for any chinks he sees in Garcia’s armor.
“I’d like to say it was a great fight between them,” Peterson stated. “Both of them showed they are world-class fighters. I don’t like to look at people and say that they have weaknesses. Because, a lot of times, just because they do something different doesn’t mean that it’s a weakness. In some fights it might be a strength.”
Not wanting to sound too respectful of a potential foe, Peterson did admit that there are some chances that will be presented if a Garcia duel comes about.
“I do see openings and I do see opportunities that I can take advantage of,” said Peterson. “Hopefully the fight happens and I can show you better than I can tell you.”