by David P. Greisman
Lamont Peterson says he wasn’t troubled by the shots Dierry Jean landed on him in Peterson’s unanimous decision win this past Saturday. And he says that Jean can learn from this experience, just like Peterson did with his first pro defeat.
“He never hurt me,” Peterson told reporters after the bout. “He hit me with a few shots. A lot of them, the crowd was cheering, but I rolled with them. He never stunned me. He never made my legs weak or anything like that. … I spar a lot of rounds with big guys. I get hit pretty often.”
Later, he added: “He had pretty good power on him, but he didn’t have any devastating power. He hit me flush maybe a few times, but I didn’t really feel anything. Not saying that he can’t punch.”
Peterson then broke down how he was able to take control of the fight and get the victory.
“I thought that I was the better boxer, technically, so I was going to exploit that in there. And I knew when I looked at him, he was pretty small, and I knew I would probably be physically stronger than him. He’s pretty muscular, but I’m a pretty good inside fighter and know how to use my leverage, so I wanted to put my body on him a little bit and back him up. When I watched tape on him, he fights much better and gets more momentum when he’s pushing the other guy back. So I wanted to push him back and make sure he didn’t get his momentum and leverage on his shots.”
Peterson’s trainer, Barry Hunter, had spoken publicly about wanting Peterson to box. Yet after a slow opening, Peterson began to come forward.
“I was waiting on the call from Barry, like always. If he see a weakness in someone, we make adjustments. He told me to go from boxing, he told me to hunt him down behind my jab. He said, ‘Don’t go reckless, just go behind your jab and hunt him down and that’s what I did,” Peterson said.
“People say I start slow, but at the end of the day, it’s chess, not checkers,” he said. “You have to figure out a game plan. You have to go out there and find out what you want to do, then after you figure out a few punches, a few things, a few moves you want to go to, then you start executing. And a lot of times, for me, it always comes in the third or fourth round. That’s just my style. If you know me outside the ring, I don’t rush into anything. I’m a thinking man in every aspect of my life. And in the ring, it’s no different.”
Peterson did throw in some showboating and taunting in the ring.
“I knew he was a bit nervous coming into this fight, because this is his first world championship fight,” Peterson said. “He really don’t fight outside of Canada, and he’s fighting in my hometown, so I knew he had some nerves. I didn’t want him to gain any confidence, so I wanted to keep letting him know that I was the champion and I was in control of the fight. And that pretty much started yesterday. You know me: I’m not a big trash talker. But at the weigh-in, I said a few words to him, and they were just all part of strategy, just letting him know that I’m comfortable here, you shouldn’t be comfortable.”
Nevertheless, Peterson described Jean as a good fighter who needs to gain some experience.
“I’m pretty sure he gained a lot tonight, and that’ll help him in the long run,” Peterson said. “It kind of reminded me of when I first fought Timothy Bradley. He had some tough fights. He won a championship, Junior Witter, Nate Campbell, and he fought some big names. I was fresh. I was undefeated, 24 and 0. Not really no big names on my record. Fighting in his hometown, just like Dierry was fighting in my hometown. I knew how I felt in that situation. I know at the end of the day, he’s going to gain a lot of experience. I came back from the Timothy Bradley fight, a lot of people said I got much better. I expect the same of Dierry Jean.”
Pick up a copy of David’s new book, “Fighting Words: The Heart and Heartbreak of Boxing,” at http://bit.ly/fightingwordsamazon or internationally at http://bit.ly/fightingwordsworldwide. Send questions/comments via email at [email protected]