By Keith Idec
Lamont Peterson agrees wholeheartedly with fight fans who much rather would watch him fight Danny Garcia on Saturday night than endure the junior welterweight champions partaking in glorified tune-up fights.
Peterson, the IBF’s 140-pound champion, emphasized on a recent conference call that he pushed to box against Garcia in what would’ve been an intriguing junior welterweight championship unification fight. The undefeated WBA/WBC junior welterweight champion opted, however, to fight a lightweight, Rod Salka (19-3, 3 KOs), in a welterweight bout that’ll headline Showtime’s tripleheader from Barclays Center (9 p.m. ET). Garcia’s curious choice left Peterson (32-2-1, 16 KOs) to settle for a title defense against overmatched New Yorker Edgar Santana (29-4, 20 KOs), another huge underdog.
“I let them know I wanted to fight Danny Garcia next because that’s what the fans wanted to see,” Peterson said. “For me, if the fans want to see me fight someone, I’m going to push for that fight. So that’s what I did. But it just didn’t happen. At the end of the day I’m going to end up fighting a good fighter, Edgar Santana, and hopefully [a fight against Garcia] can happen next time.”
Garcia (28-0, 16 KOs) and Peterson both are managed by Al Haymon and promoted by Golden Boy Promotions, which should make a bout between them relatively easy to make. Peterson was vague as to why he thought the fight won’t occur Saturday night, but reiterated his desire to face Garcia if both boxers win.
“It’s boxing,” Peterson said. “Everything has to make sense from that end. But, if I can win this fight … that’s the fight that I want to happen. Of course, me winning the fight will make it more pleasing because I leave with my title and hopefully he leaves with his and maybe it can happen because it's really the biggest fight you can make at the weight class. It’s the fight that the fans want to see at the weight class and I'm willing to do it.”
Keith Idec covers boxing for The Record and Herald News, of Woodland Park, N.J., and BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.