by David P. Greisman
It wasn’t too hard for Edgar Santana to understand that he would be the B-side against Lamont Peterson on Saturday night in a card taking place at Barclays Center in Brooklyn and being broadcast on Showtime.
Peterson, of course, is a titleholder at junior welterweight. Santana is not. Peterson has been featured in major televised main events. Santana has not. And the talk has been that Peterson could go on to face Danny Garcia, who is fighting in the main event on Saturday against Rod Salka.
Nevertheless, Santana feels he’s being underestimated and overlooked.
“I know for a fact as soon as I got the call, I knew that they’d committed a big mistake,” he said after weighing in on Friday. “I knew as soon as I got a call that I got what it takes to beat Peterson. Expect everything. I’ma come to fight, and I’ma give it everything. I’ma give it my all for my fans. I’ma fight like a Puerto Rican fighter.”
Santana, 35, of New York City, is 29-4 with 20 KOs. His last loss came by decision to Manuel Perez in February 2102. Since then he’s won three straight, all of those victories coming in 2013.
Peterson, for his part, gave his opponent credit.
“Who cares what the media say or the fans say?” Peterson said. “I know Edgar can fight, and I’m looking for a good fight Saturday night — A good competitive fight, but a fight that I’ll win. I won’t say that I’ll knock him out or anything like that, but eventually I’ll get the win.”
Peterson, 30, of Washington, D.C., is coming off a January decision win over Dierry Jean, which brought his record to 32-2-1 with 16 KOs. He picked up the International Boxing Federation and WBA world titles with a split decision win over Amir Khan back in December 2011, but later tested positive for synthetic testosterone ahead of a planned rematch with Khan. Peterson said the substance had been in his system prior to the first Khan fight.
The IBF allowed Peterson to keep its belt, which he defended in February 2013 with a technical knockout of Kendall Holt. That led Peterson to a May 2013 clash with the power-punching Lucas Matthysse, who stopped Peterson in three. Peterson-Matthysse was held at a contractual catch-weight above the 140-pound limit, though, and so Peterson still has his title. (His other loss came by decision to Tim Bradley back in December 2009.)
Would he want a bout with Garcia next?
“Of course,” Peterson said, “if that’s what the fans want.”
Pick up a copy of David’s 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]