By Rick Reeno
Barry Hunter, trainer and manager of WBA/IBF junior welterweight champion Lamont Peterson (30-1-1, 15KOs), spoke to BoxingScene.com about the circulating rumors pertaining to his boxer's next fight. Last month in Washington, DC, Peterson won the titles with a controversial twelve round split decision over Amir Khan. The post-fight controversy raged on for weeks, with Team Khan/Golden Boy Promotions filing appeals with the WBA and the IBF. While the appeal to the IBF was withdrawn, the WBA ordered an immediate rematch. Peterson's team have appealed the WBA's ruling.
BoxingScene.com: Whatís your take on†the entire post-fight controversy?
Hunter: The thing that gets me as a fan, and as a supporter of this sport, this is the type of stuff that turns the fan off and to me, in my opinion, is killing the sport. You get a bad decision here and there, and I've seen a few of them, and I've also seen some close fights that could have went either way. I thought that was a highly competitive fight, I thought it was a close fight - depending on what you were looking for. But nevertheless, I would have never taken it to that extreme.
The one thing that I've always taught [Lamont and Anthony], if I thought that they lost the fight, I would make them take their trophy or their medal, get in the ring in front of everybody, and give it to that opponent. Because I didnít want them growing up and thinking that the world owes you any God damn thing. And everything you get you have to earn it in my opinion. Thatís the type of stuff they grew up around. I was raised by it, and taught a certain way in the projects.
BoxingScene.com: There have been reports that you and Lamont are†leaning in the direction of a fight with Juan Manuel Marquez. Even reports of a preliminary agreement. Is there any truth to that? Is Khan still in the picture?
Hunter: [Top Rank CEO] Bob [Arum] called about Marquez. And I saw that Marquez and [Fernando] Beltran are for it. Its definitely a fight that has some interest to it, but we donít have nothing on paper, nothing on paper against anybody and the first time I talked to [Golden Boy CEO] Richard [Schaefer] was last Friday.
BoxingScene.com: Whether its Marquez or Khan, itís still up in the air?
Hunter: Itís still pretty much up in the air, but I know Lamont's preference is Khan. Most of that is his own personal reasons. But you canít look at this stuff and take it personal, itís all business. The things thatís intriguing about the Marquez fight, is it is Marquez, who is definitely going down as a hall of fame fighter. But that fight with Amir, that was one hell of a fight. And Iím with Lamont, I want to see that again also.
BoxingScene.com: In terms of Marquez, Arum wants to place that fight in Dallas Cowboys Stadium. Considering Lamont's hardships in life, that would be a real accomplishment to headline that kind of venue.
Hunter: That would be something too. Something that you would factor in too, but at the end of the day you have to look at what is the better business move. Those are the things that you have to look at and whatever direction you go to. I know Lamont really wants this Khan thing. We are just waiting and staying by the phone. We are ready to fight. I know Lamont is and so am I.
BoxingScene.com: There has been some talk about Pacquiao fighting Timothy Bradley on June 9th, and winner of that fight being matched in the fall against the winner of a possible between Lamont and Marquez. If you were to get that in writing, would that be a deciding factor in final decision for your next fight?
Hunter: Guys are on line to fight Pacquiao. Everybody is. There are only two big names out that were people would get in line [to fight] and thatís†Manny and Floyd [Mayweather]. That would be something to really look at, but there are some other factors to weigh in on. Put it to this way, these guys are all great fighters and to have your name mentioned among these fighters must mean that you're one of the best.
BoxingScene.com: When would you like†to see†Lamont get back in the ring?
Hunter: By this whole ordeal, with this controversy, it threw us off because we donít usually go through stuff like this. We usually fight, take a few days off and then go back to the gym training again to prepare for the next fight. Now we have to reboot. We definitely donít like no big layoff, 5 to 6 [months] max. I would like to say five, and then we go back to the gym and get back on our grind again.
Tags: Amir Khan , Khan vs Peterson , Khan-Peterson , Lamont Peterson