by David P. Greisman

The last time that Anthony Peterson had a big fight was way back in September 2010 — and he came up short in that bout, losing a title eliminator to Brandon Rios via disqualification.

He’s only fought seven times in the six-and-a-half years since. Injuries have played one part of that.

Peterson’s still relatively young — he turns 32 this month — and is 37-1 with 24 KOs. His last bout was an April 2016 decision over Samuel Kotey.

This year, however, could bring a big step up.

“I think 2017 for Anthony will be a hot year for him. He’s due for it,” said Peterson’s trainer, Barry Hunter. “Anthony is 37-1. That’s an excellent record. We’ve seen people that move to the front of the line with far less fights, and some of them with far less talent in comparison to Anthony. On the flip side, our time is our time. When it comes to this year, 2017, I definitely think this is the year. Probably within the next fight or two, we’ll probably be facing somebody for that strap.”

Though Peterson’s fought at or slightly above the lightweight limit over these recent years, he will compete at 135. Hunter said it doesn’t matter who the opponent is — “We don’t discriminate,” he said. “Whoever they stick in front of us, that’s who it is.” — but there is one exception when it comes to the titleholders.

Just like Lamont Peterson (Anthony’s older brother) won’t fight Adrien Broner, Anthony won’t take on Robert Easter Jr.

“Anyone of them except for Easter. Easter’s more family than anything,” Hunter said. “We train with the guy. I’ve been knowing Robert ever since he was a kid, either in the juniors or when he just came out of the juniors. I’ve known his father for a long time. They’ve trained together. They’ve sparred together. When it comes down to a lot of these young fighters, especially from out that way, we’ve known them. That’d be awkward.”

That would leave names like Mikey Garcia, Jorge Linares (who has a coming rematch with Anthony Crolla), and Terry Flanagan.

“Any one of them,” Hunter said. “We’ll have maybe one fight before a shot like that. All of them are good fighters.”

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