By Keith Idec
Lamont Peterson is very interested in fighting Danny Garcia if Peterson can overcome Lucas Matthysse on Saturday night in Atlantic City.
The IBF junior welterweight champion clearly is less interested in another fight against an opponent both he and Garcia have beaten.
“Believe it or not, it’s not really that important,” Peterson told BoxingScene.com regarding a potential rematch against Amir Khan. “Let’s not forget, I’m the one who won the last fight. It’s not like I’m chasing him for a rematch or anything like that. … I won the fight. I showed that I was the better fighter.”
Richard Schaefer, chief executive officer for Golden Boy Promotions, has mentioned matching the Peterson-Matthysse winner against Garcia in a 140-pound championship unification fight Sept. 7.
The 29-year-old Peterson probably wouldn’t consider another fight against Khan unless he loses to Argentina’s Matthysse (33-2, 31 KOs) at Boardwalk Hall (Showtime; 9 p.m. ET). The Washington, D.C., native would have fewer options then and a Khan rematch, especially if it occurred in Khan’s native England, would remain a lucrative alternative for Peterson.
“I don’t feel like I have anything to prove to [Khan], but if the opportunity comes I’ll jump at it,” Peterson said. “There are other fights out there that can be made. But to be honest, I like pleasing the fans and if the fans say that’s the fight they want to see me fight, then I’ll fight him.”
Though Peterson (31-1-1, 16 KOs) won a split decision against Khan 17 months ago in Washington, D.C., the result of their 12-round unification fight was controversial.
Washington-area referee Joseph Cooper deducted two points from Khan that emerged as the difference on two scorecards submitted after the Peterson-Khan fight at the Washington Convention Center. Cooper took a point from Khan for pushing Peterson’s head down in the seventh round and deducted another point from the British fighter for pushing Peterson away from him in the 12th round.
Peterson won by one point, 113-112, on the scorecards of Pennsylvania’s George Hill and North Carolina’s Valerie Dorsett. The third judge, Puerto Rico’s Nelson Vazquez, scored the fight 115-110 for Khan.
A rematch was scheduled for May 19, 2012, in Las Vegas, but it was canceled last May 10 because Peterson tested positive for synthetic testosterone, a banned substance.
“After me and him fought the first time, the reason for the rematch was because the fans wanted to see it,” Peterson said. “I had other offers on the table that I probably, personally, would’ve taken before fighting Khan. But the fans wanted to see it again. That’s why I chose to do it again. If they would choose to say they wanted me to fight him again now, I would do it.”
Peterson added that he didn’t consider Khan’s unimpressive performance against Julio Diaz on April 27 as a sign Khan can no longer compete at the highest level. Khan (28-3, 19 KOs) defeated Diaz (40-8-1, 29 KOs) by unanimous decision two weeks ago in Sheffield, England, but Diaz dropped Khan in the fourth round and hurt him again in the 10th and 11th rounds.
“A lot of times, you know, you have older fighters and everyone looks at them as being washed up,” Peterson said, referring to the 33-year-old Diaz. “The thing about it is, I believe, when you get older, you still know how to fight. You still know all the things to do. It’s just your body doesn’t answer the call every time. But every once in a while you can answer the call. I thought it was more Julio fighting good than Khan fighting bad.”
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.