By Keith Idec
NEW YORK – Lamont Peterson was optimistic, yet honest.
He doesn’t consider what he has accomplished thus far in boxing worthy of induction into the International Boxing Hall of Fame. The two-division champion is confident, though, that he can change how he is viewed historically by upsetting Errol Spence Jr. on Saturday night and beating other elite welterweights before he calls it a career.
Peterson explained his perspective during a press conference Thursday in Manhattan for his welterweight title fight against Spence at Barclays Center in Brooklyn (Showtime; 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT).
“When I got into boxing, when you get into anything, you have goals,” Peterson said. “First you wanna be, starting in the amateurs, a national champion. You wanna fight on the Olympic team. You wanna become a world champion as a professional. But the ultimate goal is to be in the Hall of Fame. Honestly speaking, me looking at that, and that’s my goal, but at this point in my career, I wouldn’t put me into that, into the Hall of Fame.
“But a win over a guy like Errol Spence and, you know, if everyone actually decides to fight each other at welterweight, if I can make it through all of them names, I’ll put myself in. So that’s why I sign up for these fights and that’s my goal. And, of course, I’m gonna give it my all to get there.”
Peterson (35-3-1, 17 KOs), who’ll turn 34 on Wednesday, is a 10-1 underdog against Spence (22-0, 19 KOs). The highly regarded Spence, who’ll make the first defense of his IBF welterweight title, is widely viewed as one of the top 10 fighters, pound-for-pound, in boxing.
Peterson has lost only to former champions Danny Garcia, Lucas Matthysse and recently retired Timothy Bradley.
Garcia’s majority-decision victory over Peterson in April 2015 caused controversy. Only Matthysse has knocked out Peterson, who was dropped three times in their May 2013 bout before losing by third-round technical knockout.
“When you get to those big stages and those big fights, I think you have to win more than you lose,” Peterson said. “And at this point, I’m kind of right there. I feel like if I could run these last few off for these next few years, I should be good enough to be in [the Hall of Fame].”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.