By Lem Satterfield
Lamont Peterson faced his most difficult opponent to date in unbeaten left-handed IBF welterweight champion Errol Spence on January 20, 2018 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York – four days before Peterson’s 34th birthday.
But with a story that transcends boxing, having overcome homelessness to win a pair of world titles in as many divisions, Peterson (35-4-1, 17 KOs) was undeterred by the prospect of facing a younger man who had celebrated his own 28th birthday seven days earlier.
Peterson stood-toe-to-toe at times during a one-knockdown, eighth-round stoppage loss to “The Truth” Spence (24-0, 21 KOs), who registered his 10th straight KO.
But the veteran who goes by the name of “Havoc” is returning for another fight on March 24 at The MGM National Harbor, Oxon Hill (Fox 8 p.m. ET/ 5 p.m. PT), where he’ll clash with former 140-pound champion Sergey Lipinets (14-1, 10 KOs) of Kazakhstan.
“I’m trying to stay active, and I’ll pretty much fight anyone. It’s boxing,” said Peterson, whose native Washington, D.C., is near the MGM. “I’ll just keep fighting the top fighters, and any fight that’s given to me, I’ll take it. Hopefully, that will have me on my way back to the top.”
Peterson won his first crowns by split-decision over Amir Khan, dethroning him for the IBF and WBA titles in December 2011. Peterson made three defenses, two by stoppage, before facing Danny Garcia in a 143-pound non-title bout, falling by disputed majority decision in April 2015.
Peterson rose to 144 pounds for his next fight in October 2015, winning a hard-fought majority decision over 2008 Olympic gold medalist Felix Diaz of the Dominican Republic.
Before facing Spence, Peterson ended career-long, 16-month ring absence in February 2017 with a unanimous decision over David Avanesyan to become a two-division world champion.
It was the first time fighting at the 147-pound division limit for Peterson, but the Washington, D.C., resident seemed quite comfortable.