WASHINGTON, D.C. — In August of 2009, about five months prior to receiving his first-ever title shot against Tim Bradley, Lamont Peterson engaged in what he and his manager and trainer Barry Hunter have described as a “competitive” sparring session with Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Peterson was unbeaten at 27-0 with 13 knockouts and would eventually suffer his first loss by 12-round unanimous decision to current WBO welterweight titleholder Bradley during a failed bid to earn the WBO’s junior welterweight belt.
Mayweather (43-0, 26 KOs), the WBC’s current welterweight beltholder, was prepping for what would be a unanimous decision rout of Juan Manuel Marquez in September of that year.
Bradley (29-0, 12 KOs) has since scored a split-decision victory over Manny Pacquiao, who was then stopped in the sixth round by Marquez.
As Peterson (30-1-1, 15 KOs) prepares for Friday’s defense of the IBF junior welterweight crown against ex-beltholder Kendall Holt at the D.C. Armory, Hunter recalled the sparring session with Mayweather, who plans to return to the ring on May 4 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
Peterson will return to the ring against Holt (28-5, 16 KOs) for the first time since wining his belt from Amir Khan in December of 2011.
Speculation is that Mayweather will soon announce that on May 4 he will face either WBC 147-pound interim titleholder Robert Guerrero or, less likely, IBF welterweight titleholder Devon Alexander as part of a show that should also include WBC beltholder Saul “Canelo” Alvarez potentially opposite WBA counterpart Austin Trout.
Would Hunter like to see Peterson against Mayweather?
“Man, that’s a fight of a lifetime. What real fighter wouldn’t want to be on that level and be in the squared circle with that man?” Hunter said during a Wednesday open workout for Peterson at Head Bangers Gym in Washington.
“You’re talking about the best of the best, and Lamont is the type of fighter who would view that as an honor to be able to go against the best, be it Mayweather, Marquez or even Manny Pacquiao. If the guy is regarded as the best in boxing, then that’s where we want to be in there with.”
Since losing to Bradley, Peterson is 3-0-1, including two knockouts. Peterson has earned a 12th-round stoppage of Victor Cayo in July of 2011, this, after having risen from two third-round knockdowns to salvage a draw with Victor Ortiz in December of 2010.
Ortiz went on to take the WBC welterweight title from Andre Berto in April of 2011 before losing it himself via fourth-round knockout to Mayweather in September of that year.
Photos by Naoki Fukuda
Lem Satterfield can be reached at [email protected]