Schaefer: Sky is limit for Peterson
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer said there are seemingly endless possibilities for IBF junior welterweight titleholder Lamont Peterson in the wake of Friday night’s eighth-round knockout of ex-beltholder Kendall Holt before nearly 3,500 partisan fans at The D.C. Armory in Peterson’s home town of Washington, D.C.
With the triumph, which included knockdowns of Holt (28-6, 16 knockouts) in the fourth and sixth rounds, Peterson (31-1-1, 16 KOs) ended a 14-month layoff following his disputed split-decision victory over Amir Khan earned him the belt at the Washington Convention Center in December of 2011.
Last month, Peterson signed with Golden Boy Promotions, representing a surprising union given the acrimonious past he and trainer/manager Barry Hunter had with the Los Angeles-based company in the wake of Peterson’s win over Khan, also promoted by Golden Boy.
Now, according to Schaefer, Peterson can be considered for a rematch with Khan or a unification bout with RING, WBA and WBC champion Danny Garcia, who knocked out Khan in July for his WBA belt,
More than likely, however, Peterson would be matched in a showdown with RING No. 1-rated junior welterweight Lucas Matthysse (33-2, 31 KOs). Garcia and Matthysse are also promoted by Golden Boy.
Garcia (25-0, 16 KOs) has an April 27 defense against Zab Judah (42-7, 29 KOs), which is why Schaefer said he might be thinking more of a Peterson-Matthysse fight rather than Peterson-Garcia.
Khan (27-3, 19 KOs) is coming off December’s 10th-round stoppage of Carlos Molina, of Norwalk, Calif., and is expected to return to the ring on April 27 likely in his native England.
Schaefer said he might consider pairing Peterson-Matthysse with a clash featuring IBF welterweight titleholder Devon Alexander 24-1, 13 KOs) against Englishman Kell Brook (29-0, 19 KOs) on May 18 somewhere in Washington, D.C.
Peterson was stripped of the WBA’s version of his belt, which he also won from Khan, owing to a failed drug test last March that was contractually administered at his choosing by the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA).
Peterson came up dirty for synthetic testosterone, which forced the cancelation of Peterson-Khan II. The IBF stuck by Peterson, however, after a review of his medical records by IBF-appointed doctors ruled that the testosterone levels discovered in Peterson were not at a level that would enhance his performance.
Peterson admitted to having a testosterone pellet surgically implanted into his hip by Las Vegas-based Dr. John Thompson on Nov. 12 — a month prior to facing Khan — after he was diagnosed with an abnormally low testosterone level.
Meanwhile, the WBA restored Khan as its beltholder, enabling Garcia to become its new titleholder with his stoppage of Khan.
Peterson bounced back from the loss to Bradley with a seventh-round stoppage of Damian Fuller in April of 2010 that was followed by a majority draw with Victor Ortiz in December of that year during which Peterson rose from a pair of third-round knockdowns.
Peterson’s subsequent 12th-round stoppage of Victor Cayo in July of 2011 was followed by the triumph over Khan.
Schaefer entertained many of the potential scenarios listed above during a telephone conversation with RingTV.com in the aftermath of Peterson-Holt.
Richard Schaefer on Lamont Peterson’s performance.
“It was a fantastic performance. I like the competition. To put it in perspective, he hadn’t fought in more than 12 months, so to be able to fight like that, basically look as good as he did before, that was very impressive.
“He took Kendall Holt’s best weapons, and to fight a very smart fight, you have to go for it, and he did. It was a terrific performance. My hat goes off to Barry Hunter as well.
“Because if you have a fighter who has been out of the ring for 12 months, and everything that he went through with the testosterone pellets and everything, all of the psychological things that he had to go through…
“I’m just very impressed with how Lamont Peterson put things together. I think that it was really a terrific, terrific performance.”
On Peterson’s presence at 140:
“It was a very, very impressive performance. I’m very happy for Lamont and Barry that they’re right back in the mix at 140-pound weight class.
“The 140-pound weight class is one of the most exciting weight classes in the sport, with, of course, Danny Garcia and with Amir Khan, and Lucas Matthysse, and with Zab Judah there as well.
“I think that there are going to be many great fights ahead for him. Now whether it’s going to be a fight with Danny Garcia, assuming that he wins, and they can unify the titles.
“Or against Zab if he would win, or Lucas Matthysse, or a rematch with Amir Khan, I think that the sky is the limit, and I’m very happy.”
On the resolved issue between Golden Boy and the Peterson camp
“I’m very happy that Lamont Peterson and Golden Boy were able to put everything behind us and we moved forward, and we’re moving on to bigger and better things.”
On a potential May 18 clash with Matthysse in Washington, D.C.
“I think that it would be a terrific double-header, because, obviously, I have to find a spot for Devon and Kell as well, and I’ve already had some conversations with Showtime, because Showtime has the rights for Kell Brook and Devon Alexander, and they very much would like that double-header.
“So we have to see if we can put it together. We’ll start talking to Barry next week, and we’ll start talking to Lucas Matthysse, and see if we can get it done. But the good news is that Barry has mentioned to us before that he’s open to Lamont fighting anybody, and Lucas is ready to go and has no fight scheduled.
“Amir has a fight scheduled, Danny has a fight scheduled, so I think that instead of waiting around, let’s get the show going. So if I can, in fact, secure May 18, then that would be good. Instead of waiting around, and talking about July or August or something like that, why not have Lamont come back very quickly.
“I don’t think that he got any cuts or any injuries in the fight, so it seems to me that he should be ready to go. Lucas is ready to go, so let’s see if we could get it done.”
Photo by Juan Marshall
Photo by Tom Hogan, Hogan Photo, Golden Boy Promotions
Photo by Naoki Fukuda
Photo by Juan Marshall
Photo by Naoki Fukuda
Lem Satterfield can be reached at [email protected]