Lamont Peterson to Dierry Jean: ‘There’s a difference on the top level’
Supremely confident challenger Dierry Jean has promised to "remind" IBF junior welterweight titleholder is Lamont Peterson of "that nightmare that he had" in his last fight in May, when Peterson was floored three times en route to a third-round KO loss to Lucas Matthysse.
But during a Monday workout at The Bald Eagle Recreation Center in Southwest, D.C., where Peterson (31-2-1, 16 knockouts) prepared for his Jan. 25 clash with Jean (25-0, 17 KOs) that will happen at the D.C. Armory, the 29-year-old native and resident of Washington, D.C., all but predicted that Jean would discover that he will be in over his head.
Like Peterson, Jean was last in the ring in May when the Hatian-born resident of Quebec scored a fourth-round TKO over Cleotis Pendarvis.
"I've been watching film on him. He's pretty good at pretty much everything," said Peterson, who turns 30 on Jan. 24. "But I just think that there's a difference when you're on the top level. I think that he'll see that really soon in the fight."
Peterson has has been in with several top-notch opponents, having scored a disputed split-decision that dethroned Amir Khan in December of 2011 and an eighth-round knockout of ex-beltholder Kendall Holt in February of last year.
Peterson also rose from two third-round knockdowns while battling to a draw with former welterweight beltholder Victor Ortiz when they were both 140-pounders in December of 2010.
Asked by publicist Lisa Milner if he thought Jean had faced anyone on his stature, Peterson said, "No, not really," adding, "but in the boxing game, sometimes, things like that don't matter. I'm just anxious to see what he's really got on Jan. 25."
Meanwhile, Peterson is 4-1-1, with three knockout victories since falling by unanimous decision to current WBO 147-pound beltholder Tim Bradley as a 140-pounder in December of 2009, but was stopped for the first time in his career by Matthysse.
As it did during his bouts against Holt and Khan, each of which were in Washington, D.C., Peterson said that he will be motivated by the hometown advantage.
"Fighting at home is always a plus, because the crowd is cheering for you, and so even when you might miss a shot, the crowd might cheer like you landed the shot," said Peterson, "and the judges might be, like, 'Oh, he landed the shot.' Things like that, and just being more comfortable and relaxed seeing the faces that you know, and that you've seen so often, that helps."
Is a knockout important to Peterson, given the way he was beaten by Matthysse?
"I think that just getting back in the winning circle will be enough, regardless of how the win comes," said Peterson. "When you're coming off a loss, a win is always better than a loss. So I think that that's just always a step forward. Winning is the main thing over anything."
The winner of Peterson-Jean would be in the mix for a host of solid bouts against Golden Boy fighters in the 140-pound division, perhaps even Matthysse or unbeaten RING, WBA and WBC 140-pound champion Danny Garcia, who unanimously decisioned Matthysse in September.
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