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Lamont Peterson: Garcia fight is for 140-pound supremecy, despite catchweight

Fighters Network
06
Apr
Lamont Peterson (L) decks Edgar Santana during Peterson's 10th-round stoppage defense of his IBF 140-pound title in August 2014. Photo by Ed Mulholland/Getty Images.

Lamont Peterson (L) decks Edgar Santana during Peterson’s 10th-round stoppage defense of his IBF 140-pound title in August 2014. Photo by Ed Mulholland/Getty Images.

When IBF junior welterweight titlist Lamont Peterson steps inside the ring at Barclays Center in Brooklyn on Saturday evening, he’ll face RING, WBC and WBA champion Danny Garcia. However, instead of it being unification, it will be fought at a catchweight of 143 pounds.

The Washington D.C native is as likeable a guy as you’re likely to meet in boxing but Peterson (33-2-1, 17 knockouts), like the rest of us, is in the dark with regards to the strange catchweight.

“I’m still really not sure, it’s unclear to me why we’re fighting at 143 pounds,” Peterson, 31, told RingTV.com. “For me, I can still make 140 pounds. When the fight was made that was the weight I thought we were going to fight.

“It had nothing to do with me, I have no idea if it was Garcia’s choice, or his manager, or whoever. I just know I can make the weight class and I was willing to make the weight.



“At the end of the day I ultimately decided that the fans wanted the fight, I wanted the fight. Lets not mess the fight up talking about weight ‘cuz at the end of the day we all know whoever wins this fight is pretty much the best guy at the weight class and I want to make sure I take this fight to be the No. 1 in the weight class.”

The “Premier Boxing Champions” card is headlined by Garcia-Peterson but will also see Andy Lee look to make a first title defense against former champion Peter Quillin. 2008 Olympic gold medalist Felix Diaz will meet Gabriel Bracero, 140-pounder Viktor Postol will look to stay sharp vs. Jake Giuriceo and up-and-coming light heavyweight Marcus Browne will also see action. The NBC broadcast begins at 8:30 p.m. ET/PT.

Photo by Naoki Fukuda

Photo by Naoki Fukuda

Anson Wainwright – What are your thoughts on fighting Garcia?

Lamont Peterson – I think it’s gonna be a great fight. I’m happy we’re finally fighting, the fans have wanted to see the fight for almost two years now, so I’m just happy we’re giving the fans a fight they want to see.

AW – What does he bring to this fight in terms of strengths and what areas do you feel you can exploit?

LP – He’s definitely a solid fighter all across the board, his strength is he doesn’t have a weakness. He’s not slow, pretty decent speed, power, chin, footwork, pretty solid all across the board. Him just not having a weakness is probably his greatest strength. I’m a thinker, I can fight many different ways. I’m confident I’ll find a style that suits me for that night and I’m expecting that I will win the fight.

AW – Because it’s a catchweight fight, your IBF title isn’t on the line and neither are his WBC, WBA and RING titles. It would appear a shame that all the marbles aren’t on the line?

LP – At the end of the day, I look at it [like this]: titles, they are important but when you’re talking about two guys who have fought at the top level for a long period of time, I don’t think it really makes a difference whose belt is on the line or what belt do you have. It’s about people looking at Danny Garcia as the best guy in the weight class and you have a top guy like me, floating around the top, you talking about whoever wins this fight is the best guy, belts or no belts.

AW – The fight takes place on NBC; it’s a great opportunity for you to be seen on free TV.

LP – For me personally I don’t do it for fame, so I don’t care about the recognition being on me, but overall the recognition boxing as a whole will get, I think is great. People say boxing is dead but I believe it’s not. I believe there’s a lot of good talent out here and a lot of good fighters out here. Boxing has been put on the back burner and now it’s getting put back in the front and I think it’s a good move.

Lamont Peterson smallAW – What has your camp for this fight been like?

LP – We have a big camp, Adrien’s (Broner) camp came down for while but of course he had to fight so he had to leave. For the most part, I’m getting good sparring, we have a lot of guys from the area coming in, that’s helping me out. We’ve got good solid guys that fit the M.O. and we’re ready to go.

AW – Your last fight was a 10th-round stoppage of Edgar Santanait was on the same card as Garcia’s most recent outing. Tell us about this and the circumstances around that evening?

LP – I was just happy to be back in the ring; it was a while since I’d been in the ring at the time. I was hoping to fight Danny Garcia that night. I was not to worried about him being on the card, I was hoping that it would happen afterwards. They told me it would. I kept my fingers crossed and hoping it would. I’m happy everything played out the way they said it would. I’m happy to be back in the ring come April 11.

AW – The Santana fight was eight months ago. Would it be fair to say that it may have been something to do with the PBC deal playing out behind the scenes?

LP – Yeah, it would probably be safe to say. I probably could have taken another fight in between – well, I probably could have closed a deal on another fight that would have been much sooner than this – but I was happy to wait around for it and I’m just happy it got done.

AW – What are your thoughts on the division as a whole?

LP – I just think the division is still strong. We lost a few good fighters moving up to welterweight but you have a few lightweights that moved up, that’s going to make some noise. I’m just happy to be in the weight class and a stacked weight class so I have fights in any direction.

AW РIf we can look at the RING Magazine ratings at junior welterweight, what are your thoughts on each guy

C – Danny Garcia – Come fight night he shows up. He’s undefeated, he’s fought some big names, he always finds a way to get through each fight.
1 – Lucas Matthysse – He’s a top guy, he’s strong and comes to fight every night. Look for him to be in exciting fights every night.
Lamont Peterson vs Jean 2 nicholas kamm afpgetty2 – Lamont Peterson – I’m a solid fighter, good boxer, you never know what type of fighter you’re going to get. I can pretty much do it all because I’m a student of the game. You know that it’s going to be a good fight when Lamont Peterson is in the ring.
3 – Ruslan Provodnikov – Ruslan is strong and he’s going to come to fight. To me, he doesn’t pay to much attention to skill level, he’s not worried about that. He just wants to be in exciting fights.
4 – Adrien Broner – Is an entertainer inside and outside the ring. He’s a good talent, he’s a good friend, he works hard and he comes to fight.
5 – Chris Algieri – He’s a good boxer, he stays on his toes, he uses his jab well. Not much power but he gets the job done with what he’s working with.
6 – Jessie Vargas – He’s a young guy, I don’t think he’s really that tested yet. So far he’s solid, undefeated and getting W after W.
7 – Viktor Postol – Good rangy fighter, throws a lot of punches, high work rate, he’s hungry, he knows he’s close to a title shot. Just look for him to keep putting on solid performances until he gets his shot.
8 – Khabib Allakhverdiev – He did pretty well in that fight (vs. Jessie Vargas), it was a back-and-forth fight, a really close fight. That was the only fight I’ve seen of him. He comes to fight, he’s pretty good technically and you can tell he can hold his own with any top fighter in the division.
9 – Thomas Dulorme – Is a solid fighter, I’ve seen a lot of flaws in him. I know he has a fight coming up with (Terence) Crawford that I picked Crawford to win an easy decision or late stoppage.
10 – Mauricio Herrera – I respect Herrera a bunch, a guy who got into boxing late. Pretty much taught himself to fight and for him to be at top level and competing with champions and top guys the way he does, I take my hat off to him. I respect him as a fighter and as a man. Solid fighter.

AW – As you touched on, you’re good friends with Adrien Broner. Is that a fight that could happen or do you go back too far for there to be any chance of you meeting?

LP – I think there’s too many other guys out there to fight. There’s too many other names. I probably won’t be in the weight class for that long. Nah, I definitely don’t see that happening.

AW – You work with Al Haymon – he doesn’t speak to the media – can you tell us a little about him and the relationship you share?

LP – I really don’t speak to him much. My manager Barry Hunter deals with all the negotiations and things like that, so he’s the one who talks to Al. Anytime I do speak to him he’s pretty cool and laid back guy, likes to stay out the spotlight.

AW – Tell us about your life away from boxing?

LP – Since my last fight, it’s been a long eight months. I didn’t get chance to do much. Of course I spent time with my daughter, that was pretty much it. I was constantly in the gym, hoping the fight was [going to be] Danny Garcia. I got the fight with Danny Garcia but it happened to be a longer period of time than I thought [I’d have to wait]. I stayed in the gym, just in case the fight came to pass and I’m glad I did. I really can’t tell you too much outside the gym because it feels like I live at the gym. I’m there most of the time. It’s a really nice gym, I love the gym. Like I said, it’s my second home, sometimes it feels like my first. (Laughs.)

AW – In closing, do you have a message for Garcia?

LP – No, no message, he’ll see me April 11 when we step in the ring.

Questions and/or comments can be sent to Anson at [email protected] and you can follow him at www.twitter.com/AnsonWainwright

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