A Saturday press conference is in the works for smack-talkers Adrien Broner and Paulie Malignaggi.
Q&A: Hunter on Peterson, the 'Goliath' Golden Boy
Barry Hunter on Lamont Peterson: "We figured that the city needed a hero and we didn't mind stepping up and taking that on."
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- In the immediate wake of his split-decision victory over Amir Khan to become IBF and WBA junior welterweight titleholder in December of 2011, Lamont Peterson was celebrated by his native Washington, D.C.
Peterson (30-1-1, 15 knockouts) was given the keys to the city by Mayor Vincent C. Gray.
The following month, Peterson and his younger brother Anthony Peterson, a lightweight standout, served as Grand Marshalls of the Martin Luther King Jr. Day Parade in Washington.
Their treatment was a contrast to the controversy which followed.
In March 2012, Peterson failed a drug test that was contractually administered at his choosing by the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA), coming up dirty for synthetic testosterone in an infraction that forced the cancelation of Peterson-Khan II and led to Peterson's being stripped of the WBA's belt.
Peterson's victory over Khan sparked what seemed to be an endless run of rancor-filled controversy between the fighters' camps as well as Khan's promoter, Golden Boy, and Team Peterson -- including the filing of lawsuits.
But last month, Peterson buried the hatchet and signed with Golden Boy Promotions, with the blessings of his trainer/manager Barry Hunter.
Peterson is now preparing for Friday night's first defense of his IBF belt against ex-beltholder Kendall Holt (28-5, 16 KOs) at The D.C. Armory. The fight is being promoted by Gary Shaw as the main event of ESPN2's Friday Night Fights.
It was Hunter who rescued the Peterson brothers from a hazardous street life that was chronicled in a recent profile by The Washington Post.
The boys fended for themselves in the streets of Southeast Washington, D.C. starting at the ages of 5 and 6, after their father was jailed on drug charges, and their mother was left to care for seven children.
They went from foster care to the streets and back. For money, they washed car windows or resorted to stealing from grocery stores, becoming pickpockets, swiping tips off of the tables at outdoor restaurants, or things such as stealing bicycles and selling them. Until meeting Hunter, that is.
Hunter shared his thoughts on Peterson's past, as well as his upcoming bout, during this Q&A with RingTV.com conducted during Lamont Peterson's open workout at The Bald Eagle Recreation Center in Southwest, D.C., last Wednesday.
RingTV.com: Do you think the long layoff will show itself in the fight?
Barry Hunter: We're the type of guys who like the fight. You won't get no excuses from us. We've fought with injuries, we've fought with fractures, we've fought with the flu. We've done that in big fights, now.
We've done this in some of these major fights that the average person would have pulled out of. Not us. We just go into those fights and we do what we need to do.
RingTV.com: Do you think that a lot of people forget that there have been a lot of fights that Lamont was supposed to be involved in, including one with the late Edwin Valero?
RingTV.com: What does Holt bring to the table?
RingTV.com: When were you in camp with Holt?
RingTV.com: What does it mean to have Lamont fight in D.C. again?
RingTV.com: How much of an indication do you have as to how much Lamont's personal story has reached the city's residents?
You still have a whole lot of little Lamonts and a whole lot of little Anthonys out there. So these kids are out here, and they don't have a way.
When you think about it, there has been a lot of stuff happening in the past few years. All kinds of shootings, and all of the suicides. There has been a little bit of everything.
RingTV.com: Do you think that the city has stuck with Lamont given the controversy surrounding the Khan fight and beyond?
Photos courtesy of Barry Hunter
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org