Lem Satterfield

Q&A Roach: Peterson is a great opponent for Pacquiao


If newly-crowned IBF/WBA junior welterweight titlewinner Lamont PetersonI doesn’t take the rematch with Amir Khan, and WBC welterweight titleholder Floyd Mayweather Jr. isn’t out of jail in time enough to make a fight with WBO counterpart Manny Pacquiao, then why not make Pacquiao-Peterson?

“You know, there are fights out there,” said Freddie Roach, who trains both Pacquiao (54-3-2, 38 knockouts) and Khan (26-2, 18 KOs), the latter of whom lost his title to Peterson (30-1-1, 15 KOs) following a split-decision on Dec. 10.

“I think that Lamont Peterson is a great opponent for Manny Pacquiao if the Mayweather fight doesn’t happen, in my opinion. That is, if Lamont really doesn’t want to take the fight with Amir Khan.”

Pacquiao is coming off November’s controversial majority decision over Juan Manuel Marquez, while Mayweather (42-0, 26 KOs) has targeted a May 5 return to the ring at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas against an opponent to be determined. Many have speculated that Pacquiao is his target.

But given the fact that Mayweather was sentenced to 90 days in jail starting on January 6, there is a significant doubt as to whether or not Maywhether will even be licensed by the Nevada State Athletic Commision’s five-member committee, let alone, if he will even have time enough to begin training for any fight on that date.

“There’s other fights out there, yes, but the thing is, we are interested in Mayweather,” said Roach of a megafight whose negotiations with Pacquiao have twice failed over the issue of drug testing.

“If that can’t happen because of Mayweather’s issues, then that would be very disappointing. But hopefully, the negotiations will continue, and we’ll give him enough time to get ready and vice versa, and hopefully, it will happen.”

In the meantime, Peterson has been offered a career-high $1 million by Golden Boy Promotions for a rematch with Khan, who has cited poor officiating and scorecard descrepancies among the reasons he has appealed to the IBF and the WBA to overturn Peterson’s victory or else to order an immediate rematch.

Hearings have been set for Jan. 18 and 19, by the WBA and the IBF, respectively, in New York.

Peterson has also acknowledged considering a return bout with RING No. 8-rated pound-for-pound Tim Bradley (28-0, 12 KOs), who scored a unanimous decision over Peterson during his failed effort to win the WBO belt in December of 2009.

If Pacquiao can’t get Mayweather, many believe that he will seek a fourth bout against Marquez or else, one opposite Bradley, the latter of whom shares Pacquiao’s promoter, Top Rank.

If not Mayweather, however, Roach likes a matchup featuring Pacquiao against Peterson. Peterson stands nearly four inches taller than Pacquiao at 5-foot-9, and entered the ring against the 5-10 Khan weighing 155 pounds.

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