Newly-crowned IBF/WBA junior welterweight titlewinner Lamont Peterson said that he is “all for” a clash with WBO welterweight beltholder Manny Pacquiao, adding, “if I get that call, I’ll be ready to go.”
Rated No. 2 in his division by THE RING, the 27-year-old Peterson (30-1-1, 15 knockouts) dethroned Amir Khan (26-2, 18 KOs) by split-decision on HBO before nearly 9,000 fans at The Washington Convention Center on Dec. 10.
“I’m all for it. If I get that call, I’ll be ready to go. You know, it’s a dream that you dream of growing up. You want to fight the best,” said Peterson, a resident of Washington, D.C.’s tough South East neighborhood where he endured a homeless childhood.
“You get into the sport to fight the best. And Manny Pacquiao is definitely one of the best. So I’m anxious to see how my style matches up with him. So I’m anxious to see the income of that fight.”
Click here to see the video of Peterson’s comments during a recent appearance on an edition of NBC’s Washington, D.C.-based news broadcast along with heavyweight prospect Seth Mitchell, where they were introduced by well-known news anchor and personality, Jim Vance, and interviewed by sports anchor Dan Hellie.
“There are no easy fights in boxing. Not at this level. You hold those titles. You represent something,” said Peterson of a potential bout with Pacquiao (54-3-2, 38 KOs). “I’m ready to out there and represent what I stand for — a champion.”
Over the past week or so, the call has grown louder for a potential bout between Peterson and Pacquiao, whose five-time Trainer of The Year, Freddie Roach, was the first to vocalize it during an interview with RingTV.com.
“I think that Lamont Peterson is a great opponent for Manny Pacquiao if the fight (with WBC welterweight titleholder Floyd Mayweather Jr.) does not happen,” Roach told RingTV.com.
Mayweather’s facing a 90-day jail sentence on Wednesday that is slated to begin on Jan. 6, a development which threatens Mayweather’s targeted return to the ring of May 5 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas against an opponent to be determined, but who many have speculated was intended to be Pacquiao.
In addition, a Philippines news organization ABS-CBN correspondent reported that Pacquiao said that a fight with Mayweather “might not push because he is faced with cases” that could jeopardize Mayweather’s target date.
Pacquiao’s advisor, Michael Koncz, officially named Peterson among those he will mention to Top Rank Inc. CEO Bob Arum as a potential rival for Pacquiao, who is coming off November’s controversial majority decision over Juan Manuel Marquez.
Koncz said Peterson is among other options for Pacquiao with Arum, such as a fourth bout with Marquez, WBO junior welterweight beltholder Tim Bradley, or WBA junior middleweight titleholder Miguel Cotto.
“I’m aware of the options that we have, and then, also, Lamont Peterson is another option also. We’ve had some preliminary discussions, but we’ve not sat down, Manny and I, to discuss that in depth,” said Koncz.
“I came back because Manny has instructed me to do something here in regard to future opponents, and I’ll do that this coming week, so we’ll see. I have to meet with Bob on some other issues too.”
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.
Peterson, who earned $650,000 to Khan’s $1.1 million, has also acknowledged considering a return bout with RING No. 8-rated pound-for-pound Bradley, who scored a unanimous decision over Peterson during his failed effort to win the WBO belt in December of 2009.
On the Peterson-Khan undercard, the 29-year-old Mitchell (24-0-1, 18 KOs) , of Brandywine, Md., mercilessly unloaded several, big right hands to the jaw of Timur Ibragimov (30-4-1, 16 KOs), of Uzbekistan, forcing referee Malik Waleed to step in and protect the most seasoned opponent of Mitchell’s career for a second round knockout at 2:48.
Mitchell scored the first stoppage in the career of the 36-year-old Ibragimov, who was coming off a split-decision loss to former cruiserweight titleholder Jean Marc Mormeck (36-4, 22 KOs) in December that ended Ibragimov’s winning streak of nine straight victories, including three stoppages.
Nicknamed, “Mayhem,” Mitchell’s victory was his 22nd straight and his 17th knockout during that run, sustaining his status as America’s best chance at ending its heavyweight championship drought.
No U.S.-born fighter has held a heavyweight title since 2007, when Shannon Briggs briefly wore the WBO’s strap. In 2006, Hasim Rahman of Baltimore held the WBC belt while the IBF title was held by Chris Byrd.
Photo by Naoki Fukuda
Photo by Chris Farina, Top Rank Inc.
Photo by Naoki Fukuda
Lem Satterfield can be reached at email@example.com