IBF/WBA junior welterweight beltholder Lamont Peterson said that he plans to step up the pressure and, perhaps, go for the stoppage in his return bout with Amir Khan on May 19 at the Mandalay Bay Hotel in Las Vegas.
Having dethroned Khan (26-2, 18 knockouts) by disputed split-decision in December before his hometown fans in Washington, D.C., Peterson (30-1-1, 15 KOs) is after a more convincing triumph in the rematch, with an eye toward opening the doors for more lucrative matchups.
One such bout would be a shot at the winner between WBO welterweight beltholder Manny Pacquiao and WBO junior welterweight titleholder Tim Bradley, the lone man to defeat Peterson, by unanimous decision in December of 2009.
Peterson chose to face Khan once more over an offer from Top Rank Inc. to face RING lightweight champion Juan Manuel Marquez on July 14 at the Dallas Cowboys Stadium.
In this Q&A, Peterson elaborated on why he chose to face Khan once again, followed by a potential rematch with Bradley.
RingTV.com: Had you chose to face Marquez, do you feel you would have been distracted by the fact that you did not fight Khan?
So that fight’s done. But the fans liked the fight, so they want to see us fight again. But I won the fight, and that’s not due to no judges, or the referee, or the fact that it was me being in Washington, D.C.
I’m fighting Amir Khan again because it was a good fight, and I wanted to please the crowd and to please the fans.So I wanted to give the fans the rematch.
That’s what they want to see, and that helped me to decide to make the rematch of Peterson-Khan II. People really, really wanted to see Peterson-Khan II.
RingTV.com: How much did you enjoy being in the ring that night in that type of a fight?
The buildup before the fight, the rivalry while we were fighting, and the fans’ reaction to the fight, I’m going to love feeling that all over again.
So, Peterson-Khan II, I know that I’ll feel that same way, and maybe even better. It should be great. It will be good for me, and also, good for Khan. But the bottom line is also that it will be good for the fans.
RingTV.com: Is there much more that you think that you can or need to do to improve on your performance?
I’m going to feel that I improve. So I’m going to say that everything that I did that night, I’m going to look to do it better. Not really trying to change too much.
Because I was comfortable with the way that the fight was going and the way that things happened. So there’s not much that I have to change.
RingTV.com: What about Khan?
RingTV.com: Do you believe that you can finish Khan off this time?
I’m not saying that I’m going to do the same thing, but I know exactly what I want to do. So it’s like, ‘if he does that’, I know exactly what I want to do. And it’s like, ‘if he does this,’ I know exactly what I’m going to do.
I can get to work this time a little early than I did the last time, and I truly believe that, just with the adjustments, I can do better. I think that I can wind up with a cleaner victory, and possibly, a knockout.
RingTV.com: Does the time before the next fight favor you or him?
I think that he needs time to change it so with less time, he has less time to change those things. I think that in this situation, it works out for the better for me.
RingTV.com: Do you have a prediction on who will win between Pacquiao and Bradley?
If he can take Pacquiao’s punch all night, then Timothy wins the fight. That’s my prediction on that fight.
RingTV.com: Do you still want to fight Bradley?
Just me and him in the ring. If he beats Pacquiao, and I beat Khan, and we put on that big pay per view fight. That would really mean a lot to me.
That’s another guy who I went through the amateurs with. To be able to headline a card like that in a pay per view fight. That would really be a big fight.
I would really be happy about that. But I know that we made the right choice by fighting Khan again. So I’m at the point right now where let’s just get ready.
Photo by Naoki Fukuda
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org