Lamont Peterson was dropped three times en route to a third-round KO loss to Lucas Matthysse in his last fight in May, and Dierry Jean is confident that he can remind the IBF 140-pound beltholder of "the nightmare he had the last time" when they meet on Showtime on Jan. 25 before Peterson's hometown fans in Washington, D.C.
"This is a great opportunity for me," said Jean, who will pursue his fourth straight stoppage loss at the D.C. Armory. "That's because I think that in his mind, he's not 100 percent okay. So this is going to be a great opportunity for me to strike him again."
Like Peterson (31-2-1, 16 knockouts), Jean (25-0, 17 KOs) was last in the ring in May when the Hatian-born resident of Quebec, Canada scored a fourth-round TKO over Cleotis Pendarvis.
"This is a great opportunity for me to catch him again, and I can remind him of that nightmare that he had the last time," Jean said during a Thursday conference call promoting their clash. "I see that I'm a better fighter, I'm more vicious and I can hit better and harder than him, and I want it more, so I want to do everything to earn that title."
Peterson is 4-1-1, with three knockout victories since falling by unanimous decision to current WBO 147-pound beltholder Tim Bradley as a 140-pounder in December of 2009, but was stopped for the first time in his career by Matthysse.
"Getting over that loss, it happened in one day. It's not my first loss, so I know that it's happened before. But at the end of the day, I'm a fighter and my mentality happens to be, 'Who cares?' I don't sit around and think about my last fight if it didn't go the way that I wanted it to go," said Peterson. "You have to pick yourself up, forget about it, and move on. I know that I can still fight, and that I'm a good fighter, and I have to forget about it…I bust my ass in the gym, and I go and I fight."
Peterson has certainly faced the more formidable opposition, having scored a disputed split-decision that dethroned Amir Khan in December of 2011 and an eighth-round knockout of ex-beltholder Kendall Holt in February of last year.
Peterson also rose from two third-round knockdowns while battling to a draw with former welterweight beltholder Victor Ortiz when they were both 140-pounders in December of 2010.
Asked if he thought Jean had faced anyone on his level, Peterson said, "I'm not sure, but we're going to find out on Jan. 25."
"Who cares about what he thinks and what he says? At the end of the day, he's got to get in there and show me. So that doesn't make me feel no type of way. He can say what he wants. That's his perception, but at this point, he's got to go in there and show me," said Peterson, who fought both Khan and Holt in Washington, D.C.
"Whether I start off slow or fast, at the end of the day, my job is to win the fight, and that's what I'm focused on. If I want to start off slow, then I'll start off slow. If I start off fast, then I'll start off fast. But at the end of the day, it's all about it being a 12-round fight and winning that contest, so that's what I'm focused on."
The winner of Peterson-Jean would be in the mix for a host of solid bouts against Golden Boy fighters in the 140-pound division, perhaps even Matthysse or unbeaten RING, WBA and WBC 140-pound champion Danny Garcia, who unanimously decisioned Matthysse in September.
"I give it my all in the ring. Who cares about who's No. 1, who's No. 2, whose pound-for-pound, who has this belt and who has that belt. I could care less about that. Whether you look at me as the champion or not, it doesn't make a difference," said Peterson. "The only thing that it was is that we fought at a catchweight, and, me having the belt allows me to have this opportunity to fight Dierry Jean. That's it. That's all that belt means."
Tickets priced at $25, $50, $75, $150 and $250 go on sale Tuesday, Dec. 17 at 10 a.m. ET and are available for purchase online at www.ticketmaster.com, Ticketmaster locations, or calling (800) 745-3000.
Photo by Juan Marshall