The question of whether Lamont Peterson still had anything left has officially been answered.
He certainly had more than just questions tossed at him in order to prove it too, as Peterson retained his IBF junior welterweight title in a spirited battle with Dierry Jean, and came out on top by scores of 115-113, 116-112, and 118-111.
The most prominent concern heading into the bout for Peterson was whether or not his chin would be ‘dented’ after his one-sided knockout loss at the hands of Lucas Matthysse last May. The IBF titlist didn’t exactly try to shield himself, as he went right back to the cerebral pressure fighting form that took him to the upper echelon of the 140-pound division.
“It was one loss. The best fight the best. It just made me work harder. I knew I had to go out and show everyone that I’ve still got it,” said Peterson (30-4-2, 22 knockouts), who was fighting in his hometown of Washington DC, at the DC Armory. Announced attendance was 5,668.
Fighting in his signature style meant taking plenty of clean shots from Jean (25-1, 17 KOs) throughout the night. The Canadian challenger started to land overhand rights in the second, and finished the round with a number of clean shots that likely stole the frame.
The two then stood toe to toe in a fantastic third round, with both men exchanging gigantic power shots, almost letting one another load up and trade in the center of the ring.
But by the fifth, the tide started to turn completely in Peterson's favor. He found his comfort zone right on top of Jean's chest, pounding away to the body and lifting his head with short uppercuts. At the end of the round, Peterson dropped his hands and invited Jean to hit him, admittedly playing a few mind games with his foe.
“I knew it was his first night on the big stage. He’s only been fighting up in Canada, and he’s never been on this level before,” said Peterson.
Jean, 31, Montreal, QC, Canada, pretty much agreed with his opponent’s assessment.
“It was just a matter of experience,” said Jean. “I’m definitely leaving with my head held high. I fought a hard fight. Life goes on, you know.”
Jean gave a good account of himself, and while there were some Peterson-dominant rounds in the middle of the fight, he did try to make adjustments. Unfortunately, he’s never had to make adjustments at world-class speed or against top flight opposition in the past.
And top flight is exactly what Peterson remains in the junior welterweight division. If Danny Garcia removes himself from the division, as all signs indicate he will shortly, then Peterson should rightfully still be considered one of the two best 140-pounders on the planet.
“I would like to be considered the best 140 pounder in the world before I leave,” said Peterson, who specifically mentioned wanting a clash with Garcia if he’ll stick around the weight class long enough.
CHARLO OUTCLASSES ROSADO
The night’s co-feature was a comprehensive boxing performance from Jermell Charlo, as he stepped up and outclassed Gabriel Rosado. Scores were 97-93, 99-91 and 100-90.
According to CompuBox, Charlo outlanded Rosado 239 to 94 overall, and the numbers don’t lie in this instance. Charlo boxed beautifully, and showed a repertoire far beyond his age of 22.
Charlo (23-0, 11 KOs) set the tone in the first round, stymying Rosado’s early blitz with well-timed jabs that had the former world title challenger swelling underneath his left eye immediately. Unfortunately for Rosado, the abrasions wouldn’t stop there. A small cut would open up over Rosado’s eye in the third round, and it would worsen in the fifth with an accidental clash of heads that went uncalled.
The wound was in the very same place as the gash that caused Rosado’s last fight with Peter Quillin to be stopped, and very similar to the one he sustained in his first title crack against Gennady Golovkin.
“It’s my Achilles heel I guess. It’s disappointing,” said Rosado of his propensity to bleed.
It’s an unfortunate weakness that Rosado may not be able to overcome as a fighter without the aid of plastic surgery. Short of that, he’ll continue to get diced up by in-ring surgeons like Charlo.
“I absolutely knew that I was going to have to box and cut him. He did exactly what we trained for. Once I saw that his eye was cut, I knew I had to keep going and keep working it,” said Charlo.
With or without the advantage of an abrasion, Charlo was simply in a different league on this night. Rosado’s variety was lacking in his attempts to get to the inside, and it resulted in a lot of sharp left hooks. Every time he tried to get through the front door, the Houston, Texas, native slammed it in his face.
The win may be the proverbial step into junior middleweight title contention for Charlo, whose twin brother Jermall faces IBF 154-pound champ Carlos Molina in March. For Rosado (21-8, 13 KOs), that road may no longer be open, as he’s now likely to be viewed simply as a gatekeeper by power promoters with budding contenders.
In a fight originally intended for broadcast on Showtime Extreme, Dominic Wade survived a hard first round knockdown to edge out journeyman Dashon Johnson. The scorecards read 57-56, 58-55 and 59-55.
No less than 30 seconds into the bout, Johnson caught Wade with a quick left hook that sent Wade to the canvas. Wade wisely kept close to Johnson for the rest of the round as he shook it off, avoiding another haymaker.
As the fight progressed, the Al Haymon-backed prospect showed a more varied arsenal than his opponent, in particular landing good body shots in combination. Nonetheless, whether it was intended by the matchmakers or not, Wade received the toughest test of his career.
Rau’shee Warren kept his undefeated record intact with a dreary unanimous decision win over German Meraz. “Nuke” won every round on every scorecard over the eight-round distance.
The only notable event during the fight came in the final round, when Warren (10-0, 3 KOs) dropped Meraz (46-27-1, 25 KOs) for an eight count. Outside of that, it was a one note song all night, with the three-time Olympian landing at will and easily stepping out of range afterward.
Robert Easter Jr. trounced former world title challenger Daniel Attah over eight rounds in the Showtime Extreme-televised opener. Scores were 80-70 across the board.
Easter (9-0, 8 KOs) dropped Attah (28-18-1, 11 KOs) in the third right with a straight right hand that looked as though it was going to end the fight. Easter was so convinced of this that he turned his back to the action and broke out into a gyrating dance.
Unable to do anything about Easter’s gargantuan height and reach (5’11”, 76”), Attah went into survival mode and tried to duck and dodge along the ropes for the duration of the fight.
The humungous lightweight continued to seek the knockout, and nearly found it in the final frame with another right hand down the pipe.
An early assessment of Easter shows that he could turn into a nightmare matchup for anyone in the weight division. Thus far, he’s been able to blitz his opposition, and as such, has been on the attack for his entire pro career. Whether he will blossom into a tall pressure fighter—as he appears currently–or choose to use his height more conventionally will be revealed as his competition improves.
Before the popcorn was even ready at the concession stand, 2008 U.S. Olympian Raynell Williams picked up his third professional victory, stopping William Stimmel in the first round of lightweight action. Though there was an egregious gap in skill, the stoppage was still impressive. Williams walked a reckless Stimmel right into a left uppercut that knocked him unconscious immediately.
Photos / Nicholas Kamm-AFP