The Return Of Lamont Peterson
By: Sean Crose
It seemed to me as if Danny Garcia was the favored child of the powers that be in the lead up to his 2015 battle with Lamont Peterson. Needless to say, the iffy decision tossed Garcia’s way after he and Peterson had battled for twelve rounds didn’t re-establish my confidence in those powers. To my eye at least, Peterson had proved to be the more skilled, the more talented and the more in control fighter that April evening. Oh, the fight was close to be sure, but it certainly didn’t appear to me as if Garcia deserved the win. Peterson, I felt, couldn’t catch a break.
For indeed, Peterson was a quiet man. I had spoken to him on two occasions and felt like I knew him well enough to understand that he wasn’t showy enough for some people’s taste. That sort of thing wasn’t good when you were a professional fighter, but what was Peterson supposed to do? Turn himself into a Broner-style “problem?” Perhaps someday, I thought, Peterson would crack through and be judged based on his talent, rather than by his subdued personality and a positive drug test from a few years earlier.
Peterson, however, pretty much stopped fighting. After winning a controversial decision of his own against Felix Diaz the same year as the Garcia bout, Peterson disappeared from the scene. Was he sitting precious amounts of time out? Was he being sidelined by those same powers that be I suspected had been unfair regarding Garcia? Or was this all part of some grand master plan by the soft-spoken man who liked to don a large beard? It wasn’t easy to tell. Nor was it easy to tell when, if ever, the guy would return to the ring. At least now, however, the question of Peterson’s return has been answered.
For the 34-3-1 Washington DC native will be back on February 28th, when he has a welterweight showdown with 22-1-1 David Avanesyan on the Adrien Broner – Adrian Granados undercard in Cincinnati. The bout will be fought for one of the WBAs titles (if you’re into that sort of thing – which I myself am not), but the real point of interest will be how good Peterson looks in the ring after his long layoff. Time waits for no man, after all, and Peterson is no exception. What’s more, at thirty-three years of age, the guy might not have all the time in the world to really make his mark.
If Peterson’s skills haven’t eroded, however, he can indeed be a force to be reckoned with at welterweight. Perhaps some of the division’s top names might want to keep an eye out.