The Peterson Brothers: An Argument for Boxing

06.09.05 - By Craig Parrish: Boxing probably has more detractors than any other sports. “Brutal”. “Barbaric”. “It should be outlawed”. As a fight fan, I hear these statements all the time, including members of my own family. I try to explain the beauty and precision, the science of the sport to them, but it falls on deaf ears. I explain to them that Boxers don’t fight for free and are aware of the risks. That it is a sport that can truly bring out the greatness in the athlete.. To no avail. And then, occasionally you see something so inspirational that it gives you more ammunition for your argument. Sort of a trump card, that can end the debate and let you walk away smiling.

Lamont and Anthony Peterson are that trump card. As we look into the past and see so many examples of fighters that have pulled themselves up from nothing, you will be hard pressed to find anyone that has faced more adversity than these two young men. By the age of ten, the Brothers were left to fend for themselves on the streets of Washington, DC. With their Father in Prison and their Mother battling many personal demons, the Brothers spent days washing windows of cars at intersections and nights sleeping in bus stations or breaking into a basement to find shelter. Sleeping in cars. Shelters. Before the age of ten, they were spending time in crackhouses, learning the trade. They were destined for a life of poverty, desperation, prison, and early death.

Fortunately, the Brothers met Barry Hunter, a boxing coach when Lamont was 10 and Anthony 8. As the Coach realized the situation the Brothers were in, a bond grew with them as Hunter treated them as his own Sons. In addition to boxing skills, Hunter gave them life skills they were deprived of from a life in the street, things as simple as brushing your teeth. Lamont and Anthony blossomed under the tutelage of Barry Hunter and today are well-spoken, humble, and joyous young men who also happen to be terrific fighters.

As they worked their way through an amateur career, both Anthony and Lamont dreamed of the Olympic games in Athens. Although they both made it through the Olympic trials in Tunica, Mississippi, neither advanced through the Olympic Box-Offs. However, they took it in stride and started looking towards the Professional ranks.

They have worked quickly at the Pros, and Anthony is currently 13-0 with 9 knockouts fighting at Lightweight, while Lamont is 14-0 with 6 knockouts fighting at Welterweight. They are impressive fighters, as the Professional game seems to fit their styles better than the Amateurs. Both are masters of the jab, and Coach Hunter has stressed the importance of combination punching off the jab, which the Brothers have incorporated greatly into their styles. The future looks bright for these two young men, which not too long ago must have appeared incredibly bleak.

It has been an amazing journey for them, especially considering the fact that each of them is barely over the age of twenty. And when asked about championship belts, money, and the life of a big-time fighter, each Brother stresses that the most important thing to him is to be a role model for children. To show them that no matter how bad a situation you’re in there is a way out if you work had enough, that the street doesn’t have to be the only answer. They are a success story of the greatest magnitude, and one has to acknowledge that the “barbaric” sport of boxing had a lot to do with the reversal of fortune of these two Brothers from the streets of DC.

So the next time someone challenges how you can possibly love the sport of boxing in this enlightened age, just smile and say “Anthony and Lamont Peterson” and walk away. You’ll win the argument, and it’ll cause you a lot less stress.

Article posted on 06.09.2005

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