By Paul “Paparazzi” Jones and Justin Jones | Photo © Paul “Paparazzi” Jones
WASHINGTON, DC — On October 17, former IBF Jr. Welterweight Champ Lamont “Havoc” Peterson (33-3-1, 17 KOs) and unbeaten Felix Díaz Jr. (17-0, 8 KOs) headline the Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) on NBC telecast in a 12-round bout from the EagleBank Arena in Fairfax, Virginia. A Peterson victory would not only put his winning percentage above .500 in his past five bouts, but it could also clear the way to several attractive match-ups against top-tier opposition from 140-147 pounds.
Of particular interest are fights against welterweight Amir “King” Khan (31-3, 19 KOs), reigning WBO Jr. Welterweight titlist Terence “Bud” Crawford (26-0, 18 KOs), and newly-crowned WBC champ Viktor Postol (28-0, 12 KOs).
Per an ESPN.com report, Khan is open to a rematch with Peterson after negotiations with Manny Pacquiao (57-6-2, 38 KOs) stalled earlier this week. Fortunately, a Khan rematch also interests Peterson even if it means fighting overseas.
“I would definitely fight [Khan] again,” said Peterson in an interview with East Side Boxing’s Paul “Paparazzi” Jones following the final Peterson vs. Díaz Jr. presser on Thursday. “I have no problem with that. If that’s what the fans want to see, then that’s what I’ll give them.”
Peterson indicated that a bout with Khan would have to be in early 2016, however, given his impending clash with Díaz.
Promotional and network affiliations aside, a Crawford –Peterson match-up is one of the best fights that can be made at Jr. Welterweight. Indeed, Crawford is one of boxing’s emerging stars, ranking seventh on THE RING’s Pound-for-Pound list, and the Nebraskan is one of the sport’s most cerebral boxers. Crawford is also developing a fan base beyond the confines of his hometown (Omaha, NE), which makes a fight against Peterson more than just a regional attraction. More important, while Peterson respects Crawford’s talent and skill, he is open to taking on the WBO champion for another title shot. “[Crawford] has a title at 140,” said Peterson. “And he’s definitely a guy that I’m looking at too.”
Nevertheless, getting a crack at Viktor Postol’s WBC strap is Peterson’s highest priority. “He’s the number one on my hit list at this point,” Peterson said regarding the undefeated Ukrainian. “If I stay at 140, that’s who I want to fight.”
With fights against Khan, Crawford, and Postol all possible if Peterson defeat Díaz, the former champion must be careful not to overlook the Dominican standout. Díaz boasts a 2008 Olympic gold medal and a bronze medal at the 2003 Pan American Games. And despite being at a considerable size, reach, experience, and home field disadvantage against Peterson, Díaz is an undefeated fighter aiming for his first signature win as a pro.
Peterson must also avoid falling into the same trap that former junior welterweight and welterweight titlist Devon Alexander (26-4, 14 KOs) experienced on Wednesday’s PBC card on ESPN. Over 10 rounds, Alexander was out-worked, and ultimately out-pointed, by 50-to-1 longshot, Aaron Martinez (20-4-1, 4 KOs).
Therefore, when Peterson steps into the ring this Saturday, he would be wise to remember the axiom that he has often quoted in the past: “You can never count a man out until he retires.” ■
Other News & Notes
- One notable name missing among the potential opponents for Peterson at junior welterweight is current WBA champ, Adrien “The Problem” Broner (31-2, 1 NC, 23 KOs). Albeit compelling, fight fans should not expect Broner and Peterson to mix it up in the ring. According to Peterson’s trainer Barry Hunter, “As far as Adrien is concerned, [he’s] family. So that will never happen.”
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