On Saturday night, veteran 140 pounder Anthony Peterson (39-1-1, 1 NC, 25 KOs) hammered Saul Corral (23-19, 13 KOs) over six lopsided rounds, culminating in an impressive knockout win for Peterson, the co-feature of the Beltway Battles: Round Two card at the Entertainment & Sports Arena in Washington, DC. Greg “Sharp Shooter” Outlaw (10-1, 5 KOs), the card’s featured fighter, fared worse, however, suffering a gruesome cut over his right eye against Wilfrido Buelvas (22-15, 16 KOs), which forced their eight-rounder to end in a no contest.
Here’s what it all means in three takeaways:
1. Anthony Peterson is still a threat at super lightweight
Although well outside of the top 15 rankings at super lightweight, Peterson fought Corral, of Mexico, with the sense of urgency of a fighter intent on making a splash in the division, rather than as an aging gatekeeper trying to cash out.
And for the 37-years-old Peterson age appears to be nothing more than a number, with the DC native showcasing his full repertoire of skills against Corral, evidencing no visible signs of erosion in power, defense, timing, or stamina in laying waste to the Mexican.
Peterson attributes his ability to dodge Father Time, in part, to clean living and minimizing stress.
“My brother [former super lightweight champ turned head trainer, Lamont Peterson] always says, ‘What is time?’,” said Anthony Peterson in his post-fight interview with East Side Boxing’s Paul R. Jones!
“I don’t do drugs. I don’t drink. I don’t have any kids, I’m not stressed out. I don’t have any problems in my life. I’m just a happy-go-lucky person, who likes to smile and laugh, so it will keep me alive for a long time.”
More important, however, is that Peterson still covets a world title. And he’s not shy in calling the top names at super lightweight to facilitate the process.
“We’re going for that world championship fight after August 6th,” said Peterson, who headlines another Beltway Battles card in DC on that date.
“Then we’re gonna try to get a tough TV fight. And after that, [former world titlist] Regis Prograis, or whoever at 140 or 135. I’m comin’ at ‘em.”
When asked about fighting the Super Welterweight vanguard, including Josh Taylor and Jack Catterall, Peterson said, “Oh yeah. That’s going to be a whole different level.”
And while Peterson is eager to fight the Prograis, Catteralls, and Taylors of the world, he has an equal measure of respect for these fighters.
“I respect all those guys, because they put in the work,” said Peterson. “They’re serious about their craft, that’s why I want to go against them. To test and see what I’m about,” he added.
It’s also worth noting that, at least from a public opinion standpoint, the super lightweight division appears to be wide open after the notorious Taylor vs. Catterall scorecards (and the British Boxing Board of Control’s decision on the matter), which adds some degree of ambiguity to who really is “the man” at 140 pounds.
Bottom line. Peterson still presents a tough matchup for the vanguard at super lightweight from skill, experience, and stylistic standpoints. Factor in his physical attributes and hunger for a world title shot, and it’s easy to see how Peterson could still make noise in the division. However, Peterson’s pathway to a world title is narrow, with a razor-thin margin of error at this point in his career.
2. Pressure and a concentrated body attack will be Peterson’s keys to victory against the division’s elite.
If Peterson is fortunate enough to secure a title shot, his path to victory will be heavily predicated on his ability to apply pressure, close the distance, and punish the body, some of which the Peterson Brothers reportedly worked leading up to the Corral fight, per Gene Wang of The Washington Post.
And, for Peterson, the cold calculus for victory against Corral was clear:
Pressure + a sustained body attack = knockout.
And from the opening bell, Peterson used this formula to perfection, lighting the Corral up with hard rights and lefts to body, and ratcheting up the pressure to give the Mexican little time to breathe during rounds.
Interspersed between Peterson’s pressure and body attack, was a pesky jab, upstairs and downstairs, that forced Corral to speed up his processing and left him few opportunities to reset his offense.
And when Corral looked to tie Peterson up, Peterson was having none of it.
“Oh no, no, no. We ain’t about to do that,” Peterson said.
“I know when someone tries to grab me, I try to force my arms up,” he added. “And my personal trainer helped me with my strength.”
And after Peterson freed himself from Corral’s clinch attempts, the DC native went right back to pressuring his foe.
Indeed, Peterson’s all gas, no brakes approach paid dividends, taking the steam off of Corral’s punches by round four, and, ultimately, taking the steam out of Corral in the sixth round — courtesy of a well-placed body shot that left the Mexican wincing in pain on the canvas and unable to continue at the 1:09 mark.
Bottom line. You can bet that, if Peterson is to have success against the vanguard at super lightweight, his blueprint for success will include sustained pressure and a high-volume body attack to give him the best chance of winning.
3. Greg “Sharp Shooter” Outlaw will have to hit the PAUSE button on his career in the near term.
The near-term outlook for Outlaw is somewhat dim given the nasty gash that he suffered over his right eye in the first round against Colombian, Wilfrido Buelvas.
Outlaw entered the bout, at 10-and-1 with 5 knockouts, having nabbed a regional belt – the WBA/NABA Gold Junior Welterweight strap – in a previous bout.
However, the fight was quickly stopped by the referee after Outlaw and Buelvas clashed heads, leaving both fighters bleeding profusely.
“I wasn’t’ jabbing enough, and I finally threw a big punch,” said Outlaw to East Side Boxing’s Paul R. Jones!
“And he’s throwing a big punch, and we clashed heads. Orthodox [vs.] Southpaw, . . . and here I am,” he added.
Despite blood trickling in his eye, Outlaw didn’t know how severe his injury was at first.
“I saw [Buelvas] bleeding, [but] I thought it was just him,” said Outlaw. “I didn’t think it was me. But when I got to the doctor. They said it was bad.”
Nevertheless, Outlaw pleaded his case to the referee to continue.
“I’m begging [the ref] to keep fighting,” said Outlaw. “But she’s like, ‘After you see this, you’re gonna want to thank me for not letting you keep fighting,’” he added. “But how I look at it now, I would’ve really had to get him out of there early [if I continued].”
The good news is that the referee’s decision to stop Outlaw vs. Buelvas, and declare the bout a no contest, was a clear case of a referee getting it right by erring on the side of fighter safety.
The bad news, however, is that Outlaw was cut once before on that same eye, and will undoubtedly require stitches and ample time on the shelf to heal.
Bottom line. Outlaw’s aspirations of becoming a bonafide contender are on hold, and we wish him a speedy recovery in the interim.
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