Photos: Delane Rouse – Hoganphotos/Golden Boy
IBF junior welterweight champion Lamont Peterson held a media workout ahead of his January 25 title bout against Dierry Jean, which will take place at the DC Armory and headline a live Showtime telecast.
Lamont Peterson: “I intend to continue to be the champion after my fight on January 25. I don’t worry about comments from him [Dierry Jean]. At the end of the day he’s got to get in the ring with me. He can say whatever he wants, but he’ll see when he gets in there that it’s not an easy task. It’s always a great thing to fight at home. When the crowd is cheering for you, it gives you the extra energy to pull out the close rounds and close fights. I’m glad to be fighting at home. I never really left the gym since my last fight. I’ve been doing a lot of strength and conditioning, although at this point it’s mostly boxing. Right now, I’m working on the game plan and making sure I execute when I get in the ring.
“I try to put that [loss] behind me. Boxing is for a thinking sportsman. [Boxing] It’s not a sport where you should be letting those things get to you. You have to fight smart and the best way to do that is to clear your mind.
“I didn’t know much about Dierry Jean when the fight was announced. He’s a pretty good fighter, but at this level when you fight for championship belts, I’ve done it and he never has. I know my first time fighting for a world title was more difficult than I thought. I’m expecting him to stumble because of the bright lights and the type of pressure. People don’t normally deal with it well.
“It’s scheduled for 12 [rounds] and I’ll be prepared to go that distance. But if it ends before that I’ll be happy.
[On making on weight] “I miss eating pizza and things I like to eat, but for the most part I do pretty well with it. I come into the gym at 8:30 in the morning and I don’t leave until 7:00 at night. I probably spend about 4-5 hours a day working out. The fact that I’m fighting at home and a majority of the crowd will be cheering for me, that helps me. He’s [Jean] going to have to deal with that crowd too.
“I’ll be 30 the day before the fight. I’m still a kid but the clock is ticking. Eventually the hard exercising will take its toll. So I just have to stay smart and pay attention to my body.
“I appreciate things much more than I did when I was younger. Going through a whole training camp at this point is the happiest time of my life. I know it won’t last forever but I try to enjoy every moment of it and I’m thankful to be in this position. ”
Barry Hunter, Petersons’ Trainer: “Lamont may have a slight chip on his shoulder [following his recent loss], but its all business with him.
“A lot of the times even though he’s reserved, when he gets close to a fight he does get anxious. We see it in the gym, and I spoke to him and just told him to never act like anyone but himself.
“This is something that we haven’t seen before but he’s been resilient so I won’t worry about it.
“It bothered me that moment during the last fight. But I said to my wife on the way home, ‘I must have matured a lot because I don’t feel as devastated as I normally do after a loss,’ I understand somebody has to win and somebody has to lose. It’s not about losing; it’s about what you do after the loss.
“I gave the man my word. We’ve been through everything and we never really had the chance to fight at home. I told the Mayor, what would be better than bringing the world title back to DC.
“It’s been a long time since DC had something to shout about and we want to bring it back.
[On Dierry Jean] “I think he’s a good little fighter. I’m not a huge film guy. We usually make adjustments in fights, but based off what I saw he’s not great in one area but he’s good in a lot of areas. He’s hungry and he wants a title so it should make for a good fight.”