By Gary “Digital” Williams
A world championship for undefeated junior welterweight champion Lamont Peterson would obviously be huge for the native of Washington, DC. However, as Peterson (27-0, 13 KOs) prepares for his nationally televised (SHOWTIME) Saturday, December 12th title challenge against WBO junior welterweight titleholder Timothy “Desert Storm” Bradley (24-0, 11 KOs) at the Agua Caliente Resort and Casino in Rancho Mirage, CA, Peterson says there is added incentive.
“This would mean a lot,” Peterson said. “This has been a 15-year journey and we’re still working at it. I think about how the journey has been and that’s why I have to go out and win this title.” Many boxing fans know the story of how Peterson and his brother – undefeated lightweight contender Anthony – were homeless on the streets of Washington, DC prior to coming under the tutelage of trainer Barry Hunter. Both went on to win National Golden Gloves titles as amateurs and have forged successful pro careers. Lamont Peterson won the WBO Interim Junior Welterweight title on April 25 with a seventh-round TKO over Willy Blain on April 25 in Bayamon, Puerto Rico. Peterson says winning the world title would serve as a strong message for young people.
“Winning the title would not only be important to me, but winning this title would be important to a lot of young kids who are in the same situation [that we were in] growing up,” Peterson said. “This would say that just because you were dealt a bad hand doesn’t mean you can’t win with that hand. You can reach your goals if you keep trying.”
Peterson is very familiar with Bradley as the two travelled the same roads as amateurs and he says the two forged a very respectful friendship.
“I do respect him,” Peterson says. “It’s not like we hang out or we talk on the phone, but we ask how the families are doing. I’ve known him for 10 years and I respect him.” Peterson added that Bradley trains harder than he did in the amateurs and is in better shape.
Peterson says, however, that there is one aspect of his game that will give him the edge on December 12.
“I can match anything he can do, but he cannot match what I can do,” Peterson said. “Bradley has speed and movement, I can do that. Everyone has seen me move with speed in the ring. He brings power, I can match that. He’s going to be in tremendous condition, I will be in tremendous shape, too. But at the end of the day, his arms aren’t going to grow five inches on December 12. His height is not going to extend. He will be a determined fighter and I will be too, but I can match everything that he can bring and he can’t match what I will bring.”
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