Boxing


Lamont Peterson: “I want the Khan fight again”

by Geoffrey Ciani (Exclusive Interview by Jenna J & Geoffrey Ciani) - This week’s 153rd edition of On the Ropes Boxing Radio featured an exclusive interview with the newly crowned WBA/IBF junior welterweight champion Lamont Peterson (30-1-1, 15 KOs) who beat Amir Khan (26-2, 18 KOs) by split decision last Saturday. Peterson spoke about his victory over Khan, and also discussed his future which includes possible rematches against both Khan and the only man ever to defeat him in the professional ranks, Timothy Bradley. Peterson also gave his views and the Super Six Final matchup between Andre Ward and Carl Froch. Here is what Peterson had to say in the interview:

On how he has felt the last several days since scoring an upset victory against Amir Khan:

“It hasn’t really sunk in yet. So I just pretty much feel like the same old me, and I’m just doing the things I normally do. I’m just chilling out and just anxious to get back in the gym really.”

Regarding how confident he was going into this fight given the fact he was an 11:1 underdog:

“I was pretty confident. I knew his style, and I knew my style would match up good with his. I just knew that me and my coach had a good game plan and I knew that I would go in there and execute.”

On whether he sensed a change in the fight during the third round where he began having more success:

“I sensed it in the second round. I was starting to hit him with clean shots. You know he was still punching, but with a lot of the punches I think I was starting to deflect his punches. He wasn’t landing as much, and like I said I was coming forward and hitting him pretty cleanly. I knew at that point. You could see me when I went back to my corner, and I was just shaking my head and I knew I had him. Then I went out in the third round, and that’s where I really picked it up from there.”

Regarding when he felt he needed to change his original game plan in order to defeat Khan:

“In the first round. I kind of had some awkward moments and I was tripping up going back. He ended up getting an extra point for the knockdown, which I believe wasn’t a knockdown. So I knew at that point it would probably keep happening if I kept going backwards and trying to box, because he’s always charging in when you let him with straight punches and going straight back. There were some awkward moments, so I knew we had to go on to plan B. So I just wanted to try that and see what happened, and once I had seen in the second round that it was starting to work, that’s when I just stuck with it.”

On whether he was at all surprised by the manner in which Khan decided to fight him:

“No. I figured if I put pressure on him that he would fight exactly the way he did. He would move, and then I would just catch up with him, and then he would hold and he would push. I watched some film on him and I had seen that that’s a habit of his.”

His views on whether the two point deductions Khan received for pushing in any way soured his victory since those points wound up making the difference in the fight:

“Yeah, it does and people are making a big deal about it as they would with any close fight. Being that the fight was so close people are going to see it differently. But because he’s Amir Khan they’re going to make a big deal out of it. At the end of the day, to me, you look at him fighting Zab Judah. Nobody said anything about him holding Zab down like that and hitting him low. Some people say Zab should have taken the punch and gotten up, and he didn’t hit him in the cup. It was low! It was an illegal blow. They gave him the knockout and no one said anything. It was all good. Khan is such a great fighter he knocked Zab Judah out with a low blow. So to me it shows a little bias in it, and it has taken away from my victory a little bit, but at the end of the day I don’t care because years from now no one will worry about any points taken. All that they will know is that Lamont won a championship.”

His feelings after the final bell rang and whether or not he believed he was going to be awarded the decision:

“Yeah. I knew it was close, but I felt as though I won the fight. I was just hoping that regardless of how they called it that the judges were fair. At the end of the day when they said I won I was happy, but I kind of figured that I won.”

His views regarding the championship bout Victor Ortiz won against Andre Berto following the bout where Peterson and Ortiz fought to a draw:

“I was like man! To me it was just funny how things happen and how different people pass off. You know we had a draw, and I went to not having a fight at that time and he ended up winning a world title. So I knew my time would come, but I was happy for Victor. I was just wishing it was me.”

On whether or not he ever started experiencing self-doubt following his one-sided loss against Timothy Bradley:

“No. People don’t know the inside of my story. They don’t know what happened in training camp and what I was thinking in the ring. So I expected them, from the performance I put on compared to what they’re used to seeing from me, I can see them thinking that way. But I knew exactly where I went wrong. I knew it was just minor things that I needed to fix. Soon after that fight, I focused on those things and I knew I would continue to get better from that point, and I knew eventually that my day would come and I would be a world champion.”

On whether he would prefer to have a rematch with Khan to prove he is the better man or a rematch with Bradley to avenge his only career loss:

“Of course it would be Bradley. That would be my first option. With Khan, you know, whatever happens after the Bradley fight I can still fight Khan regardless. So my first thing would be just to avenge my only loss.”

Regarding whether he would be tempted to make the jump up to 147 sometime in 2012:

“I would be totally comfortable with it. You know I would be happy with moving up. If there is not a big enough fight at 140 pounds, I would definitely go to 147 pounds. As you could see the night of the fight I was 155 pounds, and after the weighed me I was in my dressing room and I ate a little bit more. So I probably was every bit of 156-157 pounds. That was nothing that I tried to do. The weight just came back on me. I won’t say it was difficult making 140, but it’s getting harder and harder each time. So you know I’m all for moving up to welterweight, and there are some big names up at that weight. So I would definitely be happy to fight at that weight.”

Regarding how he acquired the boxing nickname “Havoc”:

“I always said I didn’t want a nickname. You know what I mean? I don’t know if you know the guy out of New York named Andre. He makes trunks. He makes uniforms, and the name of his company is ‘Havoc’. I had fought on a show. It was overseas on one of the islands. It was on TV over there, and the name was on the trunks—‘Havoc’. You know, because he was promoting his trunks so he had the name on there, and they thought it was my nickname. So from then on they kept calling me ‘Havoc’. I went to a press conference one time. I forget who I was fighting, and they announced me as Lamont ‘Havoc’ Peterson. I was like I’m not even going to say anything, and after that it just kept continuing to be that way. So I just forget it. Let them call me ‘Havoc’.”

His views on the Super Six Final matchup between Andre Ward and Carl Froch:

“I’m a Froch fan. You know I really like Froch and the way he fights, but with Andre Ward of course you know growing up with him through the amateurs and everything, and just never seeing him lose, I just think right now. I just think period, and I know this is not true, but I think it’s impossible for him to lose. I just think he’s going to win, and he’s going to keep continuing to win, and probably retire undefeated. It’s going to be a close fight. You know both guys are competitive, so you’re not going to decide the winner by round two or round one. But I just think at the end of the day Andre Ward will pull the fight off.”

On whether it looks like him and Khan will be having an immediate rematch next, or whether he will target the fight with Bradley to avenge his only career loss:

“I’ve heard nothing about a Timothy Bradley fight. With the Khan fight I really haven’t heard anything about that, but at the press conference and then my coach and my manager Barry Hunter did touch with me yesterday about Richard Schaefer reaching out to him about a fight. With me, I want the Khan fight again. When me and my team do sit down to talk about my next fight, I will be pushing for that fight. But of course everybody has to agree on my next fight. So we’ll see, but for me that’s the fight that I want. So we’ll see, but for me that’s the fight that I want. But it’s not anything exact. I mean how can you make a fight that fast? There are a lot of things that go into making a fight and we haven’t even begun to start talking. So we’ll see what happens, but for me that’s the fight that I want.”

On whether he would go over to England to face Khan in a rematch if the money was right:

“It’s never about money with me. So I’m going to the best thing. I’m going to do what feels comfortable to me. If we can find something that’s comfortable enough for me to fight in the UK then that’s where I’ll go. But the likelihood of that? Probably not, it will probably be in a neutral site.”

His views on Amir Khan’s behavior following their fight and whether he believes Khan should have conducted himself better:

“I would have. I can’t say what he should do. I mean if he wants to go and act that way then let him go ahead, but if it was me I would not act that way. I understand the way he sees things right now, but when everything settles down he’ll realize if he ever looks at the tape that it wasn’t anything. I mean the ref wasn’t biased with me. He didn’t do me any favors. To me, he cost me a point in the first round by calling a knockdown when it wasn’t a knockdown. To me, he cost me not to do some of the work I wanted to do on the inside because he allowed Khan to pull down on my neck a whole lot. The referee is there to protect us from any illegal blows or anything like that, and I feel as though anything other than a punch I shouldn’t be hurting in the ring. By him pulling on my neck, my lower back was really, really tight and my neck was hurting really bad. So I just think if the ref was looking out for me that he would have made sure that that didn’t happen. So you know Khan can say all the things he wants. He did what he did, and the referee warned him not to, and he continued to do it. It’s a habit of his. He gets away with it a lot, but this time he didn’t. So because he didn’t get away with it means that he got treated unfairly?

Regarding when fans can expect to see him back inside the ring:

“As soon as possible. Right now I’m still healing up from the fight, and I’ll probably be in the gym in another week or so, and I guess at that point me and my team will sit down and try and discuss some things and work some things out. But I really don’t have an idea because right now I don’t have a promoter. So it will be something that me and my team will have to discuss and come up with, and we’ll figure out where we’re going to go from there.”

On what he would like to say to all of his fans who have supported him:

“I just want to say thanks to all the people that showed up and showed me support. I really appreciate it. I really think that that’s what won me the fight. That’s what kept me going and gave me the extra energy to keep pressing on to win the fight. To all my new fans, thank ya’ll too. Just keep following me, and I’ll always be a gentleman and I’ll always be a true champ and I’ll always be a people’s champ. I have no problem with taking pictures, autographs, and even just general conversation, even if it’s on Twitter or if I see them in person, because I know how much the fans love me. So I just want to give thanks to everyone that supported me and everyone that was there for me. I appreciate it.”

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For those interested in listening to the Lamont Peterson interview in its entirety, it begins approximately forty-one minutes into the program.

RIGHT CLICK and 'SAVE AS' TO DOWNLOAD EPISODE #153

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Article posted on 16.12.2011



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