IBF light welterweight champion Lamont Peterson will be out to teach challenger Dierry Jean a tough lesson on January 25 when he defends his title in his home city of Washington DC. The 29 year-old, who will be defending his title for the second time, has trained meticulously for Jean and will not allow the third round tko defeat against Lucas Matthysse in June, 2013 to effect his preparation.
Speaking during a media workout on Monday Peterson said: "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.
Regarding the defeat to Matthysse last June, Peterson added: "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.
The champion also revealed that he expects Jean to buckle under the pressure of high profile championship boxing. "I didn’t know much about Dierry Jean when the fight was announced,” confessed Peterson. “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. "
January 14, 2014