By Jason Pribila: After a career long – 16 month hiatus from the ring, Lamont Peterson returned to the ring in Cincinatti, USA where he faced off against David Avanesyan for the rights to face the winner of the March 4th welterweight unification bout between Keith Thurman and Danny Garcia.
The up and down, and sometimes controversial career of Peterson appears to again be on the upswing. The former unified junior welterweight champion now has a title in a second division, although prior to the fight he said that the only thing at stake was the chance to face off against the either Garcia or Thurman.
One would have to imagine that Peterson will be ringside at the Barclays Center in two weeks to watch the action while (most likely) rooting for Garcia to win. Peterson would then be given the chance for a rematch in a fight that he clearly won the second half of the fight, but gave up too many early rounds to earn a decision.
Avanesyan, a Russian fighter who trains in the UK gave his all and was competitive in each of the contested 12 rounds. We last saw him in the right when he outpointed a faded Shane Mosley in 2016.
Peterson came into the ring wearing boxing trunks on the short side. They caused ringside analysts to recall the type of drawers typically worn by the legendary “Sugar” Ray Robinson. This attire would seem to indicate that Peterson planned on using his legs to create distance from Avanesyan, where he was expected to use his speed and reach to box from the outside.
If that was the gameplan, it was scrapped after the first three minutes.
From rounds 2 thru 12, Peterson decided to engage as if he was sharing a ring the size of a phone booth. This strategy made it possible for Avanesyan to partake in violent exchanges that ensured the live crowd and television audiences would be entertained.
Peterson later admitted that he did plan on attaching on the inside, but he did not feel that Avaneysan would meet him with such resistance, or return fire with such force. In the end, Peterson was simply too busy and too accurate.
All three judges favored the Washington DC native by scores of 116-112 (twice), and 115-113.
Jason Pribila is a full voting member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. He could be reached for questions or comments at firstname.lastname@example.org or followed on Twitter.com @PribsBoxing.