By Clive Bernath: Lamont Peterson’s last fight against Britain’s Amir Khan was marred so severely by controversy that the American boxer knows only too well that he needs to produce the goods and regain redemption when he defends his IBF light-welterweight crown against Kendall Holt at the DC Armory in Washington on Friday(Feb 22).
The 29 year-old, who was born in Washington, not only scored a controversial split points win over 12 rounds back in December 2011 but there was also the mysterious ‘man in the hat’ scandal when at the time an unknown person appeared to handle one of the scorecards. Add the fact that Khan was deducted two points for pushing and Peterson later failing a drug test then one can see why Lamont is looking to seek redemption.
Speaking about the Khan fight and looking ahead to facing Holt, Peterson said on Wednesday "Probably until the day I die they will say certain things. Once the doctor told me there was no steroid in my body and I didn’t do anything illegal, I was like, ’Did my doctor give me anything?’
"We’re in there fighting and rebuilding. Even taking that fight(Khan) away, you have still got to say Lamont Peterson is a great fighter."
Peterson, 30-1-1-(15), has not fought since beating Khan but says the unexpected enforced rest has not effected.
"I don’t think it’s going to affect(inactivity) me at all," Peterson insisted "A 14-month layoff did me some justice rather than hurt me. It allowed my body to rest and let me work on some things. I was in the gym the whole 14 months. You should see a better Lamont Peterson rather than a ring-rusted Lamont Peterson."
For all the concerns Khan had when fighting Peterson in Washington, Friday’s opponent Kandall Holt says he has no such concerns about the location or Peterson’s drug failings.
"I’m comfortable fighting anywhere," Holt said. "I don’t have any trepidation about that. I’ve known these guys for years. I don’t think he took(Peterson) it for performance-enhancing reasons. Whatever he took it for, I don’t think it matters. He’s a great fighter."
February 21, 2013