Lamont Peterson finally returns to the ring this weekend on…Friday Night Fights?
I remember that Saturday night in December 2011 like it was last weekend. After the scorecards were read and Lamont Peterson defeated Amir Khan via split decision, I turned to my buddy and said, “That was huge man. Real big, watch out for this guy going forward. D.C. can REALLY be on the map in the realm of boxing. I feel happy for Lamont.”
The story was a great one. With his father locked up and his mom a runaway, Lamont was once just another youth living on the streets of the District…and now, that homeless kid was now world champ was the WBA and IBF champ and seemingly poised to propel up the light welterweight division
Fast-forward 15 months, and Lamont Peterson has yet to step in the ring since. What has transpired ever since that memorable Saturday night has Peterson fighting not just to be relevant again but on a quest to restore his name and integrity.
It all happened so fast. A rematch with Khan was scheduled for May 19th and when a drug test turned up boosted testosterone for Peterson, the Peterson freight train fell of the rails. Peterson, who insisted there be random drug screening, claimed he did indeed take synthetic testosterone as a valid treatment for a personal medical condition and simply erred in not alerting the Nevada Athletic Commission.
WBA stripped Peterson of his 140-lb belt and Khan was reinstated as the champ at 140 (a belt he has since lost to Garcia) while the IBF had allowed Peterson to keep his belt after having their own doctors review Peterson’s medical records.
Now, Peterson takes on former world champion Kendall Holt at the D.C. Armory as he begins his path toward redemption. The FNF card, appropriately titled “Redemption”, also co-features a pair of unbeatens fighting at lightweight in Roman Morales-Jesus Hernandez.
Regardless of anything that’s gone on outside of the ring, one thing is clear; Peterson will have every opportunity to get his career back on track in it. Last month Peterson signed a multi-fight deal with Golden boy which will go into effect after the Holt fight. The new partnership with GBP means a long list of big fights and solid opponents are readily available for Peterson should he take care of business with Holt.
If Peterson gets past Holt, there looks to be a few options that could be made with little difficulty since GBP has some of the most talent in his weightclass. A rematch with Khan, an unification fight with Garcia, or even a fight with Mathysse are all possibilities.
Peterson says he hopes he fights 2 more times in 2013 after Holt so it’s conceivable that boxing fans nationwide will once again be fully acquainted with the DC product and I know I for one will be pulling for Lamont to get his redemption. One can hope that as long as LP takes care of opponents in the ring, he just may be be able to knock out doubts from skeptics outside of it.
It’s no real revelation that when it comes to sports this country’s fan base is a forgiving one, so if Peterson can take care of business going forward, his name and his career could well take off again. Besides, the greatest feeling an athlete may experience might not be that of success, but that of redemption.