By Percy Crawford (MrLouis1ana)
(AllHipHop Features) Lamont Peterson was asked to be a man at the tender age of 8. Left to not only fend for himself, but his 6-year old brother, Anthony, Lamont played father figure to his younger brother as the two battled homelessness in the harsh D.C. streets. The brothers often found themselves sleeping in unlocked cars and at one point an unfinished roach and rat- infested basement of a relative. The Peterson’s were not only blessed to have found the sport of boxing, but trainer/father figure, Barry Hunter. In 2011, the duo reached the pinnacle of the 140-pound division when Peterson captured the IBF and WBA when he defeated Amir Khan by split decision. Since, Peterson has faced names like, Lucas Matthysse, Danny Garcia and Errol Spence Jr. Never one to turn down a challenge, Peterson has compiled one of the more impressive resumes of any active fighter today. Hoping to bounce back from a devastating January 2018 loss to Spence, Peterson will headline against rugged, Kazakhstan fighter, Sergey Lipinets on March 24th at the MGM National Harbor in Maryland. The bout will be televised on FS1.
I had a chance to speak with the former 140-pound champion, who opens up about retirement, training smarter with age and gives a prediction for Spence-Garcia.
AllHipHop: How has preparation been for your March 24th headliner against Sergey Lipinets?
Lamont Peterson: Everything has been going pretty smooth. Training camp… just being in so many of them, just learning to enjoy them a little more instead of making it hell; while still getting the most out of it.
AllHipHop: Floyd Mayweather admitted that as he got older, he had to learn how to train smarter and not harder, do you feel like you have mastered that as well?
Lamont Peterson: Yeah, I think I get better every time. I’m able to get more out of the workout without actually having to work as hard as I used to. I just know that working that hard actually (laughing) takes you a few steps back. There are certain days you’re going to be able to work and expend yourself a little longer, but you can’t do that every day. I’m learning that and just getting more out the training camp and overall you get better results.
AllHipHop: On paper and stylistically this fight has the makings to be a great fight. The type of fight we are accustomed to seeing you smile your way through because you enjoy that back and forth action. Is that the type of fight you are expecting from Sergey?
Lamont Peterson: Yes! I’m expecting a fan-friendly fight. The type of style that I like. I’m sure Sergey would say that he like the fight matchup as well. It should be a fun fight and I’m looking forward to it.
AllHipHop: Did you consider retirement after the Errol Spence loss or was that never on the table for you?
Lamont Peterson: I never decided to retire. But each fight, especially at my age, I’m 35-now… after each fight there will be some consideration. There will be some check marks that I will have to check before I go on and fight. I think that will happen until the end of my career; whether my next fight is my last fight, or I fight into my 40’s.
AllHipHop: Do you feel like your resume and the challenges you have been through in the ring along with your experience will be too much for Lipinets?
Lamont Peterson: I don’t try to look at experience as an advantage. At the end of the day you gotta show up and fight that night. You have to forget the past, whatever you have learned or whoever you have been in there with, none of that makes a difference on fight night. I think we both understand that we have to show up and one person is going to win the fight. I’m pretty confident that it will be me, but I’m not really worried about any advantage I have going in as far as experience. We just want to come up with a gameplan and we have, so we’re just going to try and execute that and get the W.
AllHipHop: Do you feel like you are still hunting for that signature performance in the welterweight division and that this is the type of fight where you can have that type of performance?
Lamont Peterson: I’m not sure. I just want a solid win and eventually getting another shot at the title. I don’t think I’m done as far as being at the top level. I know a win over, Sergey is a solid win and I just want to fight the top guys at the weight class and go from there.
AllHipHop: There are a lot of guys to mix it up with at 147-pounds. Are you hoping a win over, Lipinets catapults you into a little more activity?
Lamont Peterson: Yes! I know with a win over a guy like, Sergey that would certainly help take a few steps forward in terms of activity and fighting against the top guys.
AllHipHop: We spoke earlier about approaching training smarter. You have had quite a few layoffs lately. Do you feel like you are using the time in between fights wiser as well?
Lamont Peterson: Yes! I’m learning a lot in between the fights. A lot of times fighters… you become champion and you’re at the top and you get a little older and you get set in your ways. Not really wanting to learn or maybe they don’t think they can learn. For me, I want to get better. If I lose a fight, that means that the game is asking a little more of me. I need to get better. That’s what I will do. I will try to get better. And a lot of times when we think about getting better, we think about skill level and in the gym. But, with my time off I’m just reading and learning about it more. I think with me doing that, when it comes to training camp, when it comes to me actually competing in a fight, I think overall it will make me a better fight just knowing the body a little bit more.
AllHipHop: Are you a film study guy or do you leave that to Barry [Hunter] and your team?
Lamont Peterson: Me and Barry will talk a lot around camp. The do’s and don’ts and what style is best to use. I think for me I’m a pretty well-rounded fighter. I can fight different ways, so it’s just trying to figure out which ones best to use for certain things and whenever he calls for it, that’s what I work on.
AllHipHop.com: Is there any pressure or concern on your part fighting behind your younger brother?
Lamont Peterson: It’s all mental. That’s something that I mentally work on in camp. Before I go to sleep and close my eyes, that’s part of the mission. That’s part of blocking that emotion out; the feelings that I have for my brother. The feeling I have for him, those few hours or however long it is once we get to the venue… I have to disconnect from them. I don’t have a problem doing that. He understands why and I have an understanding of what can happen if I don’t. I have total confidence that he will go out there and take care of business. I put that in his hands and just go from there. It won’t be a problem.
AllHipHop: I’m sure this is somewhat of a back against the wall fight for you. Are there many pros and cons to this caliber of fight with all that’s at stake being a home fight for you?
Lamont Peterson: My job is to take care of business in the ring. I can’t worry about the outside part and who is there. I guess 15-years of being a professional fighter and fighting a total of 25-years, those things that you just learn to deal with and block out. When it could be considered a pressure situation; no pressure. When you’re fighting at home, it’s supposed to be added pressure; no pressure. I know how to focus on the task at hand and that’s what I will do.
AllHipHop: You are fighting a guy that recently fought, Mikey Garcia and your last fight was against, Errol Spence. Mikey says he sees something. Do you give him a good shot against, Spence?
Lamont Peterson: When two fighters get in the ring, both have a chance to win. I’m not saying that’s who I’m picking. If I had to pick, of course it would be, Errol. But you can never doubt any fighter. Mikey is highly skilled, he can fight, and you just can’t count him out. But if I had to pick, of course, Errol.
AllHipHop: It’s good to see you back in the ring. I can’t wait for, March 24th and best of luck to you. Is there anything else you want to add?
Lamont Peterson: Nothing at all. Thanks for supporting me. I can’t wait to get back in the ring and thanks for everything.