The month after his April 11 clash with Danny Garcia in Brooklyn, New York, Lamont Peterson pulled out his cellphone following a workout at the Washington, D.C., gym where he trains and read us a list that he had written prior to the fight.
“Relax at all times,” he began, reciting his seven-point plan of attack heading into the bout. “Save energy early. Don’t get hit. Always use an energetic jab. No standing on the line. Stay low. Control the fight with my movement, my feints and distance.”
Lamont Peterson didn’t get the win, dropping a close, debatable majority decision, but he wasn’t bitter about it.
“I stuck to my game plan,” he said, remaining sanguine in the face of defeat. “I’m happy that I was able to control things the way that I wanted to.”
Looking back on the fight, it’s easy to see why Peterson’s spirits remained high despite the “L.”
During the first half of the back-and-forth 143-pound scrap, Peterson relied on his footwork to control the distance in the fight while firing shots from the outside. But then he began walking Danny Garcia down, asserting himself like a schoolyard bully on the prowl for milk money, culminating in a combustible Round 12.
It was an explosive three minutes, with Peterson setting a violent tone early via a Clydesdale-heavy right hand, then blasting forth with wince-inducing left hooks to the body followed by power shot after power shot.
Garcia didn’t just stand there and take it, fighting back valiantly, although his face began to highlight all the damage Peterson was doing, looking like a crater-pocked battlefield following a carpet bombing.
“This is what I call closing the show,” NBC ringside analyst Sugar Ray Leonard gushed of Peterson, whose fists doubled as exclamation points, punctuating the boxing legend’s words.
As much punishment as he doled out in the 12th, it wasn’t enough to push Peterson over the hump—at least in the eyes of two judges who gave the every-so-slight nod to Garcia by identical 115-113 scores (the third judge had it 114-all).
“I had a view from inside the ring; you had your view—whoever was sitting in that judge’s seat, they could have seen something different. I have to respect that, though I thought I won,” Peterson said, before flashing a smile. “I made me happy.”
And boxing fans, as well.