Former two-weight world titleholder says all the pressure is on the young champion as he embraces the underdog role once again for Saturday night's showdown on Showtime.

Lamont Peterson has overcome entirely too much in his life to worry about public perception.

When you’ve overcome homelessness to win world titles in two weight classes, you tend to disregard daunting odds. So no, Peterson isn’t all that concerned with how fight fans or boxing writers view his supposed role in his welterweight title fight against IBF champion Errol Spence Jr. on Saturday night at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York and live on Showtime (9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT).

“I’m not worried about what anyone says about me being the underdog,” Peterson said. “Supposedly, Errol is this, that. I’m this, that. I’m not worried about it one bit. I’m gonna go in there and perform the best I can, enjoy myself and, of course, always you go in there to win the fight.”

Based on Peterson’s personal experience, he knows winning will be much easier said than done. Peterson realized six-plus years ago, when he sparred against Spence to help Spence prepare for the 2012 Summer Olympics, that the accomplished amateur would eventually occupy this position.

The 28-year-old Spence (22-0, 19 KOs) is one of the top 10 boxers in the sport, according to most credible pound-for-pound lists. Against Peterson (35-3-1, 17 KOs), the powerful southpaw will make the first defense of the IBF 147-pound championship he won by traveling to Kell Brook’s hometown and knocking him out in the 11th round May 27 in Sheffield, England.

To continue his anticipated ascent to superstardom, however, Spence must get past a gritty, intelligent, well-conditioned former champion who has lost only to Lucas Matthysse and former champs Danny Garcia and Timothy Bradley. Garcia, whose majority-decision win was widely debated, and Bradley were undefeated when they beat Peterson.

An appreciative Peterson, who’ll turn 34 on January 24, has tried to enjoy preparing for his biggest fight since Garcia edged him nearly three years ago at Barclays Center. As the Washington, D.C., native moves toward the twilight of a pro career that began 13 years ago, Peterson recognizes that he might not get another opportunity like the one he intends to exploit Saturday night.

“I’m not caught up in the pressure,” Peterson said. “That’s what happens a lot of times, especially with these young fighters, where they get to this stage and they lose strictly on putting too much pressure on themselves. All the pressure should be on him. I’m honestly not worried about anything.”

The mature, low key Peterson respects Spence, who has responded positively to pressure thus far. He doesn’t think Spence is overrated and even if he felt that way, Peterson isn’t the type to talk trash.

Spence reciprocated that respect. Having shared a ring with Peterson, Spence expects a difficult fight.

“Lamont and I both have big hearts and I think everyone will be able to see that in the ring,” Spence said. “We’re both smart fighters, so there might be some feeling out before we get going. But I expect it to be a dogfight.”

I’m not caught up in the pressure. All the pressure should be on him. I’m honestly not worried about anything. Two-division World Champion Lamont Peterson

Derrick James, Spence’s trainer, figures Peterson’s mental strength will test Spence in his first title defense. Spence is bigger and stronger than Peterson, but Peterson’s experience, particularly at the championship level, should enable him to make this 12-round championship match problematic at times for the favored fighter.

“Lamont Peterson is very witty and intelligent in the ring,” James said. “He’s a tough guy, too. He brings that mental fortitude that you need to be successful. We have to be coming to this fight 100 percent and be focused the whole time. If we don’t, we may come up short.”

Barry Hunter, Peterson’s trainer, suspects Spence will have to dig even deeper to defeat his fighter than he did to beat Brook. Spence was ahead on all three scorecards through 10 rounds (97-92, 96-93, 95-94), but began battering Brook late in their fight, broke Brook’s orbital bone around his left eye and knocked him out in the 11th round.

“When you look at the Spence-Brook fight, early on Brook had a lot of success,” Hunter said. “Down the stretch, Errol imposed his will and broke Brook down. I know Errol well and I’ve coached him. He has a strong will. He’s not great in one area, but he’s good in a lot of areas. This is a different kind of guy he’s facing. Heart is something Lamont is nowhere near short on. I think this might start off tactical, and then turn into a war.”

Peterson hasn’t fought in 11 months, but that lengthy layoff allowed an injury to his left shoulder to heal.

He suffered a torn deltoid during training late in 2016, yet fought through it and beat Russia’s David Avanesyan (23-2-1, 11 KOs) by unanimous decision to win the WBA world welterweight title February 18 in Cincinnati. Peterson picked physical therapy over surgery after beating Avanesyan, which kept him from boxing training until late last summer.

Shoulder surgery would’ve held him out longer than the rehabilitation program Peterson chose and thus likely eliminated him from the list of potential opponents for Spence’s first title defense. Having full range of motion in his left shoulder has left Peterson optimistic about pulling off an upset.

“Right now, my body feels better than ever,” Peterson said. “I’m comfortable with everything that’s gone on in camp and I think you can see it in my body.”

Peterson feels fresher because he no longer has to struggle to make the junior welterweight limit of 140 pounds. His win against Avanesyan represented Peterson’s impressive debut as a full-fledged welterweight, but upsetting Spence would do much more to rejuvenate Peterson’s career.

“I have to look at this as really just another big fight,” Peterson said. “When you’re at the top, you try not to make too much of each fight. We know what’s at stake. I know that when I keep it simple, that’s when I perform best.”

For a complete look at Spence Jr. vs Peterson, visit our fight page.

Fight Night: Sat, Mar 03, 2018 - Barclays Center, Brooklyn, New York

Undefeated heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder retained his WBC world title against previously unbeaten Cuban contender Luis Ortiz by 10th-round TKO.
Wilder vs Ortiz Round by Round Fight Summary. Rounds are displayed numerically as columns. Each row will display one of the following: W for win, L for loss, KO for knockout, or TKO for technical knock out. An empty column means that data is not available.
Fighter Name 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
Wilder No data available No data available No data available No data available
Ortiz No data available No data available No data available No data available

Deontay Wilder survives trouble to score TKO victory over Luis Ortiz

Wilder vs Ortiz Highlights: March 3, 2017 (Showtime Sports)

Undefeated heavyweight world champion Deontay "The Bronze Bomber" Wilder retained his WBC title in his seventh defense with a tenth-round technical knockout over unbeaten challenger Luis "The Real King Kong" Ortiz in a thrilling back-and-forth Showtime-televised main event Saturday night from Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.

Wilder (40-0, 39 KOs) not only survived the toughest test of his career but also finished the job in spectacular fashion by unleashing a ferocious 10th round assault on Ortiz (28-1, 24 KOs). Wilder floored the Cuban challenger twice in the round, forcing referee David Fields to stop the fight at 2:05 of the round.

Oritz looked like he would dethrone Wilder in the seventh round, countering with a strong right hand that hurt the WBC heavyweight champion. Ortiz unleashed a barrage of punches against a stunned Wilder, who somehow managed to stay on his feet to close the round before being saved by the bell. Ortiz continued his assault on Wilder into the eighth round, who again managed to make it through the round.

In the ninth round, Wilder began to rebound as he knocked Ortiz off-balance with a straight right hand. America's only reigning heavyweight champion was firmly back in the fight as he landed a strong combination on Ortiz to close the round, completely changing the momentum of the fight.

Both fighters came out strong at the start of the tenth round, landing simultaneous blows that made each fighter temporarily wobbly. But it was Wilder who capitalized on the moment, as the Alabama-native pounced on Ortiz, sending his opponent to the canvas for the second time of the night with a flurry of overhand right hands. A dazed Ortiz returned to his feet, but was unable to withstand a follow-up assault from a confident Wilder, who landed an uppercut that sent Ortiz to the canvas for the third and final time.

Following his third successful title defense at Barclays Center, an emotional Wilder spoke to Showtime's Jim Gray about the most difficult fight of his career.

"A true champion always finds a way to come back and that's what I did tonight," Wilder said. "Luis Ortiz is definitely a crafty guy.  He put up a great fight. We knew we had to wear him down.  I showed everyone I can take a punch.

"He was hitting me with those furious punches but they didn't have sting on them.  He was throwing combos that knocked me off balance. I just had to get my range back and my fundamentals back. And I was able to do that.  I showed I was a true champion tonight."

A proud but disappointed Ortiz, who was on the brink of a sensational seventh round stoppage of Wilder before the bell rang, also spoke to Gray following the fight.

"It was a great fight and I performed well," Ortiz said. "I thought I was up on the scorecard going into the tenth round, but it's heavyweight boxing and you never know what's going to happen.

"I almost had him and I think I would've if there were a few more seconds in the round."

Wilder out landed Ortiz 98-87, although Ortiz held a slight advantage in landed power punches, 63-60.

For a complete recap of Wilder vs Ortiz, visit our fight page.

Bringing you the best of boxing

Does Lamont Peterson buy into the hype surrounding Errol Spence Jr.? Peterson calls in to share his thoughts this week on PBC Jabs.

Plus, we preview the stacked undercard for our January 20th Showtime show and we reveal all the details for our latest fight announcement.

Undefeated contender Caleb Plant faces Rogelio "Porky'' Medina in a 168-pound title eliminator in the co-main event of the FOX-televised card from the Don Haskins Center on the UTEP campus.

EL PASO, TEXAS — "Vicious'' Victor Ortiz and Devon Alexander "The Great'' headline a show topped by two USA vs. Mexico battles as the former welterweight champions meet in the 12-round main event of Premier Boxing Champions on FOX and FOX Deportes Saturday, Feb. 17 from Don Haskins Center on the UTEP campus in El Paso, Texas with televised coverage starting at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.

In the co-main event unbeaten contender Caleb "Sweethands'' Plant will battleRogelio "Porky'' Medina in a 12-round 168-pound world title eliminator.

Tickets for the event, which is promoted by TGB Promotions, are priced at $200, $100, $60, $40, $25 and will go on sale Friday. Tickets can be purchased through Ticketmaster.

Also on the card, Tony Harrison (25-2, 20 KOs) takes on Jorge Cota (27-2, 24 KOs) in a super welterweight showdown and Karlos Balderas, a 2016 U.S. Olympian, will appear in a lightweight special attraction.

"This is a classic crossroads match in the truest sense. Both Devon Alexander and Victor Ortiz are battle-tested in one of the toughest, deepest divisions in boxing," said Tom Brown, President of TGB Promotions. "Alexander has overcome some serious health issues and is looking to regain the welterweight championship. Ortiz, also a former champion, has always come to fight and doesn't back down from anyone. It promises to be an entertaining match for the fans in attendance at Don Haskins Center and those who tune in on FOX and FOX Deportes."

Ortiz (32-6-2, 25 KOs), a former 147-pound champion, has split time between boxing and acting throughout his recent career and brings a certain flare every time he steps into the ring. The 30-year-old native of Garden City, Kansas who now lives in Ventura, California, has faced some of the top names in the 147-pound division during his career. Ortiz won the welterweight title with unanimous decision victory over Andre Berto on April 16, 2011. Five months later he lost the title to Floyd Mayweather, Jr. by knockout. Ortiz, 30, suffered a knockout loss to Andre Berto in 2016 on FOX and bounced back with a knockout victory over Saul Corral in his last fight on July 30 on FS1.

"I'm ready to give all I have to defeat Devon Alexander and get my crown back," said Ortiz. "My priority is to make a strong comeback and putting myself in a position to have my straps once again. I demonstrated what I was made of and did what I said I was going to do in my last fight. I'm facing a great fighter in Devon Alexander and someone I've known since we were kids. I don't hate him, but I will not be his friend on fight night and he won't be mine. I'm ready to prove everyone wrong starting on Feb. 17."

This is a classic crossroads match in the truest sense. Both Devon Alexander and Victor Ortiz are battle-tested in one of the toughest, deepest divisions in boxing. Tom Brown, President of TGB Promotions

Alexander (27-4, 14 KOs) emerged on the scene with a unanimous decision victory over Randall Bailey for the welterweight title in 2012. He defended the title once before losing it to Shawn Porter in 2013. Since then, the 30-year-old Alexander of St. Louis, Missouri has been on a mission to regain the title. After losing to Amir Khan and Aaron Martinez, Alexander suffered another setback when he sought treatment for an addiction to painkillers. Fully healthy for the first time in three years, Alexander returned to the ring with a unanimous decision victory over Walter Castillo on FS1 on Nov. 21.

"I'm excited to get back in there against a fighter like Victor Ortiz," said Alexander. "We've known each other a long time but never fought in the amateurs, so this should be interesting. My speed, quickness and smarts will win me this fight. Victor checks out sometimes when he can't hit you, so my skills will be the difference. I'm ready for any challenge that's brought my way. When I'm 100 percent, nobody can beat me."

Plant (16-0, 10 KOs) won eight of his first nine fights by knockout, demonstrating power in both hands to go along with his boxing abilities. The 25-year-old climbed into the top ten of the 168-pound rankings with his last victory — a unanimous decision over Andrew Hernandez in Las Vegas on Sept. 8. Medina represents a major step up for Plant and will give him an indication of just where the Ashland, Tennessee native stands in the division as he looks to become a mandatory challenger for the IBF title.

The 29-year-old Medina (38-8, 32 KOs) has squared off against some of the toughest boxers in the division, including current champion David Benavidez and former champions James DeGale and Badou Jack. Fighting out of Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico lost by knockout to Benavidez on May 20, and bounced back with a knockout victory over Daniel Eduardo Yocupicio on Sept. 1.

The FOX prime time broadcast will kick off a full night of boxing, leading into a doubleheader on SHOWTIME that features two-division world champion Danny Garcia versus Brandon Rios and 168-pound champion David Benavidez defending his title in a rematch against Ronald Gavril from Las Vegas.

For a complete look at Ortiz vs Alexander, visit our fight page.

FULL FIGHT: Alexander vs Castillo—November 21, 2017.

PBC Jabs is back with our first episode of 2018! We've got a fantastic year of boxing ahead of us, and in this episode, Jordan Hardy previews the exciting matchups we've got lined up so far. Plus, 135-pound world champion Robert Easter Jr. checks in ahead of his January 20th title defense against former world champion Javier Fortuna.

Fight Night: Sat, Feb 17, 2018 - Mandalay Bay Events Center, Las Vegas, Neveda

Benavidez vs Gavril

Boxing’s youngest world champion David Benavidez defended his super middleweight world title in dominant fashion over Ronald Gavril in their 168-pound rematch.
Benavidez vs Gavril Round by Round Fight Summary. Rounds are displayed numerically as columns. Each row will display one of the following: W for win, L for loss, KO for knockout, or TKO for technical knock out. An empty column means that data is not available.
Fighter Name 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
Benavidez No data available No data available No data available No data available
Gavril No data available No data available No data available No data available

David Benavidez dominates 168-pound title rematch with Ronald Gavril

Benavidez vs Gavril

Chris Farina/Mayweather Promotions

Boxing's youngest world champion, David Benavidez, left no questions in a rematch with Ronald Gavril, defending his WBC Super Middleweight World Championship with a dominating 12-round unanimous decision in Saturday's co-feature on SHOWTIME.

The 21-year-old Benavidez and Gavril had fought to a close split-decision in one of 2017's best fights that saw Benavidez drop to the canvas in the final minute of the 12th and final round.  The Phoenix native had no trouble in the immediate rematch, utilizing a stiff jab and a steady diet of combo shots to win a near-shutout over the game Gavril. 

Benavidez (20-0, 17 KOs) wore down Gavril with an intelligent body attack, pounding the midsection to open up power shots and jabs to the head.  Benavidez had his best round in the fourth, connecting on a huge right uppercut that nearly floored Gavril - who appeared to be saved by the ropes - and then pounced with a series of damaging combo shots. 

Benavidez appeared to hurt his right hand in the second half of the fight and stepped off the gas in the 10th, 11th and 12th.  But Benavidez, who connected on 41 percent of his power shots, still landed the harder shots and utilized a stiff left jab to keep Gavril largely at bay.

"I knew he was going to come aggressive.  He's a one-trick opponent," Benavidez said.  "I knew I could jab and box him all day.  When I saw the opening I took it.  I didn't knock him out though - he's a tough son of a gun. 

"Both my hands hurt but I have that warrior's mentality so I kept pushing. 

"I want to be the best in division. So whoever they put in front of me that's what I want to do."

Gavril (18-3, 14 KOs) didn't make any excuses for dropping what was an action-packed affair that was scored 119-109 and 120-108 twice.

"He tried to box me on the outside," Gavril said.  "It was good fight.  He was the better man tonight. What can I say?  I want to go back in the gym and come back stronger."

Bringing you the best of boxing

Fight Night: Sat, Feb 17, 2018 - Mandalay Bay Events Center, Las Vegas, Neveda

Garcia vs Rios

Two-division world champion Danny Garcia returned to the ring with a bang—knocking out Brandon Rios in a 147-pound title eliminator.
Garcia vs Rios Round by Round Fight Summary. Rounds are displayed numerically as columns. Each row will display one of the following: W for win, L for loss, KO for knockout, or TKO for technical knock out. An empty column means that data is not available.
Fighter Name 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
Garcia No data available No data available No data available No data available
Rios No data available No data available No data available No data available

Danny Garcia delivers early candidate for 2018 Knockout of the Year—stopping Brandon Rios via ninth-round TKO

Danny Garcia TKOs Brandon Rios (Showtime Sports)

Former two-division world champion Danny Garcia returned with a vengeance, knocking out Brandon Rios in a WBC Welterweight Title Eliminator in the main event on SHOWTIME from Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas. 
 
Returning for the first time since dropping a close split-decision to Keith Thurman in a welterweight world championship unification fight in March of 2017, Garcia reminded fans of his position amongst boxing's elite at 147 pounds with an early candidate for 2018 Knockout of the Year.  VIDEO: http://s.sho.com/2HpwG0N
 
Garcia (34-1, 20 KOs) did his best work in the center of the ring, where he was able to box at a distance and fend off Rios' furious pace.  Rios, who returned in 2017 from a brief retirement, was most effective against the ropes where he gave Garcia trouble with his constant pressure and his favorite weapon - a wide overhand right.
 
In the ninth round with the fight where Garcia wanted it - in the center of the ring - the Philadelphia native landed a huge counter right to the chin that sent Rios flat on his back.  Rios beat the count, but was clearly wobbly on his feet, forcing referee Kenny Bayless to halt the contest at 2:25 of the ninth. 
 
"I felt the ring rust a little bit in the beginning," said Garcia, who recorded the 20th knockout of his career.  "He's a good inside fighter and he was giving me some good uppercuts.  I felt good, it was a good nine rounds.  He came to fight.  I came to box, I did that.  I came to bang, and I gave the fans what they wanted - a knockout. 
 
"I just noticed when I was getting my punches off he was standing right in front of me and I just let it go.  As soon as I got the fight in the middle of the ring where I wanted I landed good shots.  I was just letting my hands go and the punch landed."
 
After the fight, SHOWTIME Sports reporter Jim Gray asked Garcia how the loss to Thurman affected him. 
 
"The loss was tough.  I have the mindset of a winner," Garcia said.  "I hate losing.  I took it like a true champion and I bounced back like a true champion. 
 
"I would love the rematch with Keith Thurman.  It's on him.  Whenever he's ready we'll fight."
 
WBA and WBC Champion Thurman isn't the only potential blockbuster on the horizon for Garcia. Former welterweight champion and the WBC's No. 1 ranked contender Shawn Porter looms for what would be a massive showdown between the former champions.

Bringing you the best of boxing

Former two-division champion Jessie Vargas wants to prove he belongs with the welterweight elites, while Mexican veteran Aaron Herrera believes he has the power to foil such plans.

Vargas vs Herrera

Former welterweight champion Jessie Vargas and Mexican veteran Aaron Herrera both weighed in at 146 pounds for tomorrow's main event on FS1. (Pete Young/Premier Boxing Champions)

After more than a year on the outside looking in, former welterweight champion Jessie Vargas returns tomorrow night with an increased level of excitement and determination. And that could spell trouble for every top contender and titleholder in the 147-pound division.

Always a highly skilled, action-packed fighter, Vargas (27-2-0, 10 knockouts) will be making his Premier Boxing Champions debut against Aaron Herrera on the FS1-televised card (10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT) with a greater sense of urgency as well as a heavy heart—each of which is expected to fuel his drive toward another title bout.

Despite being out of action since November 2016, when he lost his welterweight title to Manny Pacquiao, Vargas is favored to leave the ring in Lancaster, Calif., victorious—notwithstanding the fact that Herrera will make his fifth ring appearance this year.

According to Vargas ring rust will not be an issue for him. His speed, activity level, superior overall skills and boxing know-how have all improved during his time away.

“I’m very happy with the position that I’m in now, and it couldn’t come at a better time,” Vargas said. “When you have good, honest people around you with positive vibes, it’s career refreshing.

“I come to the gym with a different mentality now. And, in my view, I’ve knocked out two of my last three opponents—Sadam Ali and Tim Bradley.”

If ever there was a time for a hiatus, the past year was it. However, the time away wasn’t completely without heartache. His longtime cornerman and father figure, Rafael Garcia, died in November due to Leukemia. Garcia was 88.

While Vargas witnessed firsthand Garcia’s deteriorating health, his passing was very difficult for the highly-rated welterweight to handle. Several weeks after Garcia’s passing, Vargas realizes that the best way to deal with the loss is to devote the rest of his career to the man who has been instrumental to his success inside and outside the ring.

People are going to be surprised at how enhanced my power will be now at 147. I’m already a well-established name in the sport with a great style, but fans want to see knockouts. I’m pushing for the stoppage in every fight. Former two-division world champion Jessie Vargas

This newfound career purpose, excitement over being part of the PBC team and an opportunity to face the best fighters in today’s welterweight division has Vargas eager to put on a dominating performance against Herrera. But Vargas has too much experience and too much at stake to look beyond any fighter, especially one who is equally determined to make a huge name for himself.

“You’ll see a more-experienced, mature fighter who knows exactly what it takes, that a knockout can come at any time, and who is working on his power,” Vargas said. “People are going to be surprised with the things I’m discovering about my body, at how enhanced my power will be now at 147. I’m already a well-established name in the sport with a great style, but fans want to see knockouts.

“I’m pushing for the stoppage in every fight from now on and beating Herrera the way I’m planning will provide a statement that puts me back in the public eye, letting them know that (I’m) back better than ever.”

Vargas’ intent to exchange power punches Friday night is music to Herrera’s ears. And while Vargas is the more-skilled, more-accomplished boxer, Herrera (33-7-1 with 22 KOs) is seen as the harder puncher—at least on paper. Fifty-four percent of his victories have come by an early finish.

“I’m going against a really good fighter, but he doesn’t punch very hard,” said Herrera, who has stopped four of his five most recent opponents. “I will go bombs away from the first round. He can’t hurt me. I’m confident I will win this fight.

“This is a great opportunity for me. I’ve got to start faster than I did against Brandon Rios and I can’t take anything for granted. The fans will get a great fight and definitely be winners on fight night.”

A toe-to-toe affair is certain: Vargas is determined to make sure fans demand that his next fight is against a fellow top contender or titleholder. An impressive knockout will surely help him achieve that goal.

Herrera, on the other hand, knows his best chance to upset the former champion is to end this fight early—a slugfest improves his odds. This is a career fight for Herrera and he refuses to let it slip away.

If Vargas and Herrera remain true to their words, this fight won’t go the distance.

For a complete look at Vargas vs Herrera, visit our fight page.

Newly crowned 168-pound champion Caleb Truax checks in following is victory upset over James DeGale. Plus, we preview our final final card of the year.

Voting for or Best of PBC 2017 Fan Poll ends soon! Cast your votes now and tune into PBC Jabs next week, December 21, 2017, to see the results of the poll!

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