Barry Hunter was used to seeing his young fighter do crazy things in the ring, so one day, the veteran trainer decided to take away one of his hands.
A little background: In the fall of 2005, Hunter was training former 140-pound champion Sharmba Mitchell for a fight with Floyd Mayweather Jr.
One of Hunter’s most promising prospects at the time, 21-year-old Lamont Peterson, was one of Mitchell’s sparring partners.
One day in camp, Mitchell complained that his arm was hurting and that he didn’t want to go any rounds that day.
Hunter had another idea.
“I said, ‘I’ll tell you what, I’ll make it easy. Lamont, one hand, son,’” Hunter recalls. “And so he went in there with Sharmba with one hand, and not only was he hitting him with it, he was throwing combinations with the one hand. That’s not normal. It really, really messed ’Ba up in the mind. Those were some of the things that Lamont used to do that let me know he wasn’t just another guy. This dude was a world champ.”
Even by that point, Hunter had grown accustomed to witnessing Peterson perform some far-out physical feats in the ring.
“I used to see Lamont do all kinds of amazing stuff in the gym, like turn his back to his opponent and slip their punches without even looking at him,” Hunter says. “You can’t teach that kind of stuff.”
Nearly a decade later, Hunter says Peterson hasn’t slowed down any.
He just gets to use both fists these days.
“Even now, with his workouts, he doesn’t just spar one opponent, he spars four, five, sometimes six opponents. Instead of going 12 rounds, we’ve gone 20 rounds,” Hunter says. “It’s always more with him.”