It’s kind of like fire punching lava.
Lamont Peterson is talking about how heated it can get in the ring with his toughest sparring partner: his younger brother, Anthony.
“When we were in our early 20s we used to go at each other—a lot. We stopped sparring for a while,” Lamont says, noting how intense their battles became. “But then we started sparring again because we’re veterans of the game and we understand that, ‘Look, if I go hard on you, it’s only to push you and get you ready for your next opponent.’ We learned to put our feelings aside, to not worry about any of that.”
It all started on the streets of their native Washington, D.C., when Lamont and Anthony were kids, two youngsters looking out for each other because no one else did.
“If they were in school or hanging out and someone tried to bully Anthony or take from him, Lamont was always there to defend him, despite how big they were or how old they were,” says Barry Hunter, longtime trainer for both fighters.
Before long, the Peterson brothers went from watching each other’s back on the block to never turning their backs on one another in the ring.
As Lamont, 31, and Anthony, 30, both began embarking on what would eventually blossom into successful boxing careers, their stiffest competition often came from each other.
Now, as Lamont gets ready to fight Danny Garcia in a bout in Brooklyn airing live on Saturday, April 11, Anthony is right there, as usual.
“I think he’s a very, very key part to Lamont’s success,” Hunter says. “The way they were brought up in the fight business, if one would go out and win a national title—or two—the other one would look at that as a challenge, come right back behind him and win a national title. They always pushed each other.”
This remains the case today, though often times, that push becomes a shove.
“He’s always my best sparring partner,” Lamont says. “He can mimic anyone’s style because he’s a student of boxing. We’re always helping each other out, even if it’s in a competitive way. If he said that he ran 10 miles and that’s the bar, then I’m going to run 11 next time.”
See how the Petersons get after each other in the gym:
Catch encore presentations of Corner to Corner on NBC Sports Network at 1:30 a.m. ET Thursday, 6 p.m. Friday and 1 a.m. Saturday. Or you can stream the episode in its entirety on sportsworld.nbcsports.com.
Get full details of the Garcia vs Peterson fight.