Lamont Peterson is a soft-spoken man who can grind you into dust. He hails from Washington, D.C., the seat of the federal government where residents don’t have a voting member of Congress. It’s the most meticulously planned city in America, but was forced to cede half its land back to Virginia in the 1840s over the issue of slavery, stymieing planners’ designs to bound the city to a perfect 10-mile-by-10-mile square.
So if Peterson is a man between two worlds—or, weight classes, as the case may be—he comes by it honestly.
When he battles Felix Diaz on Saturday at EagleBank Arena in Fairfax, Virginia (NBC, 4 p.m. ET/1 p.m. PT), it will be Lamont Peterson’s second straight fight at a catchweight. The bout will be contested at 144 pounds, which comes on the heels of his 143-pound tilt April 11 against Danny Garcia.
Peterson is at a career crossroad: stay at 140, or to move up to 147? Well, just like D.C., who’s to say he can’t continue to occupy a middle ground?
“I want to move up in weight, but I still want to fight at 140,” Peterson said. “I’m just thinking I can have it both ways. Whichever the best fight—honestly, if it comes up at [147 pounds] or if it comes at , I’ll take it. But if it comes at , I’ll take it also.”
There are attractive matchups for him in either of the lower divisions. At 140, there’s the possibility of a marquee showdown with a rededicated-to-the-division Adrien Broner. And there’s also Lucas Matthysse, who handed Peterson one of his three career defeats in May 2013.
Normally reserved, Peterson pulled no punches talking about Matthysse, who was just stopped in 10 rounds by Viktor Postol on October 3.
“He was uncomfortable working as hard as he had to work, and he basically quit,” Peterson said. "I’m pretty sure if he felt like he was winning or he was going to win, he would have taken the eye injury and kept fighting. But because he knew he was losing, he took the easy way out.
“You can cut one of my legs off and I’ll fight you. If it happens in that ring, I’m going to fight. That’s what the doctor is there for, that’s what the referee is for, that’s what my coach is for. They can stop the fight. I’m not stopping.”
There there’s the embarrassment of riches at 147 pounds, where some of the top fighters in the game reside—whether that be a rematch with Garcia at 147, an up-and-comer such as Errol Spence Jr. or an established star like Amir Khan.
“Any fight that’s easy to make, and the guys that are at the top of the division? I’ll fight them,” Peterson said. “Any fight the fans want to see me fight, whoever they consider the best, I definitely would fight.”
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