The beard is back in town.
Lamont Peterson (33-3-1, 17 KOs) will look to bounce back after a razor-thin loss to Danny Garcia on April 11 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, when he takes on unbeaten 2008 Olympic gold medalist Felix Diaz (17-0, 8 KOs) on October 17 (NBC, 4 p.m. ET/1 p.m. PT) close to his Washington, D.C., home at EagleBank Arena in Fairfax, Virginia.
It’s a night full of redemption seekers as 168-pound title contender Andre Dirrell (24-2, 16 KOs) returns to action against Australian Blake Caparello (21-1-1, 6 KOs) in the opening match on the televised portion of the card. Dirrell lost a unanimous decision his last time out to James DeGale on May 23 at Agganis Arena in Boston.
Against Garcia, Peterson unleashed a smart, defense-oriented game plan through the first half of the fight before pouring it on in later rounds. Two of three judges, though, saw the fight for Garcia at 115-113 with the third card coming back a draw.
"I'm very excited to be back in the ring, especially close to home in Virginia and fighting on NBC,” Peterson said. “I've been in the gym and I've stayed ready, so I'm prepared to give the fans the kind of show they deserve."
Though 31 years old like Peterson, Diaz has less experience in the ring but has made his time count, with wins over Emmanuel Lartei Lartey, Adrian Granados and Gabriel Bracero in his last three tilts.
Dirrell hit the canvas twice in the second round against DeGale but rallied to make it a close fight, losing 112-114 on two cards and 109-117 on the third.
Caparello has fought mostly in Australia, but this will be his third bout in the United States. His lone loss came to Sergey Kovalev on August 2, 2013, in Atlantic City, New Jersey.