Lamont Peterson and Sergey Lipinets are two fighters at the crossroads of their careers. Only one will move forward when they meet Sunday night in a welterweight showdown on PBC on FS1.
Former two-division world champ Lamont Peterson (35-4-1, 17 KOs) is looking to jump back into the welterweight mix. First, he’ll have to go through former world super lightweight champion Sergey Lipinets (14-1, 10 KOs), who has his own 147-pound aspirations.
This Sunday, March 24, Premier Boxing Champions presents Peterson vs. Lipinets, a twelve-round welterweight clash at from MGM National Harbor in Maryland, live on FS1 (8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT). Anthony Peterson, Lamont's brother, takes on former world titlist Argenis Mendez in a 10-round junior welterweight co-main event.
The last time fans saw Lamont Peterson, he was taking a beating at the hands of IBF welterweight champ Errol Spence en route to a seventh-round stoppage. It was the kind of loss that makes a fighter consider retirement—especially a 35-year-old, 15-year pro such as Peterson.
After 14 months off to heal and gather his thoughts, however, the Washington, D.C. native decided to get back in the ring.
“I wanted to rest the body,” Peterson said. “It’s been a long career. I’ve been boxing for 25 years, doing it professionally for 15 years, pretty much straight through…I just wanted to take some time to relax, and if my body was able to recover and come back close to what I was or better, then I was going to go on.”
The former two-belt super lightweight champion and WBA welterweight titlist is a blue collar fighter with a blue collar story.
A homeless child on the streets of D.C. with his brother Anthony, Peterson, with the support and guidance of mentor and trainer Barry Hunter, worked his way from abject poverty to a career that has seen him share the main stage with fighters such as Spence, Danny Garcia, Timothy Bradley, Amir Khan, Victor Ortiz, Lucas Matthysse, and Kendall Holt.
Peterson’s story reads like a modern-day Cinderella tale and this D.C.-area homecoming on Sunday—the first time he and his brother will co-headline a televised card since 2006—makes this a significant chapter in the Peterson brothers’ legend.
As a fighter, Peterson can do a little of everything, but is not overwhelming in any one category. He can box from the outside or take the fight inside, employing underrated body work that might actually be his best offensive tool. In spite of stoppage losses to Spence, Matthysse and some struggles with next-level speed and athleticism, he’s sturdy and, even in defeat, tough to shut down.
In many cases, though, Peterson’s worst enemy has been himself. Lack of punch output has cost him points throughout his career. In the case of his 2015 loss to Danny Garcia, it cost him a big victory in a main stage fight.
Sergey Lipinets will be looking to exploit Peterson’s weaknesses Sunday night and come away with the biggest win of his career.
Fighting a day before his 30th birthday, the Kazakhstan-born, Moscow-raised former kickboxer, who now resides in Beverly Hills, became a world champion in 2017, in only his 13th professional fight, when he defeated Akihiro Kondo for the vacant IBF 140-pound title. Four months later, he would lose the belt via surprisingly competitive unanimous decision loss to Mikey Garcia.
Back in August, Lipinets made his welterweight debut against Erick Bone and, despite some uneven patches, walked away with a 10-round majority decision.
With a style forged under the guidance of trainer Buddy McGirt and now Joe Goossen, Lipinets is an interesting mix of Eastern and Western boxing. To go along with a relaxed, fluid style that employs feints to throw off opponents’ timing, he shows an Eastern Bloc dedication to technique and precision.
Lipinets sets everything up with a quick, solid jab and likes to follow that up with an overhand right. He works the body well and, although not particularly heavy-handed, he can get an opponent’s attention with his work there.
Defensively, he is clearly a product of his American training. With his chin tucked behind a leading left shoulder, Lipinets employs head movement to avoid incoming shots and is adept at rolling with punches.
On the down side, it’s still up for grabs whether Lipinets has the size, strength, and one-punch power to handle high-end welters. He may have all the other tools necessary to succeed at 147, but without a big stick, it’ll be an uphill battle to keep elite welters honest.
The five-year pro makes up for some defects by working hard at his craft and perfecting the things he already does well. Against Peterson, he vows to be at his very best.
"I'm ready for the intensity of this fight with a great champion like Lamont Peterson," said Lipinets. "I'm very humbled and honored to be in this position. I'm pushing myself to bring my A-game, because in a fight like this, there is no room for mistakes. I promise that I'm going to give a great performance and leave my fans happy."
Peterson-Lipinets will be decided by where the battle takes place and at what speed the action happens.
Peterson, as the older, more deliberate fighter, will look to slow things down, work inside to negate Lipinets’ jab, and grind down his energetic, athletic opponent.
Lipinets, meanwhile, would like to keep the action at arm’s length and in the center of the ring. A quicker pace would be to his benefit against an older foe. A high-energy effort would also play well on the scorecards against an opponent with a history of low punch output.
On Sunday evening, one of these two peripheral players in the historically glamorous welterweight division will be moving forward, one step closer to big fights and bigger opportunities. The loser will have to re-think his career options from way back at the end of the line.
For a closer look at Peterson vs Lipinets, check out our fight night page.