Super lightweights Anthony Peterson and Argenis Mendez could steal the show when they square off Sunday night on PBC on FS1.
When the two Peterson brothers began their professional careers, many believed younger sibling Anthony would have the better career. Thus far, he’s been overshadowed by his brother Lamont, a two-division world champion with success on the big stage
The bout, which takes place at MGM Grand Harbor in Oxon Hill, MD, will serve as the co-feature to big brother Lamont’s showdown versus Sergey Lipinets. The Petersons are expecting a hometown crowd as they are from Washington, D.C., which is just a few miles away.
Anthony Peterson, 37-1 (24 KOs), last fought in January 2018, when he won all 10 rounds versus Luis Eduardo Florez, but failed a post-fight drug test, forcing the result to be changed to a no contest.
Peterson hasn’t fought since. Although he turned 34 on March 16, he’s still relatively fresh. Peterson hasn’t had too many chances to shine on center stage. His one fight under the bright lights came in September 2010, when he suffered a seventh-round disqualification loss to Brandon Rios. Since then, he’s fought only eight times, winning all aside from the no contest, though never scoring a victory against a quality opponent.
A win on over Sunday, however, changes all of that.
Mendez (25-5-1, 12 KOs) is a former world super featherweight champion. Now operating at 140-pounds, he proved he was still formidable in his last bout, a May 2018 drubbing of the once-beaten Eddie Ramirez. Mendez dropped Ramirez four times in winning a 10-round unanimous decision.
The 32-year-old, Brooklyn-based Dominican displayed the kind of power against Ramirez that will keep Peterson honest. Mendez’s previous victory came in an above-the-weight lightweight bout against Ivan Redkach. A point deduction from Redkach allowed Mendez to escape with a split-decision win, ending a two-bout losing streak at lightweight to eventual titleholder Robert Easter Jr. and former title challenger Luke Campbell.
Stylistically, this fight promises to be intriguing. Peterson was once considered the heavy-handed Peterson brother and still can crack. He has 11 knockouts within the first two rounds. Mendez won’t waste any time going after Peterson, as he generally starts quickly. Mendez is also a slick counter puncher, and Peterson has more of a come-forward style. It could end up being a battle of the jabs as well. These two make for perfect dancing partners for one another.
The longer this fight goes, the more it likely favors Mendez. He has gone past 10 rounds seven times in his career, with Peterson doing so only twice. Against Redkach, Mendez finished with 50 and 43 power punches in the final two rounds to eke out the decision.
Peterson, however, worked with WBC welterweight champion Shawn Porter during training camp. Such sparring surely will help elevate his performance.
This is a true win-or-go-home crossroads fight. The winner could set themselves up for a title opportunity in the near future. Judging from recent interviews, Peterson will move up to the welterweight division if victorious. It’s a solid move, given the number of elite boxers and big paydays in that weight class.
Mendez eyes one last run as well. For either to score another big fight, a win isn’t the only thing that’s necessary – they must win and look impressive. On Sunday night, they’ll get that chance. Who will make it count?
For a closer look at Peterson vs Lipinets, check out our fight night page.