By the time Lamont Peterson (34-3-1, 17KOs) steps into the ring on February 18th to fight David Avanesyan (22-1-1, 11KOs) at the Cintas Center in Cincinnati, Ohio, it will be 16 months since his last fight. That type of hiatus from competition under the bright lights of a prizefight often leads to an upset loss. However, Peterson, who is constantly working on his fitness, knows inactivity won’t be a factor. “I have no concern about ring rust because my mind stays boxing 24/7,” said Peterson. Although he didn’t fight in 2016, he stayed in the gym and picked up a new hobby, long distance running. His opponent, Avanesyan, is coming off a unanimous decision win over Shane Mosley, Jr. and looking to continue his 21-fight win streak. Peterson won his last fight by majority decision against Félix Díaz in October of 2015 and hopes to pick up right where he left off. “I’ll be more than ready come February 18th.”
THE PAST YEAR: Just relaxing. Always in the gym, training. Trying to concentrate on certain things in my off time that I feel like I can correct in my boxing game. And, I guess life, too. I got into long distance running really heavy for the last year and that helped me stay in pretty good condition. Now I feel fresh and ready to come back and fight.
MARATHONS: Yeah, I planned to (run a marathon) but I didn’t know exactly when I was going to fight. There were marathons coming and going and the people I run with were running marathons and I was like, ‘I’m gonna wait until after I fight so I have some clear space.’ Just in case an injury happens or anything, I’ll be able to recover in time for my next fight. So, I’m looking at March to do one. The most I’ve done is 26 or 27 (miles) now. I tried to go for 30 but that day it just wasn’t happening.
RUNNING 26 MILES: Woooooo! You have to take maybe three or four days off, honestly, after running that long of a distance. I’ve ran about 26 miles, a whole marathon, by myself, maybe three times now. Every time it’s three or four days off. You have to take it off, relax and soak. Your legs will come back, but when they come back, they’re stronger than they was before you ran that 26 miles.
IMPROVED LEGS: Improved? Yeah, definitely!
LAYOFF: I didn’t really take any big breaks out of the gym. I did have an injury or two earlier (in 2016) but that sat me down for maybe a few weeks, but I was right back to the gym when that was over. I had a few injury breaks but my mind stays boxing, I stay still coming in (the gym) to spar, maybe 20 rounds. Try to get my timing, keep everything sharp, and I feel like I’ll be pretty good. We won’t see ring rust too much. I know a lot of people say that and I could be wrong but I don’t think I will.
TRAINING CAMP: Training camp is going well. Just got the information late last week that the fight is confirmed for February 18th so I’m happy about that. Training camp is going well as always. A bunch of young lions in the gym and everybody is getting ready for something. I got plenty of sparring, all different looks.
SPARRING: Right now, Jarret Hurd, junior middleweight contender. Top contender. I spar with him a lot. Of course, my brother. We have another junior middleweight in now, Eric Walker. He had a big upset win over Chris Pearson some time last year. Alantez Fox, he’s a six foot five middleweight. I’m probably gonna work with all those guys as soon as I get off the phone with you. We constantly spar and it makes all of us better.
AVANESYAN: I didn’t know much about him but I did watch him and Shane Mosley fight. He’s a pretty decent fighter, he’s on this level for a reason. But of course, I do see things I can take advantage of and we’re coming up with a good game plan. I hope we can execute that come February 18th.
GARCIA: Hindsight is always better. I wouldn’t say start earlier but a lot of people thought I started late in the Danny Garcia fight. I probably would’ve gave a little more offense early on. At the time, I was showing pretty good defense and thought I was getting credit for that and landing some good shots. If I didn’t get credit for winning the rounds, then I probably didn’t get credit for it so I probably would’ve showed a little more offense early on but it would’ve been the same game plan because I thought it was a good one and I felt that it worked. This is boxing and close fights are close fights. Sometimes they get called either way. It’s nothing for me, honestly, to cry about. At the end of the day I’m able to go out there, do something that I love to do, and I’m thankful for that and I hope I can continue for a few more years.
#GARCIATHURMAN: I think it’s gonna be a close fight. It’s two top guys, I think it’s always gonna be competitive. It comes down to who wants it more and who has a better game plan.
Photo Credit: Justin Machado @mexisurfer
For more on Lamont Peterson follow @kingpete29 on Instagram.