According to an article Sunday on ProBoxingInsider.com, As Lamont Peterson went into his title defense Saturday night against Dierry Jean, many were curious to see how well he would rebound from his last outing. In that fight, he was dominated by Lucas Matthysse, suffering four knockdowns in the three rounds the fight lasted. Fortunately for him, it was a non-title fight since the contest was held at 141 instead of 140.
Peterson claimed that he put the loss behind him the day after it happened, but words and actions are often completely different things. However, he backed up those words by winning a convincing unanimous decision over the hard-hitting Jean.
"It was possible" Peterson said of putting the loss to Matthysse behind him. "That day I thought about it and came to an understanding with God and tried to make sense of everything. I made peace with it. I worked harder coming into this fight to make people see that I still got it."
He certainly does still have it, as judges scores of 118-111, 116-112 and 115-113 would show.
"Everybody try to make a big deal out of one loss," Peterson said. "But if the best fight the best, sometimes it's going to be a knockout. I always prepare myself to win when I step in the ring, but I know you can lose. My whole life it's never been easy, so why would it be easy now?
"I am built to get those setbacks and then you can always come back. That's the way I represent. I think that's my purpose in life."
For Jean (25-1, 17 KO's), it was both the first world title fight and first loss of his career. He entered the ring appearing confident, but that confidence was not rewarded as Peterson controlled the majority of the action
"Maybe it was just a matter of experience," said Jean, speaking French through a translator about the difference in the fight. "I'm definitely leaving with my head held high. I've got all my fans with me and I fought hard fight."
He did have his share of fans in Washington, but the majority of the crowd stood solidly behind the local by.
"If it was up to me, I would never leave," Peterson said of fighting in Washington. "I love my city and they love me."
In the sixth round, in fact, the crowd broke into a loud "DC! DC!" chant in support of Peterson who was pressing the action against Jean, who was fighting outside of Quebec for just the third time.
As the fight went into the later rounds, it was clear that Peterson was in control, but there was also a feeling that perhaps Jean could land something big to change things. That never happened.
After the fight, Peterson said he would like to move up to welterweight, but after he can consider himself the best in the world at 140. To do that, he would need to face Danny Garcia, the unified champion, and the recognized champion of the division.
"Danny Garcia is supposed to be the No. 1 guy and rightfully so," Peterson said. "I want to be the best at 140 and move up to 147 soon, so the sooner the better (for a fight with Garcia)."
Richard Schaefer, Golden Boy promoter, has the option of giving him the fight Peterson wants, or perhaps going in a different direction. As is always the case in boxing, we will find out what is next in a matter of time.