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Lamont Peterson: I Have No Concern About Ring Rust

Lamont Peterson returns to the boxing ring on February 18th. The former two time world champion will be fighting at a new weight class and challenging for a world title. Nobody questions his skills and abilities. But the fact that he hasn't fought since October 2015 has a lot of people worried about ring rust. Peterson dismisses those worries, via Bad Left Hook:

"People are going to talk a lot about my layoff but honestly that only affects people who aren’t always in the gym. I have been in the gym working hard this entire time. I’ve been working on my craft. I got better and you’ll see on February 18. I have no concern about ring rust. It’s not even a thought in my head. I would be shocked if that was a problem for me.”

The last time we saw Peterson fight, he barely got past Feliz Diaz, beating the latter by a controversial majority decision. Peterson did well in the fight and was effective with his body punching in most rounds. But he seemed to have given too many rounds away by not throwing enough punches. Diaz outhrew Peterson 761 to 709 total punches but Peterson landed more at 234 to 168. However, Diaz's punches seemed to have more effect and that's where the controversy came from.

Against David Avanesyan next Saturday, Peterson is up against an opponent who doesn't throw as many punches. According to the Throwdown Scoring mobile app pre-fight stats, Peterson throws more punches on the average:

But despite his seeming advantage in numbers, Peterson isn't underestimating Avanesyan. The revently promoted WBA regular welterweight champion is coming off a May 2016 win over a washed up Shane Mosley. Said Peterson:

“Avanesyan is a pretty good fighter. He keeps his hands up high, so even though he’s there to be hit, it doesn’t mean I’m going to get good clean shots. It should be a good entertaining fight and a good first step at welterweight for me.”

Thar first step is important for Peterson because a win would likely make him the #1 contender for the WBA super world welterweight title, which will be disputed by Keith Thurman and Danny Garcia next month. That title would have more importance, personally, should Garcia win. Swift was the last man to defeat Peterson in the ring. And it was a fight many thought Peterson pulled off. Said Peterson of a possible Garcia rematch:

“Big fights are what matters to me. When you’re coming up it’s all about winning a title. Having fought for 12 years, it doesn’t matter to me as much. The way I’m looking at is, if I get this win, then I’m the No. 1 contender for the (WBA ‘super world’) belt.... I always thought Lamont and Danny Garcia was a fight that warranted a rematch. Because it was a great fight that had a little bit of controversy around it. I still would like to see the rematch.”

The Avanesyan-Peterson title fight is part of the Throwdown Scoring App's upcoming boxing schedule. Make your fight prediction now for that bout using the app