Lamont Peterson – Tim Bradley and I will fight again – I have to do for my health. And that’s all that I did – Signing with Goldenboy – Holt- I watch as many tapes as I can
by Esteban Walters
On Thursday, January 31st, 29-year-old IBF junior welterweight champion Lamont Peterson (30-1-1, 15KOs), of Washington D.C., visited Leave it in the RinG Radio to discuss a wide range of topics with hosts David Duenez and Gabriel Montoya, in the lead-up to his February 22nd main event showdown against Kendall Holt on ESPN2’s “Friday Night Fights,” at the D.C. Armory in Peterson’s home town.
Peterson hasn’t fought in over a year, when he lifted Amir Khan’s IBF and WBA junior welterweight titles by controversial split decision in December of 2011. Dubious issues persists when Peterson tested positive for a banned substance [testosterone] in the lead up to his rematch with England’s Khan, that was to take place in May of last year. Peterson was also the one who requested the tests be administered, for Khan and himself, by the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA), headed by Dr. Margaret Goodman.
Peterson revealed that he had taken testosterone pellets at the Desert Oasis clinic in Las Vegas, Nevada, under the supervision of Dr. John A. Thompson, DO., for the treatment of low testosterone (Low-T), after Peterson complained of fatigue and lightheadedness. Of note is the fact that Peterson was treated with the testosterone pellets before his first encounter with Amir Khan in 2011, but it was not detected by the commission in Washington, D.C.
The difference in the drug testing for the first Peterson-Khan fight in 2011 — that missed the testosterone in Lamont’s system — and their scheduled, then canceled rematch in 2012, was the fact that VADA used the Carbon Isotope Ratio testing method (CIR) which is designed to identify exogenous testosterone.
Needless to say the fight was canceled and Peterson was eventually stripped of his WBA junior welterweight strap. The IBF allowed Peterson to keep their organization’s belt as they cleared him of any wrong doing after an independent physician — certified in internal medicine and endocrinology — went over Lamont’s medical records in alliance to the information provided in VADA’s report.
In 2009, Peterson lost a clear-cut unanimous decision to WBO welterweight champion Timothy Bradley — who was the WBO junior welterweight champion at the time. A proposed rematch was to take place this past December until Bradley nixed that idea saying he’d already been there, done that, thus Peterson’s defense against Holt on the 22nd.
Below are the quotes from the show.
David Duenez: “Lamont, how have you been?”
Lamont Peterson: “Man I’ve been good man, how you been doing?”
Duenez: “Doing really good, really good. It’s good to hear that you’re back in the ring getting some training done; you’re going to be back in a big fight. The Timothy Bradley fight… obviously the rematch didn’t fall through. Let me ask you a little bit… before we start going into the other stuff. [With] Timothy Bradley, what do you think happened there? And when he turned down the fight, he wasn’t intrigued by it, which I heard that he was, but something just fell apart. What does that do for you man? I mean, did you think that this was just going to start off to be a bumpy year for you?
Peterson: “No, I was just hoping that the opportunity did happen but you know, things happen in boxing. A lot of times you never find out the reason why, but things happen, and you just move on, you keep moving and keep going [ahead].”
Duenez: “Do you think that that fight with Timothy Bradley would have been the breaking point for you? I mean, you were out for some time [and] it was out of your hands. You had the whole VADA testing. Do you think that the Timothy Bradley fight was the right fight for you to get back [into] the eyes of the fight fans?”
Peterson: “It was just a fight. And at the end of the day I always look at it like this… me and Timothy Bradley will fight again, whether it’s now or later. I was just hoping that it was now, but it seems like it’s going to be later.”
Gabriel Montoya: “Lamont, thank you for coming on, it’s been a long time and I think the last time we talked was… I think last March, at the press conference here in Los Angeles when you announced the [Bradley] rematch…”
Peterson interjecting: “Yes.”
Montoya: “Talk to me about how you feel after all this that you have gone through. We don’t need to go step-by-step and do the Oprah-Armstrong interview. But I’m just curious… where do you feel you’re at, and how are you dealing with public perception? What do you think that is, after all this time and looking back over the year?”
Peterson: “It’s no problem for me you know, people are always going to look at things the way they want to look at things. Whether, you know, I tested positive or not, if someone puts it in their head that, you know, I’m a certain way, then to them I’m going to be a certain way and there’s nothing I can do about it. So at this point… I told my story. I told my part. Whether they believe me or not, I could care less at that point because I can’t control it, so I just move on with my career.”
Montoya: “I [read] your one-on-one with [The RING's] Lem [Satterfield] and other ones that you did. And I talked with
[Peterson's trainer] Barry [Hunter] and your team extensively. What I got out of your story, was of a guy… maybe that was over trained and was certainly misdiagnosed, at least in my opinion, misdiagnosed with LOW-T, and that is all it really was. It wasn’t a guy going… with a mustache, twirling it and going, ‘I’m going to cheat and get over.’ Am I correct? Do you think ultimately… I mean, did you find out what was wrong with you health-wise? Do you think you were misdiagnosed? And that maybe, if you had gone a little further and gotten more information, that you wouldn’t have [gone] down the road that you did?”
Peterson: “Um, I wouldn’t say I was misdiagnosed because even after the fight, and after the procedure you know, it was still… it still went back down again, low. That’s just a problem that I’ll have to deal with. It wasn’t like, ‘I need to take this because my testosterone is low, so it can make me stronger,’ or anything like that. It was for health reasons, because at the end of the day I look at it like this, I’ve been fighting… if that’s the case and it’s low, and it’s always been low, I’ve still been fighting on the top level anyway, so that was not a concern for me but my health is. At this point, if they say something’s wrong with my brain… forget boxing, I’m done boxing. You know, I started doing research, and the things that can happen, and the things that [LOW-T] can cause, being this young… I have to make a decision, and do what I have to do for my health. And that’s all that I did.”
Montoya: “Going forward… I guess one of the things, like Nevada… you haven’t gone and done your licensing here, and… I don’t know, have you worked things out with them? And if so, are you going to get a therapeutic use exemption for the use of testosterone, if that’s… that’s your issue? That your testosterone [levels are out of balance?]“
Peterson: “At this point there is no need to do anything because like I said, after the procedure my testosterone [level] went back down. So it has to be from something else. We are still trying to figure it out. I’m still constantly monitoring that. Constantly getting blood work done to figure out when it is low and when it is high, because sometimes it’s normal.”
Duenez: “So this is not even a question of performance, this is a question of health, right?”
Peterson: “Right, this is a question of health. And that’s what… at this point; we [are] still trying to figure out. But you know, we tried one procedure and it didn’t work, so [there's] no need to get an additional form, and get another one because it really didn’t work. You know, it was supposed to bring my levels to normal and keep it there, and it didn’t. So at this point it really… I really don’t know, I’m just going to continue to fight, the way I always do. The procedure really did nothing for me, and we are going to try to figure this thing out and go from there. As far as fighting in Vegas… I’m pretty sure I’ll get a license in Vegas when I need to. A lot of times when we were… the hearing thing that was about to go on… and they [NSAC] were really asking us, ‘why do we even need to come out?’ So…”
Duenez interjecting: “What do you mean they were asking you guys?”
Montoya interjecting: “The [Peterson-Bradley II] fight was already off.”
Peterson: “It’s not like they [NSAC] called for the hearing, we were asking for the hearing. So they were… at this point… what is the need for me to even come out there? And we started thinking about it like that and were like, ‘you know what? They might be right.'”
Montoya: “And also, to clarify for people who may not know this, one of your legal team couldn’t be there, as I understood it, on the day that you were going to do your hearing, and that was the initial reason why you guys pulled out. That’s what I was told.”
Peterson: “Yes, the first time… then we re-scheduled it.”
Montoya: “Let me ask you this… and [then we'll] try to get to the boxing stuff because you’re a fighter and I like talking to you about fighting. Goldenboy [Promotions] is really one of the pioneers of this, of drug-testing in the sport… using an independent source to drug-test…”
Duenez interjecting: “And they [Goldenboy] were taking a lot of shots at you too.”
Montoya: “They [Goldenboy] mainly take… well they do USADA (United States Anti-Doping Agency) testing… I’m just curious if you’re going to… they did take a lot of shots at you, I’m curious about how you feel about that. But my question is, are you going to continue to do independent drug-testing, and is it going to be USADA?”
Peterson: “The way I feel right now is, I’ll continue to do drug-testing. Of course drug-testing is not cheap, so with this fight [Kendall Holt] we’re not going to do random drug-testing. Because like I said it’s not cheap, and this fight, pretty much, is not [generating] that much money to be doing [testing]. But the fights in the future, the bigger [fights], then you can guarantee that I’m going to do drug-testing. And at this point, for my option, you know the way I look at it… the way it is… VADA seems like they’re the better company when it comes to drug-testing, and that’s what I’m going to want to do.”
Duenez: “Lamont let me ask you… you signed with Goldenboy. What made you go in that direction? You know, because when that whole testing [came] about, they took some major, major shots at you. And the thinking was that you wouldn’t want to go with them as a promoter. You would have gone with somebody else. But your decision was to go with them which I don’t think was a bad decision; I actually think it was a really great decision. But tell me a little bit, why did you decide to lean towards Goldenboy?”
Peterson: “I’m going to tell you this… all the things that were said, rolled right off my shoulder. I mean it was no problem with me because at the end of the day I look at it like this… this is business. I beat their fighter [Amir Khan]. They thought there was some foul play. They’re going to protect their fighter the best they can. So I just looked at it as — they’re protecting their fighter. They were doing whatever they needed to do for their fighter, and that’s all I can look at is as.”
Duenez: “Now that you’re their fighter. Now that you’re part of their team, what is in store? What are some of the communications between yourself, your team and Goldenboy, and where they’re going to move you forward if you’re successful with [Kendall] Holt?”
Peterson: “If I’m successful February 22nd, of course, we’re trying to make the biggest fights that we can make. And right now at my weight class, and the weight class above me, Goldenboy has stocked… [as well as] the top junior welterweights out there. So right now, we just want to fight the best fights out there. You have Danny Garcia. You still have the Khan rematch that people want to see. You have [Lucas] Matthysse. And if I decide to move up, they [Goldenboy] have plenty of 147 pounders too. So I know, at this point, if I’m taking care of my business in the ring [on February 22nd], I can always look forward to bigger fights.”
Montoya: “You basically said you had a banned substance in you, testosterone, during a title fight, and [the Washington] D.C. [commission], have they said anything to you? Are they going to discipline you? Or is it all just kind of a learning experience and we’re all just moving forward?”
Peterson: “They haven’t contacted me at all…”
Montoya interjecting: “And you passed the drug-test, for full disclosure.”
Peterson: “Right. And they went to their drug-testing, and they looked over it and the things that they test for, and I passed. So at that point, what else could they do?”
Montoya: “In front of you, you have a dangerous fighter, and you have something even more dangerous, you have rust from time out of the ring. What do you consider more dangerous heading into this fight, Kendall Holt? The pressure on you to perform to a certain level? Or just fighting the rust?”
Peterson: “There is no pressure at this point. The way I’m looking at it… I love to fight. I’m about to fight. Win, lose or draw, I’m going to have to go out there and do something that I love to do. That’s it.”
Duenez: “Did you think at one point, you were going to be able to get back in the ring?”
Peterson: “I always knew I’d get back in the ring, I never doubted that. I didn’t know how long it was going to take. Sometimes it felt like it was going to be sooner than later. And sometimes it felt like it was going to be later. It was up-and-down for me… throwing me for loops all over the place, but I knew eventually one day I’d get back in the ring.”
Duenez: “Kendall Holt has always been known to have that right hand, you know, he’s got that power. You’re able to take apart fighters and you’re able to, you know, take the weaknesses and strengths. What is it about Kendall Holt that you see is weak? And what are the strengths about him that you have to worry about to be sure that you’re on your game, to make sure that you’re not one of his victims?”
Peterson: “Well, we don’t really want to go into strengths and weaknesses right now. At the end of the day we still have to fight, so it’s all about strategy at this point. But I’ll say this… from what I’ve seen, Kendall is a good puncher with both hands, left and right. He has good power, but it’s not power that I’m worried about. At the end of the day… it’s boxing; you’re going to get hit. I’m not worried about that. And I’m not saying that I’m the strongest man in the world, but for a [genuine] welterweight, I can almost say that we, as far as strength… I’m really not talking punching power, but strength… I don’t see [anything there] that’s stronger than me, period.”
Duenez: “Let me ask you this, because, starting off in your career as a pro [you were a] boxer. And then it kind of changed you know… because the criticism was that you were just too pure as a boxer. And then we saw that transition. You started to stand, and you started to trade a little bit more. Being out of the ring… going back… and you know… going with your sparring partners and stuff. Have you reverted back to your old self? Or have you just stayed where you left off?”
Peterson: “At this point, depending on… throughout my whole career… amateurs, [then pro]… I was always taught to fight multiple ways. So depending on the fight… the fighter that I’m fighting… I’m going to change accordingly. For this fight… of course you want to do a little of both, but for the most part… with Kendall, there’s really no need to be moving’ around, running’ around, because he’s a fighter who likes to take his time. Like you said, I’m a thinker and I like to break stuff down. So while I’m breaking the fighter down… the way I want the fight to go, I have to adjust my style accordingly.”
Duenez: “What are you concentrating on, and watch the most with Kendall Holt? Do you watch when he… his last fight, with the knockout? Or do you go back and look at his fight with Danny Garcia?, which was a different pace [and] drawn out a little longer. Which one? Or do you watch both of those fights?”
Peterson: “If you’re going to watch tape on someone, you want to watch as many tapes as you can. You know, the way they deal with different styles. If you just watch one fight, it’s hard to pick up on habits. After you see three or four fights, things that he did, regardless of what the style is… something that he’s going to do, you kind of look for those. Not just, you know, if the guy can punch. You look at everything when he loses [and] when he wins. If he struggled or not. You know… someone putting pressure on him… someone boxing him… you’re kind of just looking at him and looking for things that he consistently does, or doesn’t do.”
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