Lamont Peterson vacates WBA belt, could face Spence in Dec/Jan
By Jeff Arabow: Lamont Peterson (35-3-1, 17 KOs) has officially vacated his WBA World welterweight title, and he’s rumored to be challenging IBF 147 lb. champion Errol “The Truth” Spence Jr. (22-0, 19 KOs) in December or January.
Peterson, 33, sent a letter to the World Boxing Association on Tuesday to let them know that he’s vacating his WBA World 147 lb. division. This is good news for the WBA, as it makes their job easier in reducing the title belts at 147 from 2 to just 1 now. Keith “One Time” Thurman holds the WBA Super World welterweight title. It’s a confusing mess the WBA has made with them having 2 champions in one division. At least now there’s only 1 champion at 147 with the WBA organization.
Peterson won the WBA title in his last fight in defeating David Avanesyan by a 12 round unanimous decision on February 18 on the undercard of the Adrien Broner vs. Adrian Granados card at the Cintas Center in Cincinnati, Ohio. Peterson has been inactive ever since.
It’s unfortunate that Peterson’s management has not kept him busy, considering that he’s in the prime of his career right now. Peterson didn’t fight at all in 2016, and just once in 2017. There seems to be a problem with Peterson not being kept busy. It would be great for Peterson if he can fight Spence in December, because it would mean that he at least fought twice in 2017 rather than once.
Peterson beat Amir Khan in 2010 to capture the IBF/WBA light welterweight titles. Peterson stripped of his WBA belt in 2012, and then stropped of his IBF belt in 2015. Peterson did successfully defend his IBF strap 3 times in beating Kendall Holt, Dierry Jean and Edgar Santana. Those were not great opponents unfortunately. Peterson didn’t take advantage of his time as the IBF 140 lb. champion.
Obviously, the same can be said about Peterson not taking advantage of his time as the WBA welterweight belt holder either, since he never was able to defend the strap. There were a lot of fights that could have been made for Peterson, but they failed to get done. It would be a shame if Peterson never captures another world title in his career. He’s someone that didn’t take advantage of his time as a world champion at 140 and 147 for whatever reason.
If Peterson can get a fight with Spence, it would be a good fight. It’s not a great match-up for Peterson though. Spence, 27, is a lot younger than him, and he’s considered to be a future star. If the fight is well-paying for Peterson, then you can say it’s worth it. But it would be better for Peterson to fight Keith Thurman or Jeff Horn if he could get any of those fights. Peterson is an excellent body puncher just like Spence. A fight between those guys would likely take place at close quarters with both of them going at it toe-to-toe in an old school type of fight.
Peterson needs to stay active from this point forward if he wants to get the most out of what little time he has remaining as a world class fighter.