"He's going to be a tough fight. He is a former world champion and he's been in the game for a while now and he is pretty much looking at this like this might be his last shot. So he's going to give it his all and I expect a tough fight. But of course, at the end of the day, I believe I will be victorious in the fight...I know Kendall is gonna bring it and I'm gonna bring it. At the end of the day, it's going to be a good fight and I'm hoping everybody enjoys it," stated IBF jr. welterweight champion Lamont Peterson, who talked about his upcoming title defense against Kendall Holt, his recent signing with Golden Boy Promotions, and much more. Check it out!
PC: How have you been Lamont?
LP: I'm doing good; just getting ready for February 22nd.
PC: I asked Barry, so I will ask you the same. How is it been for you in the gym going through the different potential opponents and the layoff?
LP: Well, the gym was the only place I was totally happy regardless if the fights were coming in and falling out. I was just trying to concentrate on getting better and focusing on certain things that I needed to focus on; just training hard regardless of when a fight was gonna come. I knew eventually one was gonna come, so I just tried to stay positive and stay in the gym and use the gym to make me happy.
PC: I'm sure you have seen a lot of Kendall Holt over the years. What do you think of him as a fighter and an opponent?
LP: He's going to be a tough fight. He is a former world champion and he's been in the game for a while now and he is pretty much looking at this like this might be his last shot. So he's going to give it his all and I expect a tough fight. But of course, at the end of the day, I believe I will be victorious in the fight.
PC: When you are in the gym, do you feel like the Lamont of old or can you sense there will be some rust?
LP: I feel like myself. I do feel I used the time to get better at my craft. I didn't look at it like, "Oh, I'm not gonna be fighting; let me go out and chill, get big or go party," or anything like that. I was in the gym as if I was gonna fight. It was kind of like a I won't call it a training camp because I wasn't in there all the time trying to kill myself, but I was just trying to learn and get better. So I think, at the end of the day, it's a good thing and I think it's going to pay off and make me a much better fighter.
PC: You emerged as a star on Friday Night Fights and now you are somewhat going back to your roots to get back to where you belong. How is it to be going back to ESPN where it all started?
LP: To be honest, man, I wouldn't have it any other way. A lot of people saying like I'm too good of a fighter to be fighting on ESPN and that I am a world champion, so why am I fighting on ESPN, or why do I have to fight on ESPN. To be honest, I could have gotten out of fighting on ESPN, but I like ESPN. I have always liked ESPN and I always told them when we were fighting down there in Mississippi and Memphis that when I win this world title, that don't mean I'm not gonna fight again on ESPN. They probably thought I was kidding or talking trash or whatever, but I really meant it. I love the guys at ESPN, from the commentating to the camera guys; everybody. It's a good feel and I will always be willing to fight on ESPN.
PC: Big news out of the camp this week and that is that you signed a promotional deal with Golden Boy Promotions. Now that the business outside of the ring is straight, can you just focus on boxing and these potential mega-fights that can be made?
LP: Yeah, it's much easier because I know if I handle my business inside of the ring, big fights are coming. A lot of times, you into fights and then you are thinking in the back of your head, "What's after this?" So at this point, I know I will have the opportunity. All I have to do is keep winning.
PC: This division wasn't highly publicized a few years back and now it's one of the hottest divisions in boxing. How exciting is it for you to look at the landscape of the division and know that a lot of these guys are possible opponents for you now?
LP: It's what we wanted; the whole team. From day one, when we started fighting on a championship level, we wanted the best. We didn't pick fights or anything like that. When we sat down at the table and decided to go with a promoter, we looked at it and it was like, what promoter out here has the best 140-pounders, and it was Golden Boy, so we started talking to them and set up some things and at the end of the day, both sides were happy with the deal, so we signed with them. The deal was made on our end because I like giving the fans the fights they want to see, and at this point, people wanted to see the rematch with me and Khan. I hear people talk about me and Danny Garcia. And Now Matthysse has emerged as one of the top 140-pounders; they are saying that everybody is scared to fight him. As long as I'm in the division, that can't be true. It can't be that nobody is willing to fight him because at the end of the day, I will fight anyone and I believe I can beat anyone. There are a lot of interesting fights in the weight class and in the Golden Boy stable. I'm really excited about it and I'm ready to mix it up with all of those guys, and that way, we can sort out who is the best fighter.
PC: Going back to the Holt fight, given the eyes that Friday Night Fights garner week in and week out, being that you have been on the sidelines for a little while, is this the best platform to sort of reintroduce yourself to the fans?
LP: Oh yeah! Of course ESPN has more viewers than any other network that show boxing, so it's an important fight. I know that me going out and not looking good is out of the question at this point. But I know I have to go in there and take care of business to move on to bigger fights and that's exactly what I will do. I will go in there and take care of business.
PC: It's gonna be good to see you back in the ring. What are your goals for this year?
LP: To do this fight on February 22nd and at least get 2 more fights before the year is out. Hopefully those are the big fights that people want to see. I will be happy with that. If I can push for 3, then I'll do it, but at least 2 more fights after this fight and I will be satisfied.
PC: I wish you the best of luck against Kendall Holt. He is definitely a very dangerous opponent. Is there anything else you want to say?
LP: I just want everyone to tune-in on February 22nd. I know Kendall is gonna bring it and I'm gonna bring it. At the end of the day, it's going to be a good fight and I'm hoping everybody enjoys it.
[ Follow Percy Crawford on Twitter @MrFighthype ]