Any list of tomorrow’s champions must include Washington D.C.’s Peterson brothers, Anthony and Lamont. There’s virtually nothing not to like about these two, in or out of the ring. Their manager Shelly Finkel has kept them busy, and matched them intelligently, for the 32 months that they’ve been pro. But they came to the party with an abundance of ability, skill, discipline and desire, nurtured by their father figure/trainer Barry Hunter.
The D.C. Armory hosted the brothers on Friday Night Fights, with the younger but more ferocious Anthony, 22, getting top billing in a scheduled 12-rounder. The chiseled lightweight faced a hard-headed, game Dominican in Luis Ernesto Jose, who was making his pro debut on American soil. He tested the contender’s resolve and chin but finally crumbled at 1:36 of the ninth round. With this loss, Jose goes to 27-5-2 (21). Anthony remains unbeaten at 23-0 (17).
Anthony is not a calm fighter. Rather, he’s tightly sprung, coiled, always looking to pounce on his prey. He never paws with his jab, everything he throws is hard. The fighters stood right in front of each other, at close quarters, and traded serious leather for the first four rounds. Peterson’s superior technique was the difference—elbows tucked in, punches short and straight, and a firm turtle defense that has kept his face clean thus far. Jose, on the other hand, dropped his hands before loading up. His shots were wide, and pushed instead of snapped. Ability played a role too; Jose was cement-footed with average hand-speed. All this amounted to him getting regularly beaten to the punch.
Two pretty good fighters took in Peterson’s performance and provided commentary. While they liked what they saw, each suggested he’d be that much more lethal if he mixed up his attack. Sitting ringside, Floyd Maweather Jnr. said Anthony should “relax,” take a few rounds to feel out his opponent and work the jab up and down. But “Pretty Boy” also likened him to Winky Wright, complimented his hook, and anointed him a future world champion.
The in-studio guest in Bristol, Connecticut was Kelly Pavlik, perhaps the hottest fighter in the game coming off his destruction of Edison Miranda last week. From one puncher to another, Pavlik advised Anthony to work more angles, throw in some shoulder rolls, and “not throw everything hard.” Certainly, Kelly practices what he preaches, ultimately dispatching Jose Luis Zertuche and Miranda with stuff that wasn’t really hard, just smartly set up.
Still fighting in a phone booth, Jose held a lot beginning in the fifth. He also used his head opportunistically when clinching. Not always knowing how to respond, Peterson showed his frustration. When the ref separated them, Anthony went back to work. The battering began to tell in the sixth and seventh.
At the end of the eighth a knockout seemed imminent, as Jose was wobbled with a barrage of shots to the body and head. But he had a set of whiskers Bluebeard would envy.
A minute or so into the ninth, Jose finally hit the deck, although it wasn’t ruled a knockdown. He absorbed a series of flush hooks. This time when he looked to hold, Anthony viciously pushed him off and followed with a body shot. He was felled by attrition as much as anything.
When he arose, Anthony charged in. When he got in punching range, Peterson took a hard step to the side and created a gaping opening for himself. Where had he been hiding this move for the past eight heats!? The move set up some clean shots to the head and a debilitating one to the body. Jose visited the canvas once again. Had the ref not jumped in, his corner would have.
Anthony is currently ranked #1 by the WBO. He thinks he’s ready for Juan “Baby Bull” Diaz. No one doubts that it would be a barnburner. Realistically, he’s several fights away from a title bid and there are many trials he has yet to pass. Mark it on your calendar, his time will come.
Big brother Lamont, 23, was in the televised co-feature. With only 8 wins coming by stoppage in his spotless 20-0 record, the jnr. welter was in need of a knockout. 18-year vet and late sub John Brown was a good mark.
Brown, now 23-14-2 (11), has fought nine titlists and has had four shots at a belt. This was at his prime weight of 130, which he hasn’t seen since 2001. Between now and then his record has been littered with losses from prospect/contenders, and this was his first bout in a year.
While Lamont is not as aggressive as his brother and may lack his punch, he looks to be the more fluid, savvy, versatile boxer. Against the 5’3’’ Brown he dug seamless body shots around the squat man’s elbows. By the time he finished Brown at 28 seconds of the eighth, it was in large part due to body work—he landed an astounded 101 of 135 shots downstairs.
The astute Kelly Pavlik was asked his take on Lamont. He thought the talented boxer has some hidden punching power that has as yet gone unrealized. He’d like to see the D.C. kid use more feints and sit down on his punches. If Pavlik is correct and Lamont takes his advice, all 140-pounders should be put on notice. In fact, even the superlative Marquez Brothers will have to watch their back, as the best brother-boxer combo in the business.
Lightweight Ty Barnette-Armando Cordoba UD 6
Lightweight Angel Estrada-Filiberto Nieto TKO 3
Super middle Reginald Taylor-John Owens TKO 2
Jr middle Jessie Nicklow-Larry Brothers TKO 3