Lamont Peterson Humbles Dierry Jean

By Robert Ecksel on January 25, 2014
Lamont Peterson Humbles Dierry Jean
Many feared Lamont might be gun shy after being destroyed by Lucas Matthysse. (AP)

Lamont Peterson successfully defended his IBF light welterweight title by decisioning Dierry Jean after 12 rounds by scores of 115-113, 116-112, and 118-111….

Saturday night at the DC Armory in Washington, DC, Lamont Peterson (32-2-1, 16 KOs) successfully defended his IBF light welterweight title by decisioning Dierry Jean (25-1, 17 KOs) after 12 rounds by scores of 115-113, 116-112, and 118-111.

Many wondered whether Peterson, fighting out of the blue corner in white trunks trimmed with purple and black, would be gun shy after being crushed by Lucas Matthysse. But based on tonight’s dominant performance against a formerly undefeated fighter, Peterson showed no ill effects from the third round stoppage last year.

Fighting out of the red corner in white trunks with red and blue trim, the Haitian-born Jean performed well in the first third of the fight. The first was a feeling out round in which both fighters relied almost exclusively on their jab. Both landed a single power punch.

There was a little more action in round two. Jean was patient, content to counter Peterson, who was slow getting out of the gate. He was boxing beautifully and making Jean miss, except for the times Jean didn’t miss with his lead right and a crisp uppercut.

Peterson began letting his hands go in round three. Jean had his moments, but Peterson had more of them, landing a beautiful left hook and a stinging uppercut, many more of which would follow.

Between rounds, Peterson’s trainer, Virgil Hunter, admonished his charge. “Step it up,” he said, “hands up, side to side, never in a straight line. He’s dead. Put him on his heels. Don’t let him move forward.”

The offensive output Hunter requested didn’t materialize right away. The fourth was a close round that probably went to Jean. Both men were catching the other. The fight was heating up. Peterson wasn’t quite the Peterson of old, at least not yet, but he was a far cry from the fighter who tasted canvas three times in May.

Lamont took control of the fight in round five. He was outworking his opponent. He was pushing Jean back. Peterson added some precision body work to his repertoire of punches and Jean was feeling the effects of a resurgent champion.

Jean’s corner told him between rounds, “You gave him that round. Go give it to him. C’mon. Keep the jab going in his face. Disturb him. And then you have to go to the body.”

Peterson drew first blood from a cut above Jean’s eye in the sixth. Jean was still in the fight, but Peterson was stalking him, chasing him down, landing lead rights, combinations to the head and body, all the while fighting smart, moving sneakily around the ring. The Canadian seemed content to fire off single shots, whereas Peterson was digging in and letting her rip.

The pattern continued in round seven. Throwing combinations, doubling and tripling up on his punches, Peterson revealed the toughness in Jean, if not his ability to compete at the highest level.

Jean took the eighth. Even though he had been losing rounds, one never felt that the fight was out of Jean’s reach. For three minutes Jean outlanded Peterson, at times hurt Peterson, who may have begun to tire. The gap was large, but the gap appeared to be closing.

Appearances, however, can be deceptive. Peterson got his second wind and picked up where he left off. He was walking down Jean. He was bettering Jean and both he and Jean knew it. At the end of the ninth Virgil Hunter, a strict taskmaster, told Lamont, “I’m not going to keep telling you. Keep your fucking hands up,” which is exactly what he did going into the championship rounds.

Peterson was in total control. A stray hip shot by Peterson forced a short stoppage in the 10th, but it did nothing to deter the champ, and nothing to aid the challenger in either the long or short run. After round 10 Hunter asked Peterson, “How do you feel?” Peterson smiled and said, “I’m good,” which summed things up quite nicely.

The last two rounds went to Peterson. Jean gave it his all, but his all was not enough. It was a solid performance by Peterson, a complete performance, a winning performance. He was in it mentally and physically, boxing, punching, parading his arsenal of offensive weapons, left hooks, straight rights, uppercuts, body shots, before his game but outclassed opponent.

When it was all said and done, Peterson had landed 230 punches to Jean’s 123. Numbers don’t lie; neither does Lamont Peterson.

After the fight Jim Gray asked Peterson, “Mentally, to prepare for this fight after what happened when you fought Lucas Matthysse and that knockdown, how difficult was it for you to put that behind you? You said it took twenty-four hours, but everybody in the fight game knows that’s really not possible.”

It’s great that Jim Gray feels qualified to speak for “everybody in the fight game,” but Peterson wasn’t buying it. “It was possible,” he said matter-of-factly. “I sat and thought all night and I came to understand why I lost. I try to make sense of everything and just asked God to help me find understanding and it came pretty fast. So at the end of the day it just made me work harder and I knew I had to go out there and show people that I still got it.”

Lamont Peterson’s still got it. Bring on El Chino. Bring me the head of Danny Garcia

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  1. Kurt 07:28am, 01/27/2014

    After viewing the fight I have two questions. Did Peterson take a drug test after the fight? Did he pass it ?

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