by David P. Greisman

Lamont Peterson is coming off a long layoff — 16 months between his controversial victory over Felix Diaz in 2015 and his clear win over David Avanesyan earlier in February.

That victory earned him the World Boxing Association’s “regular” world title, which gives him a mandatory shot at the upcoming unification bout between Keith Thurman (who has the WBA’s “super” title) and Danny Garcia (who has the World Boxing Council belt).

Peterson is waiting for his WBA belt to arrive in the mail hoping he’s got next, but he’s realistic that he may not end up being next.

“I’m not sure how often they’re trying to fight,” Peterson told “I’m sure they’re going to be in a big fight, and it’s probably going to be a tough fight for both of them. I’m not sure how much time they’re going to take off. I’ll definitely wait to fight one of those guys, for a fight of that magnitude. If I had to wait for one of them, then I would. But I personally would like to stay busy.”

(According to team spokesman Andre Johnson, Peterson would also be interested in rematches with Timothy Bradley, Amir Khan and Lucas Matthysse, as well as fights with Manny Pacquiao and Miguel Cotto.)

The layoff wasn’t ideal, but it has ended up working out for him.

“I’m pretty much happy with how my career is going right now,” Peterson said. “I know that I’ve been out for a while. A lot of people expect me to be unhappy or upset about the situation. At the same time, I know I just got the faith in God that he’ll put me in the right position at the right time.  I found something else to get into and stay in shape, which was running. That’ll help. I had a newborn baby in October. I’m just enjoying that part.

“Everything lined up perfectly,” he said. “I’m extremely happy about my career. I look forward to the future. I’m happy to be in the welterweight division. It should heat up and I’ll have some good opportunities to show that I’m one of the best in the world, and in the meantime make good money for my family and then retire.”

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