by David P. Greisman

By the time Lamont Peterson fights David Avanesyan later this month, it will have been 16 months since Peterson last stepped in the ring.

That layoff dates back to October 2015, when Peterson followed his close loss to Danny Garcia by taking a debtated majority decision over Felix Diaz.

That’s a lot of time away. It hasn’t gone completely to naught.

“For the most part, we’ve been focusing on some areas we need to get stronger in as far as his skillset is concerned,” said Peterson’s trainer, Barry Hunter, in an interview with “Making sure we’re in the right position when and after we punch, understanding for the majority of the time that we like to keep the fight in the center of the ring instead of coming off the ropes.”

Peterson’s also been working on endurance, has joined a running group and is constantly in the gym, Hunter said.

“He’s not 18 anymore,” the trainer said. “We want to make sure that if we get engaged in a competition with somebody that’s aggressive, we need to not only be able to box but to hold our ground. As far as boxing is concerned, sometimes we will get in the habit of backing up or fighting off the ropes.”

Peterson turned 33 in January. He’s been a pro since 2004. He’s no spring chicken, but Hunter doesn’t see time beginning to take its toll just yet.

“Thus far I haven’t seen no real signs of wear and tear,” Hunter said. “I haven’t seen a loss of love for this sport. Physically he outdoes a lot of kids younger than him. When I see some of these signs of wear and tear, or a lack of motivation, or a lack of love for the sport, it’ll be time to have that conversation.”

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